6th Mar 2010, 11:14
I have now owned almost 20 VW's, and I import cars for a living. I can tell you that VW's don't reset their odometer at 300K. And VW gas engines (I am talking about the 1.8 8 valve, the engine I have the most experience with) should go upwards of 600K or more if taken care of, that said you can imagine what the diesel can do...
The problem with VW, or rather the people who drive them for the first time and don't do some research, is that they don't realize that VW's are built differently and therefore need to be driven and taken care of differently than most other vehicles out there.
The A2 platform (Golf or Jetta from 1895 to 1992) is a wonderful and very reliable vehicle in gas or diesel form. The A3 (1993 to 2001 1/2) does have some issues like electrical problems, and taking care of them (to me anyway) is more difficult, as the vehicle seems to have not been designed with the owner doing to the work in mind. Even changing the horn is a hassle.
The diesels all get great fuel economy, and are a steel of a deal if you can get even an A2 in good shape for under $2500CDN.
Turning the key 3 times to get a diesel started is a sure indicator that you need new glow plugs, its that simple (because the diesel engine is also that simple). I have a Diesel 4Runner that I imported from Japan, and with Calgary winters dipping to -36C before the wind (then sometimes as low as -50's with the wind) I never have to turn the key more than once, and most times it wasn't even plugged in! Good preventative maintenance is the key to keeping any vehicle running properly. VW's are no exception, they are just more fun to drive. ;)
Just my two cents worth...