2nd Aug 2001, 05:44

Howdy from Australia.

I too have a GTI 1.8T, albeit in 5 door here as that is all we get. I have had it for about 6 months, done around 12,500kms (just under 8,000 miles) and had no problems. I know that Australian spec Golfs come from Germany and I have read that some UK-bound models come from South Africa and quality, apparently, can be a bit dodgy.

I do have a small rattle near the driver side mirror, but not too bad. Overall my particular car seems pretty good and I am very happy.

17th Dec 2001, 18:02

I lived many years in South Africa and had many years of reliable motoring from South African Volkswagens.

If you get one that was assembled during a militant strike, you can have trouble though.

19th Dec 2001, 09:36

Got my 1.8T in Jan 2000 from new and has now covered 32,000. Visited VW dealer after only one week. What a total disaster. It has been to the local VW dealer around 15 times for rattles, squeaks, broken parts, faulty sunroof, you name it, it's happened to my car.

Dealer has left me totally shocked with some of their comments and shoddy workmanship.

Engine is about the only good thing which should keep on going. Could do with a bit more power, like the Audi A3 Quatro or Seat at around 180 bhp.

I believe that my car was put together on a lazy Friday afternoon!!!

19th Dec 2001, 17:10

I own a Seat, which was perfectly assembled. Never anything wrong, a superb car!

1st Mar 2002, 09:41

Seems like your Golf must have been constructed by the same cowboys as mine.

My Golf is now two years old and still have another two years to go and have instructed the lease company to come and get their car as mine is a nightmare! Very, very disappointed with local VW Whites dealer, who take no responsibilty or care. Too many faults to mention and has been back to dealer far too many times. The only decent thing is the engine

16th Jul 2002, 08:27

I had a lot of the same problems with my Seat Leon, looks like VW is more interested in building the cars as cheap as possible and quality is not important anymore.

Do as I did, just buy from an other brand.

31st Jul 2002, 04:16

So Golfs are going the same way as the Leon is heading (down hill).

I just sold my Leon after only 10 months, visited the dealer 11 times.

I recognise a lot of the above mentioned problems especially the water leaks.

Do what I did and buy a car from an other carmaker, one who is interested in customer satisfaction.

31st Oct 2002, 16:06

I've had a GTI Turbo for a year now. It's been absolutely fantastic, with no problems at all. Very rapid, with superb build quality. If I have a gripe, it's that I'm not madly keen on the lowered, stiffened suspension as it makes driving difficult round town. Of course, it is a GTI... I particularly love the blue dashboard lights!

21st Nov 2002, 03:47

Mine was in the dealer 8 times in 2 years for warranty work on all sorts of things, mostly related to build quality. VW didn't want to know and the dealer offered me a bottom book price for trade in when I wanted rid of the thing. Car is rubbish, dealers are arrogant. I'm buying a Mazda6 instead.

11th Mar 2003, 14:22

I have similar problems. My Golf GTI has been in the garage numerous times for loud rattles and squeaks. One time the car was returned from the VW dealer with a damaged clutch and another with new glovebox problems. They still have not fixed the original dashboard problem and new issues are appearing faster than they are repairing current ones.

Very poor dealers and unhelpful customer service who need constant pushing to do anything.

I will advise never to buy VW.

10th May 2003, 12:07

I've owned one of these GTI Turbos for 6 months now. I bought it second hand, it's nearly 4 years old. I can't believe how unreliable it is, and I don't think I can bring myself to buy another VW again. A previous MKII model that I had was brilliant and I loved the car. I was considering buying a brand new Turbo, but opted for a used one instead. I'm glad now that I didn't spend the extra and buy a new one.

In the last month I have covered only 250 miles, yet 4 things have gone wrong with it. First the fan ecu blew out, leaving the fan on and running the battery out, and in the process melting the supplementary fuse box above the battery. Apparently this is not uncommon. The AA managed to get me home. The VW dealer replaced the fan and fuse holder, serviced it and replaced the brake pads for £700.

Found out whilst at the dealer that not long before I bought the car it had had to have a new flywheel, and also prior to that a new throttle assembly. Two days later, I was driving round my work carpark, and the offside rear spring snapped - a piece actually fell off. Reluctant to pay VW's £72 + VAT labour charges, I took it to my local garage. They were amazed, they said the last cars they remembered suffering from snapping springs were Esort MKIVs. Both rear springs were replaced.

Yesterday, driving round the supermarket car park the engine went noisy, lost power, and sounded like it was mis-firing. It stayed like this til I got home. Tried it 3 hours later before taking it to the garage, and it was OK again. Decided last night that I would sell the car and buy a new one with a warranty. Got in the car this morning and now the airbag warning light won't go out.

Another thing that I have noticed about the car is that the paint quality is very poor, it gets stone-chipped very easily. It's also very thirsty.

Now I want to just get a new car, but I almost feel too guilty to part-exchange it!

16th Jul 2003, 08:56

I've had nothing but grief out of my owned-from-new 2002 GTI (1.8 T) in a year:

Flaking paint on the rear wheel arch

Misaligned passenger door which has chafed against the B_pillar and worn the paint away.

Rattling front seats

2 ignition coil failures

Loose connection to the passenger electric mirror

Duff window regulator

Non functioning handbrake

Leaking union on the power steering system.

Water in boot

Sad thing is, if you got in the car and drove it, you'd think "what a beautifully built car!". It's still so smooth and quiet and the interior looks gorgeous. But under the skin its such a pile of junk you wouldn't believe it.

To say VW have lost the plot is an understatement, although I notice they still charge a good two grand more than the equivalent rival's cars. My honest opinion is they are not worth the money. I know people with Focuses, Astras, Rover 45's and even Renault Meganes who don't have to put up with rubbish like this.

I will never own another VW as long as I live.

21st Nov 2003, 08:44

Hi from South Africa.

I currently own a VW Golf GTI 180BHP, before this one I owned three Golf 4 GTI 150BHP's. Yes I've had some problems, but it should be evident that I am happy with VW.

VW have had problems, but so does every car maker. I know people that won't buy another BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, etc for reasons ranging from ongoing rattles, major problems, to bad dealer service. I also know people that won't budge from their car maker (BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, and VW) because they're pleased with their car & dealer service.

I believe that in this day in age, no car maker will put a bad car on the market. I also believe in the law of averages. Cars are built by people. Car makers sell hundreds of thousands of cars every year, and there is bound to be a percentage of cars with problems.

Don't take my word for it, see for yourself: www.google.com

If you have a problem car, you are not alone. If you are happy with your car, also, you are not alone.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

9th Jan 2004, 05:01

My Golf (Estate) was built in Germany on a Friday afternoon. This was my third (and last) Golf. It was in the dealers for warranty work approximately every 3000 miles over a 3 year 42000 mile period. The dealers were unbelievably arrogant and took at least 2 attempts to fix even minor problems.

Car reliability is about statistic and perception. Statistically, VW Golf Mk IVs regularly score very poorly in reliability surveys (UK). when a car is marketed as a premium product it must live up to it's advertising. The Mk IV patently does not. They are not particularly nice to drive, engines and electrics are very unreliable and the general build quality is not up to scratch. For evidence see the JD Power survey and motor magazine surveys.

Also, the dealers seem to be universally hated by all who come into contact with them. I was so incensed by their treatment that I would not buy another VW at all.

24th Apr 2007, 21:56

I am the second owner of a 2001 Volkswagen GTI (1.8T). It was in perfect condition when I bought it in 2006 and I have maintained it that way. The only problem I have had was with the coil packs. I replaced them with a Hitachi Stage-III Ignition system and since then there has not only been any problems, but increased performance. I have added a ECU upgrade, pulleys, cold air intake, and blow off valve. Extremely responsive to chip upgrade. Very happy with my car. I have always been a mustang fanatic, but my VW redeemed itself (after modifications) by outrunning its share of muscle cars, BMW's, and ect, Very satisfied with mine. Keep your GTI in good condition and it will be good to you.