1991 Volkswagen Polo CL Hatchback 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


It could be better, I wish it was a GT.


The fuel gage did not work when I bought the car. I had to replace the whole unit. I bought the set with the tachometer and digital clock to replace my analogue clock version. This cost me £20 from a Volkswagen breaker's specialist.

The Clutch was causing problems too. The biting point is set too high up. I still haven't completely solved this problem.

There is some serious rust on one of the wings, probably caused by a bump by the previous owner. It looks horrible, especially considering its quite new and it really shows up because of the silver paintwork.

Both of the parcel shelf mounting brackets are broken. This is very annoying when going over bumps.

The sliding roof no longer opens properly. One of the arms for the spoiler has rusted through so you have to pull it down with your hand.

There is a very loud vibration sound coming from the dashboard, at around 1500rpm in all gears, which annoys the hell out of me. Can anyone help?

General Comments:

I used to have a 1990 Volkswagen Polo Ranger, 1.3 5-Speed. Then someone crashed into the back of it and wrote it off. I was distraught. So I thought I would go up in the world and treat myself to a mark three to replace my previous mark two, thinking it would be better. However, this was not the case.

The car has the same engine and gearbox as my previous car, but its extra weight and catalytic converter mean that performance is considerably reduced. I have helped somewhat by adding an Ecotek valve, it honestly seemed to make a worthwhile difference.

The Steering is much heavier than the previous model too.

The build quality is far poorer as well. Possibly due to the fact these models were built in Spain at the Seat factory. There are many more rattles than on my old car.

The tires are ridculous! A whole inch narrower than before. I plan to get some mark 2 golf wheels to improve things.

The saving graces of this car are its reliability and its still the fastest car out of all my friends. Hopefully, things will stay this way.

It's a fraction better on fuel than the mark two as well. And there are no cold, wet or hot starting problems, because its got fuel injection instead of a carburettor.

The brakes are better on this model. Especially in heavy traffic. Stopping was quite an effort in my old car, as mark two owners will know and sympathize with.

The interior is a bit nicer, a little more modern and stylish with the round heater controls and better center console and radio position.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th November, 2002

8th Jan 2005, 12:52

I didn't used to, but I'm starting to get that buzzing noise as well (though my tacho thinks its closer to 1750)... I think it may simply be that, though the engine is happy pulling you along at such low rpms (compared too many other cars), the vibration from them is having its toll on the dashboard trim mounts etc! :D.

Stopgap solution really is just to hold it in low gear that little bit longer.

1991 Volkswagen Polo CL Coupe 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Cheap, reliable


Very few major problems for example:

Headlight switch replaced at 96,000 miles.

Indicator stick replaced at 90,000 miles.

Mud flap had to re-attached after falling off.

Brakes are stodgy and you'll learn to use them early if you drive one of these!

General Comments:

I bought it on leaving University as a cheap car to get me around for the first year or so in the real world. Two and a half years later, I am still driving it!

Wonderfully reliable, it has never let me down yet, even on icy cold mornings when I desperately want it to break down!

It has excellent fuel economy, so is cheap to run. I usually get around 35-40mpg.

Service costs are high if you got to a VW dealer, however I've found that independents are as good and half the price.

1.3 injection engine is quite nippy - faster than you'd imagine and good for driving around town. It's not bad for motorway driving either - quite happily cruises at 90+ in the fast lane (much to the annoyance of company car drivers!)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th January, 2002

8th Jan 2005, 12:49

Hehe the brakes, I'm forever crapping myself in the passenger seat of other peoples cars as in my mind, I'm braking about 5 seconds and 50 yards earlier than they do :D.

Its all in the feel however, when you need them in an emergency they come through. you just have to press unusually firmly in everyday use.

23rd Aug 2005, 12:30

Having recently purchased a VW Polo I understand completely what you mean however I think it is a lot more fun to drive than most cars on the road.

PS. You just can't beat how narrow they are once you get familiar with it you can fit through any gap! Usually to the annoyance of big car drivers who have to wait while you accelerate off!