1997 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 8v from Finland


A nice car with classic design


- There have been some rust in the left front door.

- The break lights doesn`t work, but they start to work when you knock them, there are some contact problems.

General Comments:

I really like this car because it`s nice to drive and the quality is good, (no fatal problems).

The engine is a bit old fashioned, but it works well.

- The rust protection is good, wax in the doors and other cases and PVC under the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2004

1997 Volkswagen Polo GL 1.6 PI from Australia and New Zealand


Well built and stylish, but reliability and expensive servicing and parts have turned me off


Water entry through firewall @ 6 weeks took months to rectify

Heated mirrors failed

Power steering pump (replaced under warranty)

Front disks (Yes the whole thing) replaced at 35000km, dealer claimed wear and tear.

General Comments:

After 5 years I still liked the look of the car, fitted with larger alloys, it looks the goods.

It is quiet and comfortable for city running.

Quite zippy in town traffic, but handling stodgy, load it up and try some hills it is very disappointing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th March, 2003

1997 Volkswagen Polo Mk 4 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


Extremely solid build, fuel efficient, and fun to drive


One water pipe of some sort replaced (mechanic didn't explain which one, and I didn't question them - was in a hurry at the time)

General Comments:

I have had pretty much no problems what so ever with this car. My last service was $60 Australian, when I was told "couldn't find any problems, changed the oil filters, here's your keys".

Suspension is firm. I like that, because it doesn't roll. However, if that's not you then you should look at the Golf.

In Australia, the price difference between Golf and Polo is not much. Polo is a brilliant Car, but consider Golf when looking.

In Australia, the stereo that they ship is rubbish. I replaced it with Pioneer. I recommend putting 6x9's on the back shelf, because the boot radiates the bass out in a truly remarkable way. The shape of the car makes a good stereo sound great.

Build quality internally and externally is unreal. There is a *slight* rattle in the dash, but you have to listen for it (took me months to notice it)

They are hard to fit car alarms to. This is because the central locking is run on a vacuum, and apparently (according to the guy who installed it) makes it much harder.

Models shipped to Australia were spec'd down. Ie. Stereo in them is cheap rubbish, drums for rear breaks, no immobiliser (I added this with the alarm), no alloys (I added these too).

Looks fantastic with a good set of 13" alloys.

Fun to drive. Drives well on highway, although on long trips on bumpy roads, you do notice the stiff suspension. But hey, the suspension is part of the fun of the car :-)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th June, 2002

1997 Volkswagen Polo polo classic 1.6 from Philippines


Overall, the polo is a great, functional, happy car


When I bought it, the gear stick was loose and you had to put it in first or third gear before you could shift it to first gear. The previous owner (who also bought in used in 2000) thought that it was normal and found it amusing that it shifted like an old VW bug. I took it to the only authorized VW service center in Metro Manila and there was no parts. (some kind of bushing) As of this writing, The gear stick still sucks and there doesn't seem to be a way to fix it without that simple bushing thing...

I found the clucth also too low (when shifting) and too high (when releasing). It took a lot of getting used to. I took it to the service center to have it adjusted, but they claimed whether the clutch was new or old it cannot be adjusted and they gave me a quote of about US$500 for the entire clutch assembly (plus installation). I thought it was pretty ridiculous so I went to an independent VW specialist and now it is running splendidly.

The left rear power window doesn't work. Again, the VW shop said the mechanism isn't available per piece and you had to buy all four power window mechanism sets for about US$400! I guess since they are the only authorized VW shop who has a large inventory and German trained specialists, they take advantage to a diabolical level.

The two rear speakers are grounded and barely squeeks out the tunes. I was told only the blaupaunkt place can fix it (every one else is afraid to touch it).

The polo also has a lot of blind spots and it takes a lot of getting used to specially in the wild and crazy traffic of manila.

General Comments:

I really really like the car. Its solid and has great suspension. For city driving, its amazing. The polo is quick and always seems to have the right torque whatever speed. All the doors close nicely and quietly requiring no force. It uses up fuel more efficiently than my old 89 16v corolla.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2002

22nd Apr 2003, 07:33

My 1997 POLO classic also suffers from 'over communicative steering'. It's very difficult to drive at speed when the roads are not as smooth as they're supposed to be. The car just keeps on pointing in several directions.

The engine's quite happy even at low engine speeds, although it sounds and feels like it could use some more grunt at speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. Power windows seem to be OK, but the locks recently failed because of a vacuum leak. Two of the lock pulls also broke off after being snagged in my shirt! (talk about poor quality!)