1999 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 CL 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


A reasonably priced small hatchback that's economical to run


Heated rear window failed shortly after purchase. Replaced under warranty.

Front disc brakes replaced at 15,000 miles due to corrosion.

Car would not start at 26,500 miles due to failed ignition switch. Rescue service could not find fault so towed to dealer.

General Comments:

Comfortable ride and seats, but front seats need more side support, particularly as car rolls quite a lot when cornering.

Very economical - 40 plus mpg; main dealer servicing costs also reasonable (plus they offer a free yearly MOT test if you continue to have the car serviced with them). Also low insurance group ratings means it's (relatively) cheap to insure for young drivers).

Performance is good for engine size and it's an excellent motorway cruiser (it will do 100 mph all day where laws permit).

Overall it feels well put together. There are no squeaks or rattles, but I don't think the interior trim is as good quality as say a basic Golf. However it does appear to be holding up well against normal use and abuse.

The handling is very safe, but the steering is much too light except when maneuvering and the front end loses grip quite easily on wet roads. (The later revised models are better).

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

Review Date: 18th July, 2003

1999 Volkswagen Polo CL 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


A very good quality small car


Ignition switch replaced within 3 weeks of buying car.

Car supplied with the wrong colour rear bumper! VW refused to supply a new item so resprayed the original - it is flaking already.

The front tyres wore very quickly and it seems the tracking was set badly at the factory. VW refused to contribute any money for the tyres.

Totally new instrument binnacle fitted after 6 months.

General Comments:

I had a lot of problems with the car within the first year, but it is now 3 years old and seems to have settled in.

The car still looks brand new.

The interior is of a much higher class than most other small cars, and passengers always comment on how comfortable the seats are!

Quite a torquey engine - is perfectly at home on motorways, but can be quite a lot of cabin noise above 80mph.

There is a lot of roll in corners, but it is not car you buy to drive fast.

It feels a very safe car to be in, due to the high door line and lack of cabin noise below motorway speeds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2002

1999 Volkswagen Polo GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Excellent ride and good handling


Nothing has gone wrong so far.

General Comments:

The performance of the engine is not quite as good as the 1.4 (16v) of my previous car, but it is fairly quiet there is bags of torque at low revs and the ride is excellent. The car feels secure in most driving conditions, but driving too fast around bends is not advisable as there is some body roll.

The dark interior trim is not as cheerful as in my last car, but everything seems to be in the right place and it has a quality feel about it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2002

20th Nov 2003, 17:30

This is an update from the original entry made. The car has now covered over 33,000 miles and the problems encountered along the way have been as follows:

Faulty ABS sensor, ignition problems (car would not start and left me stranded on one occasion, I was informed that this was due to a faulty distributor). These faults were rectified under the terms of the warranty. Unlike the negative comments made previously about VW dealers, The dealer whom I bought car from have been very helpful in every way whenever I have had to take the car back to have any work done. The paintwork is still excellent for a car which is nearly 5 years old and the interior is still immaculate.

The engine is superb an still feels tight and the outright lack of real power is compensated by the torquey performance. I remain very impressed with this car which I intend to keep for another few years.

30th Oct 2004, 12:48

This is another update a year approximately after my last comments on how reliable the car has been since I originally purchased same. Over the past 12 months nothing has gone wrong, but I had to have new front brake discs fitted. I suppose that this is due to normal wear and tear expected for a car which is nearly 6 years old. The only curious thing I have noticed over the past year is that on two or three occasions the ABS warning lights stayed on after ignition, but the problem disappeared after the engine is switched off and restarted. The idling is rather fast now when starting the car from cold, but this problem again disappears after driving for half a mile or so. The car is soon due for a service soon and I am sure that the idling problem will be addressed. I still love driving the car after 3 years, but will probably change it next spring, probably with another Polo (The Sport model for added performance).