2005 Volkswagen Golf GLS 1.9 I-4 turbo diesel from North America
Balance between driving fun and fuel economy
The manifold began to leak slightly around 2000 km. Then the car got noisier, and it smelled burnt diesel in the car after motor-braking. The dealer never recognized this problem and flagged it "normal wear".
The ball bearings in front-left wheel began to make noise at 24000 km. The dealer replaced it under warranty.
The front-right coil spring broke at 38000 km.
With time, the alternator makes a kind of "brushing" noise. It becomes louder with time.
I love the handling of this car although the rear suspension is not independent. It behaves very well in difficult conditions such as winter.
Accessories are working fine. Cruise control is nice. The sound system rocks, although a MP3 player would have been appreciated.
The engine seems peppy as the turbo kicks in around 1600 rpm. All the power resides in the middle range of the engine revolution, so it is convenient in city conditions or even to accelerate in last gear. But in reality the performances are somehow bad (100hp for Canadian model) and the turbo feeling is an mere illusion of power. However, the torque rating (177lbs/f) is good and towing is easily attainable.
In very cold conditions (minus 20-30 Celcius), it is recommended to connect the block heater in order to be able to start the engine. The cabin takes way too long to reheat (thanks to fuel efficiency!) but fortunately the seat heaters reacts promptly. Also, the engine is *way* less efficient when cold.
As for fuel consumption, the advertised 64 mpg is reachable only when going constantly around 95 km/h. When going up to 120 km/h, the fuel consumption goes down to 50 mpg. That's still good: 900 to 1000km can be done with a 50L tank.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 10th May, 2007