1993 Volkswagen Polo Boulevard 1.0 from UK and Ireland




Radiator replacement.

Two circlips failed on return hose, causing a leak.

General Comments:

Where do you begin with the 86C? It is the epitome of VW reliability and durability.

Purchased as a car for my eldest in 2011, she quickly realised that she couldn't manage in a car without PAS. Hadn't paid much for the car, so I decided to keep it on as a hack about to support my more highly strung Mk2 Golf GTi.

Two years and over 20,000 miles later, the little tyke is still starting strongly and in daily use. It's come through an horrendous winter with no issues and went straight through its MOT again in May. It gives back 50 MPG and was comfortable enough to make the commute from Stafford to Cirencester twice in a week last year. The 1043cc lump is perky rather than punchy, but will sit all day at motorway speed and is torquey enough to keep gear changes to a minimum. It's a damn sight better than the 999cc in the 6n/6n2. Lack of PAS gives a steering feel that kids today have no idea exists.

In two years it's cost me £42 for a new radiator and a couple of quid for some new hose clips. That is it. I'd have no problem recommending this as a first car or even a very cheap runabout around town. Utterly dependable, cheaper than walking, and if you're sensible about what you're buying (I.E. not thinking it'll be a performance sensation), you will be as charmed as I have been. Sad to see the little guy go, but made a little easier by selling it for what I paid for it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2013

1993 Volkswagen Polo Genesis 1.0 litre single point injection from UK and Ireland


Cheap to buy, maintain, run and reliable


Fuel tank rusted away where the filler joins the tank body (common problem on '93 Polos), replaced and painted in anti rust body seal, 51,000 miles later still good as new. Fuel tanks are a nightmare to replace as they're covered by the rear axle.

Clutch worn at 40,000, only £80 to replace and relatively simple job.

Thermostat faulty at 45,000 miles. £3 to replace.

Front break flexi hoses deteriorated beyond the point of MOT pass at 53,000 miles, cheap to replace, easy to replace, requires two people to bleed the brakes afterwords.

Cambelt replaced at 60,000 miles, ended up bending a valve (experienced mechanic with 34 years on the wrenches and I still f@#ked it up, weird system) cost £200 to replace the valves and seats, which is really cheap for the operation. The car ran like new after it. Water pump was replaced at the same time since 90% of the work required to replace the waterpump has been done while replacing the cambelt.

Car has been fault free for the past 19,000 miles.

General Comments:

Car is very reliable, very cheap to run, very cheap to insure and cheap to tax.

Acceleration is poor, but fine for a 1.0 litre.

The car can be thirsty on fuel if you drive it hard (about 38mpg).

Cockpit is rather grand for such a cheap car, and mildly comfortable.

4-speed gearbox models HATE the motorway, although they are designed to sit at such high rpm's happily.

Every time something does go wrong, it's usually a couple of quid to replace and a simple task.

Hand brake is virtually non-existent, bad cable design (it's the same design as those useless V brakes we use to have on our bikes years ago).

These cars are unbeatable if you want to buy yourself a long term car for £300, and are willing to spend £100-200 on making it one of the most reliable cars around (I've owned it for 4 years and done 51,000 miles in it and it has never broken down) In all including buying the car and repairing it over the years, and my cambelt mishap, it has cost me just under £700.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2009