2005 Volkswagen Golf TDI turbo diesel from North America




Clutch needed replacement = $2500.

Ridiculously expensive maintenance.

Lights burn out constantly.

Parking brake seized.

Windshield wiper motor burned out.

General Comments:

Avoid this - lots of bells and whistles coloured my judgement and I lost a bucket on this piece of junk.

It's way too expensive to maintain to make up for the fuel economy.

Handled fine initially, but not made to last.

Warranty is useless.

If you've got the money to buy one, spend it on something that will actually last.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th November, 2009

15th Jul 2011, 17:52

A $2500 clutch job? You got scammed. A full clutch kit costs around $300, it should never top anywhere near $1000!

16th Jul 2011, 19:06

Many cars nowadays have a dual-mass flywheel (DMF), and these are NOT the old $600 clutch jobs. The Ford Mondeo here in NZ is a NZ$3000+ (US$2400) clutch job (as opposed to a typical $600 job for a car 15-20 years old), because besides the clutch and the DMF, the labour to actually GET to the clutch and get it all done is a lot. And I do have mechanic friends who verify this. And that's a Ford - not a Porsche. It isn't uncommon now to have ordinary brand cars whose repair bills cost about the same (or more!) than what is deemed a prestige brand. The ordinary cars now use the same technology as the old prestige cars, so now they pay as much for repairs.

I was planning on getting a Mondeo manual until I found that out. To think I was avoiding the automatic, which to overhaul wouldn't cost much more than the clutch.

2005 Volkswagen Golf GL 1.9L TDI PD from North America


Don't buy to save money, but to enjoy


- Stabilizer bar bushing at approx 20,000KM

- Driver side window fell into the door around 40,000KM

- Cruise control died around 50,000KM

- A few minor rattles have developped in the dash / centre console area.

General Comments:

This is a very nice car to drive. The exterior and interior are made to a very high standard of quality; everything about the car feels polished. It drives very nicely, the shifter is nice, the brakes are strong, the engine is willing, the steering is communicative, the ride is smooth. There's not a lot to complain about when you are behind the wheel.

The cargo capacity is surprising! If you don't believe me, find an MK4 Golf and open the trunk. I think everyone goes "ooh" the first time they see it. It gets even better, as the rear seat folds flat and splits 40/60.

The engine is a gem; smooth, quiet and very fuel efficient. It makes 177ft-lbs of torque from 1800rpm, and revs to 4500RPM willingly. While the acceleration is not truly impressive, there's enough torque on tap to move the car effortlessly in any normal driving situation.

My main problem with the car was the price. Basically I would not recommend that someone who drives a lot buy a TDI to save money; you won't. The car costs thousands more than it's competitors when new, and the maintenance costs are high. The PD engine will develop problems if the correct oil isn't used, and VW dealerships will take $100~$200 out of your pocket at every service. You will also have to fork out $700~$800 for a timing belt at 100,000KM, when just about every other car out there has a chain by now. In the longer term, the mechanicals are solid but reliability is still below average (by reputation, and also by personal experience with the few issues I've had). It is nothing major, but on most new cars I've gotten closer to 70~80,000KM before little things started to go.

Fuel consumption is good, but not quite as incredible as the myth goes. Driving normally with the flow of traffic, it returned around 7L/100km in the city and around 6L/100KM on the highway.

Consider that diesel is 10% more expensive than gas, and that something like a Cobalt or Corolla will get almost the same mileage with regular gas. Those cars may not have the same ammount of appeal but they are certainly a better value. At the end of the day I sold my TDI because I was sick of $500 a month payments, and $200 oil changes, for what is essentially an economy car.

The Golf is a nice compact car, but not an economy car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th June, 2008

21st Nov 2008, 14:43

I have a 2005 Golf TDI and I have put over 90,000 miles on it. I bought it brand new and have used synthetic and regular oil in it, and I have had no problems with the motor whatsoever, but however I did have a problem with the brakes having casting oil in the lines, which was causing the brake sensor light to come on, but as soon as I changed the brake fluid that stopped.