1998 Volkswagen Polo 1.0 from UK and Ireland


Cost of repairs is high, but day to day running costs are good


The steering column had to be replaced at 48000 miles, and now the gearbox has totally gone at 49000.

My big issue is that the Internet is full of stories about the bearing going on Polo gear boxes (and other VW cars) at around 50000 miles. I cannot buy a second hand box for £150, because it will go sooner rather than later, so I now have to decide on a reconditioned box with racing bearings fitted at a cost of £750 all in, or scrap the car.

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

Review Date: 6th January, 2009

1998 Volkswagen Polo Classic 1.8i from Namibia


Value for money


My radiator packed in one night at ~135000km.

Front drivers seat has started to wear on its sides.

Clutch has now started to slip.

General Comments:

It's a 1.8i and I must say is very fast in the pull, as well as top end.

Excellent reliability.

Good fuel consumption depending on how fast you drive it (~400km on one tank doing 130-150)

Its a lux. model so has front bucket seats which provide sufficient support.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 2007

1998 Volkswagen Polo Classic 4dr 1.4i from South Africa


Satisfies 95% of my motoring needs


Water pump failed at 280 000km.

No real problems apart from plastic wheel covers which frequently fall off and about 5 punctures (always seems to be the right rear..).

General Comments:

This car has been extremely reliable and very economical to run and maintain.

Although the tyres are only 155/70 13's they provide nimble handling and give ample warning when the limits of road holding are approached - and they are cheap to replace.

The 1400 engine can feel sluggish around town, but it is a very smooth unit and perfectly happy cruising at 140km/h (approx 4500rpm), while remaining very economical.

Some rattles have surfaced after thousands of kilometers all over southern Africa, many of which were on challenging dirt roads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2006

1998 Volkswagen Polo from Australia and New Zealand


Beautiful looking junk


For those of you contemplating buying a Polo, let me give you the benefit of my experience I bought this car with 40,000 km on the clock in 2000. It ran okay for the first few months, but around the six month mark things started going wrong.

First the clutch cable snapped. I managed to soyrce a second hand cable from a Volks wrecker and fitted it myself.

Then the hall sender went out (the car would cut off suddenly while approaching intersections, in the middle of the highway etc.). This was a particularly annoying and frustrating fault to diagnose apart from being bloody dangerous. It finally took a VW specialist to suggest that the hall sender in the distributor does go off in these cars. I took his advice and changed it myself and it ran well since.

Soon after, the thermostat housing cracked (a known fault in Polos) and the car overheated. Three months later the thermostat itself went kaput and had to be replaced.

The ignition components are a nightmare on these cars. The leads cost an arm and a leg and have to be replaced every year.

Other problems included needing new locks for the driver's door and a new throttle body as well.

When I finally sold the car, the gears were starting to play up.

General Comments:

I thought buying German cars meant the all renown Gereman reliability, especially after my bitter experience with a Daewoo Tico. I really couldn't have been more wrong.

I need to add that I am a careful driver and am fastidious with the maintenance. I will never buy a Volkswagen ever again in my life. I spent half my graduate scholarship money miantaining this European junk. I finally sold it in 2003 and bought a Mitsubishi Lancer. It might not have the same great looks as the Polo, but its reliability is unsurpassed.

Stay away from this car folks unless you have recently won the lotto or you feel particularly inclined towards putting your mechanic's children through school.

VW's dealers have perfected the art of daylight robbery in Australia.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th September, 2006

17th Nov 2006, 18:55

Hi mate.

Just bought the same 1998 Polo that you've complained so much about. I am originally from Germany and owned a great VW Golf Mk 2 for 20 years (wonderful reliable car btw), now driving this beautiful little Polo. I am sorry to hear that your car has been so much trouble, but you see, these are good cars, but their condition always depends on the previous owner and how they treated it.

Generally they are great cars though.