6th Jan 2006, 20:04

I've got a mk iv TDi 150. It's a good engine, but let down by the poor chassis. I can't wait to upgrade to the new mk v.

19th Apr 2006, 04:41

13k miles on the clock now and some disappointment is creeping in. Many of the qualities remain of course. Excellent fuel economy, grip, the engine remains torquey with plenty of usable power despite being 'only' 105bhp, and it feels very safe, which is increasingly important to me.

But three things are bothering me. Firstly, squeaks & rattles. Got a couple of these audible in the cabin, particularly on poor road surfaces or if I'm lazy and let the engine labour a bit. I thought VW Golfs weren't supposed to rattle or squeak. This car is less than a year old.

Secondly the 'boringness' of the car is starting to bug me. Its partly my fault of course, I ordered the thing, its spec and component bits. But even if I'd plumped for a boring 'Focus', at least the steering would have been pointy and satisfying. I'm afraid to say the the underlying character of the Golf is well, a bit old and grey.

Thirdly, the driver's seat which is excellent in terms of posture, is a pain in the posterior. Literally. Daily commuting and long journeys are giving me a painful bottom! Anyone else found this?

23rd Apr 2006, 14:43

Yes - I suffered from "numb bum" syndrome though and also pins and needles in my legs on any journey over 1.5 hours. I finally cured all my Golf related problems (including the lousy dealers) by buying a Saab!

3rd May 2006, 04:15

I have also just reached the 13,000 mile mark in my Golf (in six months) and have to say that I do not suffer from "posterior" problems. Quite the contrary in fact, I suffer from back pain and the Golf has been the most comfortable drive I have had for a while (compared to previous Peugeots and Fords). I think you bought the wrong model if you think it is "old" and "grey". Try the GT TDi - 50 mpg and 140 bhp, it's great! No problems at all with it to date so very pleased.

3rd May 2006, 14:35

Hey, VW may be struggling in the quality department as of late... but one thing they aren't is "soulless".

16th May 2006, 02:27

Compared to an Alfa Romeo they are.

18th May 2006, 21:11

I think some people get 'soul' confused with temperamental reliability. Sure, you might not find the Golf to be quite as charismatic as an Alfa, but the VW will last longer and provide miles of service long after the Alfa has rusted away. Having owned both (147 previously and a 2.0 FSI currently) I feel that the VW is a far more rounded, better built and ultimately more satisfying car.

23rd May 2006, 09:53

Oh come on! When did you last see a rusty Alfa Romeo? 1989? 1990? Anything of the 156 generation and later does not rust.

I have a 2004 156 2.4 JTD Veloce (facelift model with the 175 bhp M-Jet engine) which I bought new. It has done 65,000 miles without a breakdown or a single fault, knocks out 175 bhp, 0-60 in under 8 seconds and returns between 40 and 50 mpg depending on how I drive it. Oh, and it sounds wonderful, something no VW diesel I tried could even get close to.

Soul is to patchy reliability what fish are to laser printers. Completely irrelevant. My Alfa makes me smile when I get in it. My wife's Golf doesn't. The Germans still haven't quite grasped that part yet (unless you can afford an M badged BMW or a new Audi RS4)

1st Jun 2006, 05:00

OK, as the original poster, let me come back to a few points made here in recent weeks.

I suppose "soul" is not a helpful concept when trying to convey my feelings about this car. Its subjective and comes down to taste which will vary between different people.

This is the first Golf I have owned. In the past I had always admired from afar that chic, but classless image which has been well marketed over the last 20-25 years. Trendy, despite being common, but practical and reliable too. What I'm trying to say about my experience is that the Golf doesn't feel very special. It feels utilitarian and gets the 'job done' very well. It is very competent, and I would therefore recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone as a 'good car'. But it isn't cool and whilst I respect it, I can't bring myself to love it.

To the people who have suggested that I just haven't bought a fast or sporty enough model, you're missing the point. I used to own a Nissan Almera GTI, -brilliant hot hatch, great car that ran rings around more powerful Mk IV Golf GTIs -but it didn't make the lowly Almera range cool. Coolness should be evident in some measure throughout the range.

In addition I haven't confused 'soul' with 'temperamental reliability'. My Alfa hasn't gone wrong in 50,000 miles. But that is also missing the point. When you have a car with reliability issues and concerns which you STILL love, then it's got its hooks in you and has something special about it. I think I know the 156's lines very well by now, but I still walk up to it in the car park and am sometimes struck again by its design.

I went to a wedding yesterday. It was a smart event and I dressed accordingly, sharp suit, well chosen silk tie & 'groomed up'. Which car to take? No contest, -la bella Alfa in gleaming black. Went to work this morning, which car to take? The Golf -because its frugal and competent in the rush hour. But I was thinking of the Alfa...

27th Sep 2006, 06:14

I've enjoyed reading these posts! I've recently swapped a 156 for a Mark V Golf 1.6SE. The Golf is incredibly bland, and I wish I'd kept my Alfa (it was fault-free in the 5 and a half years I had it, but my wife wanted something more "normal" and "reliable"). The Golf is certainly normal, but it's been less reliable than the Alfa, and lacks its character, sheer beauty, and power. VW as a brand is not cool, and it has no soul. If I'd got a GTI I might think differently, but the run of the mill models are just DULL DULL DULL.

22nd Jan 2008, 05:29

Original reviewer updating again, 41,000 miles now.

Any faults yet? -Well one or two minor issues. The door sealing strips of foam rubber started coming off and had to be re-stuck by VW at the last service. No cost to me, but whatever glue they were using sprayed a few small spits and spots onto the dash -annoying. However, VW were good enough to arrange a free courtesy car at very short notice as the glue hadn't dried in time on collection. Another small issue is the auto-dimming rear view mirror. This is a nice comfort feature on the drive home this time of year, but recently it seems to turn itself off. Weird.

Otherwise, the car continues to run faultlessly.

Other grumbles? Our other car is now a diesel Volvo V70 which is not a truly fair comparison, but the Golf does sound a bit noisy and coarse in comparison.

However, the Golf still feels really nimble and is the car I jump into to scoot down to the shops etc.

The 105 bhp is just about enough for relaxed, but swift driving, but the 1.9 VAG lump is starting to show its age compared to the smoother more petrol-like common rail units. I'm still staggered by its 0-20mph grunt off the line to get me into traffic and onto busy roundabouts. Makes rush hour driving so much easier.

5th Sep 2009, 14:54

I bought the VW Mk5 TDI 2005 couple of months ago. I am the second owner and the car had done around 77k, and 2k since I bought it. The car has a great solid feel, the fuel economy is great, I love driving this car and I'm glad I didn't buy any other car.

Yes, I agree that the inside is a bit bland, could be better with a few special touches, however there is loads of drink holders, 2 glove compartments (small one on the drivers side) and other little compartments that open up, one for glasses at the top.

Overall, it is an excellent drive, handles well, spacious and has an excellent fuel economy 45 Litres (10 gallons) of diesel have given me 430 combined miles. :-). The car is also Eco friendly, at 146 g/km which is a Tax band C (1 yr tax is £120).

Good buy.