1998 Volkswagen Polo L 1.0 from UK and Ireland


Not bad, fuel efficient car


Engine management chip, when the car was 12 months out of warranty.

Distributor cap, recent.

Drivers side door lock, twice!

Number plate screw snapped due to not being rust proof!

Radio wires connected with tape, radio rattled around. replaced the radio.

Screws under boot rusted due to not being rust proof, don't want to remove these in case they snap off.

General Comments:

To be honest, this car has been mechanically sound. My mum bought it from new in Cyprus and we brought it over to the UK in 2001. It starts first time and although the gearbox is a bit stiff, it hasn't failed. Reverse gear takes four attempts though it does engage eventually. It just seems to be the plastic bits which have the problem. Maybe if I did more miles in it there would be more problems. It is economical if you are just generally commuting, however I wouldn't recommend having more than four passengers in this car as the pulling away power is limited. Having said that on a straight flat road it will do 70 MPH on the Motorway with four adult passengers.

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

Review Date: 4th May, 2005

16th Jul 2008, 11:54

It's a wonderful and very economic car. However I think that the impeller in the water pump for the cooling system should have been made of metal instead of plastic.

1998 Volkswagen Polo CL 1.9 diesel from UK and Ireland


OK, but quality and durability virtues are seriously exaggerated.


New power steering pump at 4 weeks / 600 miles due to leak.

Electric window motor burned out at 3 months old due to poorly adjusted regulator mechanism at factory.

Drivers seat adjuster ratchet at 18 months old.

Passenger side electric mirror adjuster has been erratic from day one.

Huge appetite for oil from new which has not improved. Uses about a litre (max to min on the dipstick) every 1,000-1,200 miles.

Glove compartment sometimes pops open over bumps.

Front shocks leaking by 33,000 miles.

Glowplugs started to fail at 45,000 miles.

Cold start/fast idle mechanism stopped working at 52,000 miles.

More squeaks and rattles inside than my previous Fiesta had at a similar age/mileage.

Corrosion starting to bubble through on offside rear wheel arch. Car has never been in an accident and has been cleaned and polished regularly. VW not interested as car is out of warranty and the last two services were not done by a VW dealer.

General Comments:

Bought on the promise of engineering excellence and superior build quality. Both have proven untrue. The car has never run late for a service, has never been driven hard and has been cleaned and had all fluid levels checked religiously. Despite this it has had numerous failures and to cap it all, is showing signs of corrosion at just 6 and a half years old. VW are not willing to help because we chose not to pay through the nose for an "official" dealer service the last two times, and had a trusted independent do the work for half as much.

A nice, easy little car to drive in most respects. The diesel engine is predictably slow, but good low down torque means it rarely feels gutless. It's very economical too, averaging 55 mpg, but we have seen 60 on one long run. All controls are very light and easy too. It's not fun to drive like a lot of small cars are, but it does feel quite "grown up". Build quality is disappointingly "tinny" for a German car and, it has to be said, the car is not proving any more durable or reliable than our previous Fiesta. The price premium we paid when new makes this very disappointing.

If the review sounds negative, it's not meant to be. In terms of running costs, practicality and ease of use the Polo has been superb, and the styling has taken on some of those classic VW classless and timeless attributes. I just wouldn't pay extra for a VW badge any more when on the evidence of this car, it is not justified in terms of quality or engineering.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th April, 2005

18th Apr 2005, 08:38

I think Polos are made in Spain along with Seat Ibizas etc, which explains the poor build. VW in general are over rated, and losing loads of customers because of their attitude and unreliability of their cars gone.

24th Oct 2005, 13:25

I am not disputing the other problems, but the dealer is actually in the right about the corrosion issue if servicing was not done at a main agent.

Most manufacturers are not too clear about this. Basically it seems to be a ploy to bully customers into expensive main dealer service to retain the anti-corrosion warranty.