2005 Volkswagen Golf S 5dr 1.4i from UK and Ireland


Competent, but badly underpowered


The rear windscreen washer and nearside front windscreen washer stopped working.

Metallic rattle from engine at low speeds.

General Comments:

I bought the car from a main dealer in Glasgow, it was in the VW approved used scheme however had previously been an Enterprise hire car.

Came with 6200 miles on the clock for £10300 which was a fair price I felt. Sadly the salesman failed to mention the car had two previous owners, Enterprise followed by VW UK who bought the cars back to sell on through the approved used scheme.

Also the service book went missing and the main dealer tried to hide this by putting in the service book from a 2003 Golf. Apparently this is common on these ex Enterprise cars. They are easy to spot as the registrations start AJ or AK.

Good equipment levels with aircon, remote central locking, electric front windows, CD player, ESP and ABS all as standard.

A pleasant enough car to drive, brakes and steering are quite acceptable. What is not acceptable is the complete lack of power on A roads and motorways from the 1400cc engine. I have driven a 1.6FSI Golf on an 05 plate and it's a million times better.

I am also a touch disappointed with the build quality of the car which was nowhere near as good as expected (trim was loose on ceiling of car near courtesy light controls)

I found the floor mounted accelerator pedal to be a nuisance, as it limits floor space and is difficult to smoothly control.

Fuel economy was fair for the size of car, averaging 40mpg mixed, 32 in town, 46 on long trips.

I would agree with comments elsewhere that this car is soul-less. It is, in my opinion, utterly devoid of character in any way, shape or form.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st July, 2006

22nd Jul 2006, 10:31

You mention the cars faults - i. e underpowered etc, and soulless... why did you buy it?! Could this not be found from the test drive?

28th Jul 2006, 13:51

To be fair, I never noticed just how underpowered it was until I had it for a couple of months, and started using it more on the motorway.

As for soul-less, you can't just decide that on a test drive. It comes with time with living with a car.

28th Aug 2006, 18:13

I agree that you can't really tell what a car is like from a test drive of only a few miles. It's a world away from 'living' with the car and driving it in real world conditions over a few thousand miles.

9th Sep 2006, 18:16

I recently hired a 1.6 '06 Golf from Eurocar (U.K), it has a lot of electrical kit, ESP Decent stereo etc. Seats are firm, but supportive and comfortable for long journeys. Its quick enough, but not enough torque, and not as efficient as I would have thought. It is quite good to look at, and quite prestigious, but a very average drive, not much steering feel, nothing special, although to be fair, it does handle O.K.

I have driven a 3 year old Focus, and preferred that. I wouldn't spend 13k on a new Golf, for sure. Could get a 2 year old 3 / 5 series BMW for that money, probably a better drive, though I haven't tried one.

14th Nov 2006, 00:47

Most of the "faults" he mentions are basic traits of the car, rather than faults, and having two previous owners is no big deal.

14th Aug 2009, 14:50

Very bland car indeed. Boring and just another run-of-the-mill quality type of car.

2005 Volkswagen Golf Turbo Diesel 2.0 TDi from UK and Ireland


Very poor ride quality ruins this car


Passenger seat occasionally squeaks.

Car is too new for any major faults to have appeared.

General Comments:

Ride quality is absolutely appalling. The car absorbs minor surface imperfections on smooth tarmac reasonably well, but on all other normal roads in the UK, every bump transmits itself into the car. The ride quality is noticeably jarring and its almost as if you're driving a car that has no suspension travel or is running on solid rubber as opposed to pneumatic air filled tyres. For example, I have one those SatNav PDAs which is attached to the windscreen using a suction mount. During a 300 mile round trip from Yorkshire to the East Midlands (motorways, A and B roads etc) the ride was so bad that the suction mount fell off twice and on some occasiosn, the PDA screen jiggled about so much that it was difficult to see the screen properly. That never used to happen on my previous car, a Mazda 6 which had much better ride quality.

Not sure why the ride quality of the 2.0 TDi Golf is so bad. It has the standard VW factory alloy wheels and factory standard low profile tyres, but I suspect its more to do with the suspension being very poor and simply not setup for ride comfort as a priority. A 10 year old Citroen Xantia is lightyears ahead of this car in terms of ride quality. Anyone who has ride quality high on their list of priorities should take this car for a long test drive (and not just a few miles) before buying.

The Golf 2.0 TDI handles well, has good fairly good grip, good road-holding and good torsional rigidity (if you hit a pothole or bump midway through a bend, the car doesn't feel as if its flexing in several directions). The car also resists roll and under-steer fairly well.

The 2.0 TDi engine has quite a lot of power for a diesel, but its power delivery is frustrating for keen drivers - you get a huge waft of torque between 2000-3500rpm and then practically nothing on either side of that rev range. Driven enthusiastically, this car's characteristic is to lurch forward in the midrange of each gear as the torque/turbo comes on tap. The non-linear nature of the engine's power delivery makes this a very frustrating driver's car as its far more difficult to modulate the power (the turbo decides and not you). 1st gear also has a very short ratio. 6th gear is a useful addition to motorway cruising though.

Engine still has that noticeable diesel 'clackety clack' noise when idling or stopping at traffic lights.

Economy is disappointing. On a hard driven run from Leeds to Birmingham, I averaged about 28-30mpg. There is no turbo boost gauge, so its difficult to tell precisely when the turbo is on part/half/full boost. On gentler runs, economy will undoutbedly improve, particularly those involving part-throttle conditions.

Car is screwed together very well and feels very solid.

There is nowhere to rest your right arm during motorway runs (armrest is too low and window sill too high).

The Golf has some lovely 'lifestyle' touches - if you unlock the car with the remote central locking, the headlights and interior come on to help you get into the car. Interior alarm (not the theft alarm) sounds if you drive off without putting your seat belt on. Xenon headlights are excellent and really help with night driving. Interior lights are also good.

Overall, quite a nice car ruined by its hugely disappointing ride quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th February, 2006

28th Feb 2006, 13:14

The 2.0 TDi (all the 2.0 TDi Golfs are GT spec) has lowered sports suspension which lowers the standard suspension by approximately 15mm.

15mm doesn't sound like much, but maybe its the lowered suspension which is causing the poor / crashy ride quality?

2nd Mar 2006, 06:42

The GT 2.0 TDi has:

1. 16" alloys compared to the standard car's 15" items.

2. Low profile tyres

3. Sports suspension (lowered by 15mm)

All of which are going to degrade the ride quality. A few people have commented on the hard ride quality on the What Care? website owner reviews section.

Might be better to look for a Golf with 15" wheels and standard tyres and see if that improves matters.