1998 Volkswagen Polo Classic 1.8i from Namibia

Summary:

Value for money

Faults:

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

Summary:

Satisfies 95% of my motoring needs

Faults:

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

Summary:

Beautiful looking junk

Faults:

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.