13th Sep 2010, 11:51

I have a 1999 Golf GTI 1.8T. Owned from 6 months old (ex demo). Now on 138,000 miles and had virtually no problems with it. Mind you, I haven't let a VW dealer near it since the warranty ran out, which probably helps. A local VW specialist (ex VW dealer tech) looks after the car for me to a higher standard, and for half the cost of a VW dealer.

The water pump was replaced with an upgraded metal impeller unit at the first timing belt change at 60,000 miles. Still doing sterling service when the belt was changed again at 120,000 miles.

Interior is still tight and rattle free. Only the marked door handles, and the busted cup-holder betray its age / hard life.

The engine is still super smooth, oil tight, and apart from the well publicised coil problems early on, hasn't missed a beat.

Paint is crap, as with all modern cars. It marks if you so much as look at it wrong. This car is looking quite tatty at 11 years old, but hey I can live with that. This car doesn't owe me a bean, and like all Golfs since the dawn of time, you can park it on a council estate, or the car park of a prestigious client, and it doesn't look out of place in either. Nobody remarks on its age.

The original clutch is starting to judder, and the gearbox isn't as slick as it used to be. I suspect a new clutch will be on the cards soon. Will be expensive as the dual mass flywheel will almost certainly be scrap at this mileage too.

I found the handling to be fairly reasonable. Michelin Pilot Primacy HPs work best, I have found. They greatly improve the front end bite and steering feel.

It's worth about 1500 quid now. Makes sense to keep it until it drops, but I reckon that'll be a while yet.