1989 Volkswagen Polo c 1 from UK and Ireland




The rear windscreen wiper has never worked.

The driver's seat cable has snapped, so it can't be put forward.

Other than that, the only things to go wrong have been bulbs going and the tires getting worn.

General Comments:

This was my first car, and it has been great. It starts first time every time and causes no problems.

It struggles a bit when you have a car full of people that you try to drive up hills.

The interior is fairly comfortable, but it doesn't leave you with much in the way of elbow room or luggage space.

The speaker system that it came with consisted of a single speaker in the center of the dashboard. Not exactly 'bangin'.

The car is reliable and has taken me ten thousand miles in 6 months without complaining.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2004

25th Aug 2004, 11:14

When lifting the seats to gain access to the rear, two levers should operate at the base of the seat when you lift the handle.

I had the same problem as you with the driver's seat on my Polo. I noticed that on the passenger seat, the problem had been rectified by lifting the inside lever (the one nearest the handbrake) with a small screwdriver and inserting a screw to hold it open. The outside lever was working correctly and so the seat was still held securely in place and could be lifted when required. I applied the same solution to the driver's seat and the problem was cured at no cost.

I also had a non-working rear wiper. If you remove the panel inside the rear door, remove two or three screws and unclip two wires and remove the wiper arm and retaining nut on the outside they are very easy to replace. I bought one from the scrapyard for £5 and had it fitted and working in about 15 minutes.

Two problems sorted out for a fiver isn't bad - good luck!

1989 Volkswagen Polo C 1.0 Unleaded from UK and Ireland


Expensive first car, but gets me from A to B


Alternator died about 1000 miles - Was replaced and it died again shortly after.

Water pump died around same time as Alternator and was replaced.

Seats are very badly worn and the flip lever doesn't work on both driver & passenger seats in order to bring seats forward for rear passengers to get in.

Gearbox needed replacing.

Shock absorbers on way out.

General Comments:

My first car, it does the job, but when problems occur they can be expensive to fix.

Sometimes a grinding sound comes from the engine.

Very poor suspension.

On the plus side, its very cheap to run in fuel costs as well as being small and compact - so easy to park.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2004

15th May 2005, 05:04

It was a first car, it did the job - but it was abused a lot by its previous owners. I now drive an Audi 90 2.3 and am loving every moment. I beleive the polo was purchased and turned into a track race car.

1989 Volkswagen Polo Coupe S 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Brilliant, fast, unassuming first car


Rocker cover gasket is beginning to go (easily fixed).

Heater only works on speed 3.

Loose manifold hose caused a "misfiring" effect.

Brakes grated for the first 100 miles of use, but the noise disappeared after - must have been the new linings bedding in.

General Comments:

This is a sporty-looking little car - looks more GTi than 55bhp supermini with its standard Hockenheim alloy wheels, twin headlights and front spoiler - though the lustre on the bright red paint is beginning to fade on the doors and roof (nothing a little T-Cut won't fix) and there are a few minor surface rust patches.

The car is deceptively fast for only 55 bhp and 70 lb/ft of torque, easily keeping up with most cars up to about 50 mph when its performance trails off (80-90 mph cruising is relatively easy though) ; probably a lot to do with its short intermediate gearing and light weight (only three quarters of a ton, or 750 kgs). I was expecting the car, being German to be torpid, but the car revs willingly up to its 6200 rpm red line.

The only problem I have with the handling is the steering - I read somewhere that the geometry of the steering goes erratic when you turn a corner or brake - which I genuinely believe - it's always vague around sharp corners and when braking hard, it's no great shakes in a straight line either. Other than that the handling is pretty good, if soft and bouncy. It's fun anyway...

The interior is typical '80s VW; practically all black, gloomy and spartan. The only concessions to luxury (I use the term loosely) are a sunroof, a rev counter, four stereo speakers plus a "loudspeaker" in the middle of the dash, and (shock horror!) a folding rear seat - which is useless if you need to carry more than two people because it isn't split-folding. Headroom and legroom is poor for taller drivers, but then again I usually scrape my knees and head on large family car's roofs and steering wheels too.

Running costs are great - insurance is very cheap for me (being 18 years old and a new driver with Pass Plus), it's only £50 a month. According to the VW statistics in the manual the 45kw engine is supposed to get up to 50 mpg (which I've never ever seen), but I generally average 35 mpg since the poor thing gets thrashed ruthlessly.

All in all a great first car, and a superb alternative to the usual boring Nova or Fiesta option which faces the first-time buyer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2004