2004 Volkswagen Golf CL 2.0 from North America


Nice car, but full of quality problems. I dread the idea of the warranty expiring on me


2.0L engine is no fun to drive. Loud and somewhat sluggish.

Engine misfired twice for no known reason. Dealer could not identify problem.

Battery died in cold winter weather.

Ground clearance is low. I am constantly hitting ice blocks on the road.

Windshield wipers had to be replaced after 3 months because they would jump. New OEM windshield wipers are also worn out after two months.

Black seat and floor cloth get dirty very easily.

Carpet cloth is very cheap and very difficult to clean.

Creaking sound from passenger door. Dealer could not fix.

Shock-absorbers make a creaking sound when driving over bumps.

Seats are too firm and small for long distances.

Passenger door lock broke. Dealer replaced under warranty.

Trunk lock broke. Dealer replaced under warranty.

Fuel consumption poor. Average 10L city driving.

Poor trunk lighting.

General Comments:

Brakes are very good. The car has four disc-brakes and stops instantly. The handbrake is also very effective.

Full spare-tire in trunk is very welcome.

Side airbags are standard.

Handles very nicely around corners. The car is stiff, and drives nicely.

High-quality materials in the interior make this car a delight to sit in. It feels like an upscale car, with damped motion of glove-box, grab-handles, and stalk controls.

Excellent top-notch sound system.

Good interior lighting with a reading-lamp for each backseat, and two map-light in the front.

The car looks just plain good, and more upscale than the price would suggest.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th March, 2005

8th May 2005, 05:33

Sorry, but complaining that the carpets get dirty easily is not a problem with the car. The problem lies with you getting into the car with dirty shoes.

10th May 2005, 10:31

So I guess he is supposed to walk around outside barefoot?

19th Jun 2005, 18:16

Comment by original poster:

Clarification on carpet comment: while all carpets get dirty, the one in my Golf is very difficult to get clean. I attribute this to the cheap material used. It should not take you an hour of brushing and soaking and rubbing every spring to remove clean your carpets; I certainly do not have to spend that much time on cleaning our Honda or Subaru.

2004 Volkswagen Golf GT TDI PD 130 1.9 TDI 130PS from UK and Ireland


Overrated and overpriced


Air conditioning compressor needed replacing when the car was just two months old.

Drivers electric window stuck down the day after it came back from having the aircon fixed.

Boot carpet gets damp and smells musty after heavy rain since day one. Dealer insists it's not leaking.

Now on our third CD player. The first skipped and jumped for a month or so before failing completely and the second gave off a burning smell and switched itself off, never to come back on.

Temperature gauge fails intermittently, but will come back on if the ignition is turned off and on again.

The dash squeaks and rattles more at 24k than the Focus interior did at 100k despite looking 100x better finished.

General Comments:

Too many problems for any modern car in its first year, let alone one that costs so much more than its immediate rivals.

Lovely, lovely engine. Frugal, punchy, responsive like diesels rarely are, and from inside the car at least, very refined. It's very obviously a diesel, but the noise levels are very acceptable and engine vibration is well isolated.

I chose to live with the Golf's underwhelming handling and amost total absence of driver "fun" (engine apart) in order to get the superior quality and reliability, but I have to say I feel very short changed indeed.

The interior looks gorgeous in the showroom, and feels far more expensive than the Focus to sit in, with soft feel plastics and a very conservative, typically Germanic layout. It means nothing though - the squeaks and rattles in here at this mileage are worse than the Focus had at 100,000 miles when I sold it. I only had two things go wrong with the Focus in that time as well, although Ford and VW both have the same problem with inattentive and "couldn't care less" dealers.

On the evidence of this car, VW are charging premium prices for a badge, and laurels that they are now resting on rather than earning, and relying on gullible punters like me who fall for the hype. I hope for their sake the mk5 is better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th February, 2005

29th Apr 2005, 03:20

Try the mk 5 golf. My wife has only put 5,000km on the clock, but it does feel particularly well built and the 2 litre (103kw) diesel engine is absolutely amazing.

24th May 2005, 10:13

Have to agree that MkV 2.0 TDi is an absolute marvel. Fast in a way that you can't imagine a diesel being. Handles beautifully. As well made as all Golfs always have been. Recommend it!