1990 Volkswagen Golf GTi from UK and Ireland - Comments

21st Jun 2005, 10:02

This review I think sums up perfectly why newer cars, or affordably priced ones in any case, just don't make the grade any more in terms of excitement. Sure modern hot hatches are mega powerful, but they're also too insulated, too detached, too dull and above all way too heavy.

Sadly, VW are probably the worst offenders of all in these respects in recent years. Even the supposedly decent mk5 Golf weighs 500kg more than your car. That's like driving your car around with five 17 stone people in it. You can overcome the performance bit with loads of power, but you'll never get the handling and feel back.

The mk2 Golf GTI is still a corking bit of kit. Look after it, and enjoy it!

24th Jun 2005, 20:58

I am the author of the review, and I am starting to think the person who posted the first comment is right, the car seems to have been neglected.

I have just had to call the RAC at 3am today because I was stranded at my friends house, starter motor is on its way out. Also fanbelt too is on its way out, and I swear there is a strange noise coming from the exhaust, like a rasping sound, maybe there is a hole in the exhaust.

I am enjoying this car to drive, but I am not so far enjoying the continual problems that seem to be coming up. I am starting to wonder if there is an end in sight... that being said I am sure once everything is sorted it will be a reliable car, I hope!

25th Jun 2005, 10:38

Another comment from the author of the review. My neighbour, who seems to be mechanically minded, had a look at it. Still suspects solenoid problem or starter motor. Also tightened fan belt for me, then bump started it and asked me to give it a quick blast up and down the motorway to make sure the battery was charging up properly.

On my way back, fanbelt snapped (was probably already weakened according to the RAC bloke). This caused the car to overheat. Luckily I was not far from home, so managed to limp the car home, with steam coming out from the bonnet.

Went around a few places and could not source another fanbelt for the car.

My confidence in the car is now zero. I bought this thing for a cheap runaround, and although it looked decent on the surface, the car itself has obviously had a hard life, and I am the one picking up the tab. I am seriously thinking of selling it now once its back on the move.

28th Jun 2005, 04:22

OK, I managed to get a fanbelt for £1.72, not bad at all. I am going to have a mechanic to have a look at the head gasket etc and make sure that its OK, however, he said he would not charge more than about £100-£150 to replace it including parts even if it was gone.

My lack of confidence is probably due to the fact that I've always had new cars and so possibly wasn't quite prepared for the amount of problems I was to have. However, to be fair, it hasn't been that expensive to put right so far, and the car is still a dream to drive when it works, so I'll probably be keeping it, assuming the car is relatively sound, which will be revealed after its been looked at properly :)

15th Aug 2005, 06:03

Me again. The car has had lots done to it now, replacement belts all round, new exhaust (standard one), full set of new electrics, and new engine mounts.

Drives like a different car now, much smoother and I have had no problems with it for weeks now. I am finally getting to see what the fuss is about with the GTI. The only thing I'd say about it is it could probably use a bit more power and grunt, but considering its age its not bad, and still good enough to keep 2.0 Focuses and Astras at bay.

8th Dec 2005, 17:44

God knows if this will appear my last couple didn't... anyway, I've now sold the car. To be honest its turned out to be a bit of a dog, so I got something newer... a Clio 182... unsurprisingly it's a lot more modern, refined and much faster, but it'd likely be surprising if it stood the test of time as well as a Golf.

When it worked though, the Golf was a hoot. Not fast, but feels fast, and special. Wonderful handling.

The Clio is better in all respects, but its limits are higher, so sometimes its easier to have fun in the Golf. If you get a good Golf, cherish it. Great car, lots of character.

12th Jan 2006, 11:17

I have a 91 Golf GTI- 1.8 litre. Car has performed well aside from replacing two front axles (acceptable for year), a clutch and other minor problems- ie. head valve gasket, fan and alternator belts, timing belt. Nasty problem with heater core was fixed, and expensive. (apparently common occurence for VWs???) Front brake pads & rotors easy to change/replace.

Front passenger foot area tends to get wet, probably because roof hose clogged, but not sure and would WELCOME suggestions on how to resolve this problem.

This Golf GTI is QUICK and responsive, especially with new clutch. Good cornering, but I agree best for short trips. Uses oil after 337,000kms, approx 1 litre per 800-1000kms.

Driver seat back has now completely SNAPPED and needs fixing and or replacement (suggestions on how to fix??) - Jan 11, 2006. Ugh!!! The back of seat is sitting on back seat... propped up with foam for driving purposes until fixed/replaced.

All in all, I'd still recommend this car. Very fuel efficient, fun to drive and relatively cheap to repair using replacement parts and "honest" mechanics who do not gouge using RIDICULOUS shop book hourly rates. NEGOTIATE, NEGOTIATE and pay cash where you can. The gov'ts steals enough of our tax dollars.

Happy Motoring!

15th May 2006, 10:26

I have just bought a MK2 GTI 1991 8v. What a great little drivers car. Believe it or not this car only cost me £100 and is in very good nick.

Have only had to do the electric front windows, a small adjustment on the carbs "a screwdriver job" and the lower qtr lights were cracked and so were replaced.

The car seems to be well planted and quite nippy, but previous reviews are right "better round town than on longish journeys".

I intend to drive this car for a long time to come and will keep you all updated as to expense and experiences.

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