11th May 2003, 07:47

I owned a VW GOLF 1.6 petrol between 1999 and 2000. Bought from new and covered 28,000 miles in one year. Only fault was a leaking steering rack, which was replaced under warranty at 7,000 miles. Several of my family and friends either own or have owned Golfs and I have never heard of any particular reliability problems - unlike say the Opel Astra of Ford Escort. I will say that the dealer service in the Republic of Ireland leaves a lot to be desired, especially with the Dublin based MSL garages. I have to stand in defence of a really good car, with top level quality, image and resale value.

19th May 2003, 07:28

I would back up the top two comments above from experience. VW build quality on the Golf is truly appalling. Whilst some are very reliable, a lot are not. Whilst the engine on mine was excellent, many of the ancillary bits were not - in particular the fuel injection, engine management sensors and body assembly were all faulty.

Since I use my car for business it is essential that it is reliable and my Golf Mk IV 2.0SE was definitely not. My old Golf Mk II had less problems in 7 years and 140,000 miles than the new one did in 2 years and 35,000 miles.

There are several well known design faults on the Golf that have been highlighted in the media such as security, ignition coils on the 1.8T engine and front suspension, but others are also known about in the trade such as the window mechanism (although I never had any trouble with mine), the water pump and the engine management system.

The JD Power survey 2003 shows the Golf below the Ford Focus. I would comment that build quality is very variable on the Golf, some seem to be really good and others are complete dogs. Perhaps they have one shift at Wolfsburg that doesn't care about quality.

One thing that most people seem to agree on is that customer service is terrible across the range. I found two dealers that were bad and one that was good although all were very expensive. It is extremely unlikely that I would buy another Golf on this basis.

22nd May 2003, 05:44

Doors stick because of poor fit between top of door and door frame. Sometimes this can be corrected by adjusting the door hinges - a dealer job, don't try it at home. You could also try a tiny smear of silicone grease along the door seal. This will stop water penetration.

Golf electrics are pretty awful and build quality is variable between cars. I have had 3 (a 1.6, 2.0SE and GTI), two were OK, but the third (GTI 2.0) is lousy and has been in the dealers more than out of it. The latest fault is the alarm and central locking. They say it is being affected by mobile phone signals!

Dealers are very expensive and can't fix anything properly first time in my experience.

12th Jun 2003, 06:52

I agree with the fact the dealers are hopeless.

I have a 2000 1.9 GT TDI.

The drive door still rattles when the car is moving, every winter I have to get a new door seal (warranty) because water has penetrated the seal and frozen, when I open the door it rips the seal.

The rear brake disk shattered and was rattling, it took 5 visits to the dealer to rectify. On each occasion they repaired something different saying that was the fault. But on a 5 meter drive out the dealer the rattling noise could be heard. They obviously never took the car out on a test run!

They fitted a new exhaust due to a broken bracket (A common Golf design fault the dealer told me), then they fixed the front suspension bushes, then they replaced coolant hoses in the engine, before the service manager took the car out and found the fault straight away!

Will not be buying another VW not because of reliability, but due to the fact the dealerships are hopeless and less than friendly!!

3rd Aug 2003, 11:42

Update from original:

The Golf goes at the end of August, having spent 6 of the last 10 weeks in the dealer.

Won't be sorry to see it go, and will never have another!

10th Feb 2004, 07:59

Your comments might have some credence if I believed that you, or any of the other Japanese super crate owners who have written reviews on this web site actualy own a VW. It is absurd to think that someone is criticising VW designs when they have sufficiently low enough standards to go out and buy a Toyota.

10th Feb 2004, 12:14

Although it's a much older car, I had a 1996 Golf that had a problem with stalling intermittently.

The idle speed regulation was faulty and the problem was solved by removing the throttle housing, cleaning it out and replacing it.

This cost £45 back in 2001 - it could be a similar problem to yours.

1st Apr 2004, 06:03

With reference to the person that left the comment on 10th February doubting that I own a VW, the answer is that you are right - I do not own one any more, and never will again.

However, I did own the one to which the above faults relate and at the time of ordering it was as deluded as you about VW's quality. After all everyone knows that VW is a quality brand right?

There is no doubt that the Golf has excellent showroom appeal, and the perception of quality oozes out of the car - from the seating material, shiny paint, appealing design of alloys etc. What I should have done was over-ruled my heart with my head and questioned why this car was 104th in the JD Power survey. I now know the answer to this.

With respect to name calling other car manufacturers - this really is a bit juvenile. If you don't like Toyota or Honda, Mazda or whoever then you don't have to buy their cars. I am merely trying to pass on my experience with other marques. Bottom line is my wife has run a Toyota for 4 years, covered 50,000 miles and not had a single problem with it - not one. I can honestly say there has not even been a blown bulb or fuse, we just put petrol in it, service every 9,000 miles, and tyres when it needs them. This might be more important to other readers than some biased childish nonsense from someone who has probably never owned a Japanese car.

For information the car I replaced the Golf with was NOT a Toyota, but when I have had it long enough to form a proper opinion I shall let you know what it is and what I think of it.

I think that real opinions are important for people who spend their hard earned cash and want to gather data before making their purchases.

21st Dec 2004, 13:15

Hi, I've got a 2001 (51) 1.6 Golf in silver. However its absoultely mint. It has a full Pipercross Induction Kit, which gives it that V6 4Motion sound along with the performance. It has a full performance exhaust system, I have also added a super chip and I am now running 170 bhp (this trashes 1.8 turbos all day long). I have also put coilover suspension along with 18" BBS RC alloy wheels (the ones on the 25th Anniversary). I must therefore correct all the above negative comments. My vehicle also has flushed bumber mouldings to give it that immense look. I have also changed the rear lights. I have installed 2 Rockford Fosgate amps along with 2 kicker subs to give it that punch. The only problem I have had is one of the coil packs decided to die, but I replaced with uprated ones giving a more responsive feel. My car has only 30k on the clock, and is the best example around. It's up for sale on the autotrader website for £8500 ono. I hope you enjoyed this, thank you!!!