1996 Volkswagen Polo L 999cc from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Excellent car generally

Faults:

Front disks and pads replaced at 40000 miles and again at 85000 miles, more my fault that I had to replace the disks also, still the pad wear didn't give me any warning.

Gearbox started giving a loud "whining" sound at 50000 miles when in 4th and 5th gear driving at speeds greater than 50MPH, however I only replaced it with a second hand one at 70000, I have had no issue with the gearbox since.

Back exhaust pipe wore out at 100000 miles.

General Comments:

Overall the Polo is an excellent reliable car. It looks good, has superb build quality (not one rattle out of the dash) and has never left me down.

The little 999cc engine is super for its size however it you seat more than 2 adults in the car it gets seriously sluggish. Avoid the initial 1litre engine the 1043cc variant as it's a very sluggish engine.

Suspension and handling is not bad (not near as good as the Fiesta), however the tyre's that come standard are really too small, its best to change the set and go up 2 sizes.

On long journey's the car does tire you out as you feel every bump in the road, plus at speed road noise is significant.

A good car that runs without issue, however does that justify its high purchase price second hand when compared with other cars in its class?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2002

1996 Volkswagen Polo 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Amazingly good

Faults:

Absolutely nothing has gone wrong with this car. Still going perfectly after 100,000 miles. Everything in perfect condition.

General Comments:

Very solid and extremely well built car. Very reliable and economical.

Performance isn't amazing with the 1.0 litre engine, however fuel economy is excellent (this is more important than 0-60 acceleration to me) and the engine is extremely reliable and still quiet after 100,000 miles. Servicing costs were also extremely reasonable.

The interior is attractive and very comfortable. All the fittings are still as good as when the car was first bought.

Overall, the Polo is by far the best hatchback. I've driven several different superminis including a Fiesta, 206, and Clio - the Polo beats them all hands down.

My next car will definitely be a Volkswagen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2002

1996 Volkswagen Polo L 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A reliable car which has not let me down

Faults:

Fuel Gauge works sporadically only.

General Comments:

The car is nifty around suburban areas and competent in extra urban areas.

The interior is sufficient, but not too flash.

It is easy to maintain both internally and externally.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2002

1996 Volkswagen Polo from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Can't go wrong!

Faults:

Right.... mid box had to be replaced, spark plug cap had to be replaced - arcing to the engine, therefore only firing on 3.

Has alloy wheels, tried to put the "get me home" wheel on, but the bolts were too long, needed washers to stop them going in too far, and hitting the drum brake.

General Comments:

Still a great little car, out of all the small super minis, it looks the best. If you are buying one, get at least a 1.4 L engine, as the 1.0L is lacking a lot of poke.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2000

1996 Volkswagen Polo GLX 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A class act

Faults:

Number plate light bulb went, rear window washer pipe came loose..... not much really.

General Comments:

This was a small car which genuinely feels like something much larger. It spent most of its days charging up motorways where the high speed cruising was effortless and comfortable. Its solidity and reliability were always reassuring as were the ABS brakes, which proved a real lifesaver one night on a rain soaked M40. It was not the most economical car I have owned (only about 32 MPG on the open road) and it is quite expensive to buy compared to its rivals, but I concluded it was the best, and the best always has to be paid for.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th July, 2000

29th Apr 2007, 07:25

I agree with your comments: I own a 1996 1.6 GL and it does indeed have quite a 'big car' feel for something KA-sized! Compared to most other super-minis of it's generation, it is definitely of a higher build quality (inside & outside) and personally, in 2 years of ownership, I've had nothing major go wrong - so yes, you do pay for that privilege.

Being a Polo, it's not the sharpest to drive because it's made more for comfortable cruising/shopping run than boy-racer antics and as such, is not a 'driver's car, but considering it's just 75bhp, I found this car is deceptively nippy (mainly thanks to decent levels of torque spread across the range), and it is equally capable around town or on the motorway.

The steering is a bit too stodgy and vague, but easily up to the job.

The only drawback I found was the poor mpg: mid-30's driving normally and around 30 mpg with my foot down and also, the road noise is quite intrusive at motorway speeds, but it's a small (very lively!) 8 valve 75bhp engine and has low profile tyres, so I guess I should expect that!).

Yeah, true, it's just a Polo with a boring bland reputation - does everything well, but is not exceptional in any area (other than build quality) but I think, for a first car (by the way, I'm 33 and have driven many many cars - so this isn't my first car!) or a quality cheap (ish!) runabout/2nd car (my reason for having one) this is an excellent well-made car.

Personally, I think it looks really good also in a chunky tough way (mine with metallic 'dragon'green paint,15inch alloys and a subtle factory body kit) and have always had compliments from people who like it for what it is - a very likeable, nippy & reliable runabout which won't let you down.

I'm currently saving for a decent sporty 2.0, maybe ctr/scooby etc.

1996 Volkswagen Polo L 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland

Faults:

Coolant pump leak.

Severe wear on inside edge of both front tyres after only 16,000 miles - camber and alignment checked and were both fine - very odd!

General Comments:

Excellent small car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd March, 1998

1996 Volkswagen Polo CL 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland

Faults:

Leaky shock absorber on delivery (not spotted during PDI). Mudguards were dealer fitted - design fault on exhaust blows onto nearside rear mudguard & melts it. VW fitting exhaust deflector & replacement mudguards..

Otherwise, no faults after 20,000 miles.

General Comments:

Comfortable, torquey 1.4 petrol engine. Highly geared for economy - 2000 revs at 55mph. Deceptively deep boot. Only wish it had somewhere to mount rear speakers.. Turns heads even on mid-range model. Good residual value & solid feel. Done well in recent DoT crash tests - joint top in class with new Fiesta. Nice dash. Great steering, brakes & suspension, light clutch and gearchange. Does the job it was designed for nearly perfectly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd December, 1997