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.

General Comments:

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

2005 Volkswagen Golf V 1.6 petrol 102 HP from Romania


Not a hint of the former German glory


From the day we got the car it had a strange behaviour: sometimes when turning the AC on, it lost way too much power and was barely dragging along.

At around 600 km, the fog lights were full of rain water. Dealer refused to repair them under warranty saying I shouldn't have driven through water (?). After the repair the incident did not happen again.

At around 2000km, airbag control light went on... and stayed on. Dealer fixed it under warranty (said a cable under the seat went loose, but I checked it for loose wires under seats before submitting it for repairs and it had no such problem)

At around 5000km, various squeaking and rattling sounds started emerging from under the dashboard. Even today the car becomes noisier by the mile.

At 12300 km, AC stopped running (no cool air). Went to dealer (a different one) and they say it's the AC compressor. It is covered by the warranty otherwise it would have cost around 1200 Eur (1500 $ US) to fix (parts only).

General Comments:

The Golf V is a comfortable ride. The 1.6 l Petrol engine (102 HP) is not very fuel efficient nor fast.

Running costs are very high.

The build quality is poor even though the plastics in the interior are of better quality than the competition.

The price/quality ratio for this car is at best dismal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th October, 2006

2005 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 GT TDI 4Motion 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Hits some of the buttons, but could be better


Doorhandle stuck - this was a fault from new and pointed towards failings at the final inspection/quality control stage.

Central locking - the system used by VW on the Golf is weird to say the least. Other makes/models have a simple double click to lock/single click to open. This car is easy to lock, but I find I have to press the unlock button lots of times to make sure the doors are unlocked.

General Comments:

The acceleration/performance of the 140bhp engine is good and road holding of the 4motion system means you can attack the bends without fear of losing the back end or under steer.

I have yet to achieve the fuel economy figures quoted by VW - not even close - even when driving like a grandad at 56mph down a motorway. The best I've managed is 43mpg (motorway). This is a shame as I had hoped I was getting a mix of fuel economy and performance. Being a company car driver, this is important.

I almost went for the Skoda Superb 2.5l initially - as it is close on price and comes with a lot of toys. Once this lease is up in 3yrs I may well do so.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2006

3rd Apr 2008, 10:19

I have an 06 1.9TDI and it drinks diesel on an average journey I'm luck to get more the 38mpg so I get not benefit on fuel consumption and it's slow. It's just an all round tremendous car poor on fuel and speed just what you want.

17th Jan 2009, 05:44

Get yourself an RS4.

8th Nov 2009, 19:04

I bought a '05 Golf TDI manual on the recommendation of friends.

Needless to say, I need to find new friends.

At only 80K I had to have the clutch replaced to the tune of $2500. After the replacement the car still runs like crap and I need a crowbar to change gears.

I have had many cars of many makes and have never ever replaced a clutch - some of my cars had a half million miles (a Honda) and the original clutch and I learned to baby a clutch. Warranty? VW in their infinite wisdom covers nothing that can actually wear.

Yet this piece of crap needs a clutch at only 4 years? Garbage.

The electrical system fires randomly burning out lights almost daily. Ride has deteriorated seriously since purchase. Steering is random.

Get a Honda - don't waste your money on a VW.