1998 Volkswagen Polo 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


It's an OK car, but have heard they start to get faults around 80000, and big problems around 120000


ABS pump died at 87000.

Window clips broke at 89000.

Door barrel lock broke at 89000.

General Comments:

Very squeaky brakes.

It's quite quick if you need it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th January, 2015

14th Jan 2015, 10:10

These specific models contributed towards damaging VW's image and trust on quality. Not even single person I know who owned or owns this had a pleasant experience. It would wise be to sell it as it's in a decent state. Poor gearbox and lots of electronic issues. Engine reliability is not good either.

14th Jan 2015, 19:45

Every car manufacturer has its problems. There isn't a car manufacturer on earth whose products can be relied on 100%. Selling a car because you 'hear' a car can go wrong is plain silly. Any car can. If your car is proving reliable, then keep it unless you fancy a change. Better the devil you know.

17th Jan 2015, 12:51

If you know very commonly it has the devil in it - be cautious beforehand rather than experience it yourself. Yes, every manufacturer has their faults, but when it's too common - sometimes it's wise to dispose and switch early to a reliable car, instead of repeating others' mistakes.

1998 Volkswagen Polo CL 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


Replaced battery.

New back box.

General Comments:

I do 82 miles a day in this little car. 40 on the A12 and the rest on B roads. It's doing approx 425 to 45 litres of fuel, the engine is a bit noisy, handling is a bit suspect, brakes could be better, and has still got the original cassette deck in it, so had to source a few tapes from charity shops.

Power steering pump is very loud... whines for England.

Quite high spec though; electric mirrors and windows.

I bought mine from an online auction salvage firm. A little dent on the rear quarter, and the insurance had written it off. One previous owner from new... he did 500 miles a year, so when I got it, it still drives like new...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2013

1998 Volkswagen Polo 1.6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Very cheap, overrated, no frills car


5th gear slips and doesn't engage, unable to go on the highway.

General Comments:

Bought this car as a get around car, had it for a little bit over a month now, decided to sell and get another car.

It's just so cheaply built, about the same as a Hyundai. My previous car was a 97 Honda Accord base model, and it's a hundred times better in drivability and comfort.

Interior is ugly and cheap.

Handling of the car is absolute crap; it's not difficult to roll the car or spin it out of control.

Loud noise from engine, and there is no fault with it, sounds like it is constantly in reverse gear, feels more like being in a cheap bus.

Spend the same money on a Japanese car, and you'll get much a better quality product.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th December, 2011

1998 Volkswagen Polo 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


Good car, but without my interest in mechanical repairs, it would become expensive and frustrating



- Gearbox bearings replaced - gearbox rebuild.

- Right hand window lifting small plastic holder broke.

- Indicator switch was broken when we bought the car.

- Fan heating illuminating lights sometimes; off-bad connection or switch fault.

General Comments:

Fantastic little car, still firm, good handling, zippy and fun to drive. It's been 200000 km's, and feels like it would easily reach 300000 km's.

I hear people talking about Polo's as bad cars, and I don't agree. Polo's do require a little tender care, more than a Golf, and if you don't have a man at home interested in providing that car care (cleaning the carbie, recrimping ignition leads if resistance is not equal, running to wreckers to replace faulty parts etc.) then you might end up dependent on mechanics, and it might became expansive.

And don't be fooled by other car brand's reliability stories. All cars do wear out too. For some reason everyone expects that VW should go for a life time of man with no problems. I have friend with Toyota Starlet who also had a gearbox rebuild, and that is normal for small car gearboxes.

Faults on our Polo are fixed, and they did not come back; luckily there were just a few of them. With our other car, it's not the same story, we have a Toyota Camry, and I haven't seen such a bad interior and exterior ever before; even my Holden Camira was better. A friend at work had the same car (Camry), and talked all the best about it, but was an absolute wreck to look at.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2011