Thanks for the comments, all.
I chopped the car in back in April for a new Focus with the new 136 PS TDCi engine and 6 speed manual box.
I thought long and hard about a mk5, but it dawned on me that after the history of faults and poor quality on the mk4 and VW's total disinterest, to hand over the best part of £20k for a loaded GT TDI 2.0 mk5 was a ludicrous idea.
Now the Focus has a bang up to date diesel engine (pulling 100kg less than a mk5 Golf by the way), and a decent interior to go with its top notch chassis, it's a compelling case. Oh and being over 2 grand cheaper doesn't do its case any harm. Looks dull, but you can't have it all.
Too early to report on the Focus, but so far so good, and a review will appear in due course.
As a big fan of VAG products, I have to say that the new Focus is a surprise to me, the interior is classy and looks well built and put together, and is less bland inside than the Mk5 Golf (GTI excepted).
However it does seem as if they have the driving experience of the Mk5 well sorted, and the Mk5 GTI is a good car for the money, handling and looking not too dissimilar to a 21st century Mk2 GTI, which for me is the best driving Golf ever built.
However in my opinion, the Mk4 was one of the worst Golf's built. Dull to drive, poor handling, build quality not amazing.
I don’t understand how any car would have any kind of problems the first 3-4 years if it is new or for the first 50,000 – 60,000 Km. I just don’t understand!!! I live in US and in the past 10 years I had a Ford Escort that I purchased new in 1995 and drove it till it had about 75,000 miles (about 120,000 Km) and only changed the battery because it exploded and did minor work and maintenance on it. I had a 1989 BME325IS
That had 245,000 miles that ran good when I sold it and only spent a little money for repairs and don’t forget that BMW are expensive to fix, I drove the bmw for about 60,000 miles and now I have a 1995 Nissan Altima with 91,000 miles that I put about 40,000 miles on it and only spent about $1,000 on repairs. I just don’t understand …. What do you guys do with the cars??? or is it that the cars are soooo bad??? Give me a break! This is 2005 not 1905! the technology is over 100 years old, there must be some progress…. Also cars over 100,000 miles (about 160,000Km) in Chicago are very common and Chicago has harsh winters, traffic, lots of stop signs and lights.
Iv had the MK4 Golf Gt TD for 2 months now and done 7000 glorious miles. Its the best car I've driven by a mile and although it is a refined diesel engine it does run out of puff.
Iv never had a problem with sqeuak's or rattles and it is amazing on fuel, well compared to my old Fiesta!
My next purchase will definitley an Audi A4 3.0 v6 Tdi. I couldn't go back to a petrol engine after the Golf either!
I've just purchased a 3yr old golf IV GT TDI 130. It's an absolutely gorgeous car to drive. OK it's not the best handling car and the esp (traction control) is a bit of a formality and pointless, but for a diesel, 1.9ltr small family hatchback, I don't think there is anything better on the market for the price paid. Nothing holds its price as well than a golf other than a boxster!!!
Reference to your car above, I just think you bought one from a bad batch. I've heard very little problems from golfs, and I think generally speaking, you're from the minority!
Lovely interior, fantastic acceleration, great sound system, superb fuel economy (turbo diesel too!) can't get better than this!
Beg to differ? firstname.lastname@example.org.
'OK it's not the best handling car and the esp (traction control) is a bit of a formality and pointless'
ESP & traction control are not the same. It will be similar to my Fabia Vrs, it has traction control only as standard, ESP is an extra.
According to the Warranty Direct reliability index, the mkIV Golf is no better than average for overall reliability, and Volkswagen are behind Ford as a manufacturer. Some VW components have twice the failure rate!
My experiences bear this out.