2002 Volkswagen Polo from Belgium


A disgrace and rip off, a shame for VW who hides the problem


The first time in her life my mother bought a car. (which we both use) It's an expensive car, but we thought VW is reliable, we can drive 15 years with this.

Oh God...We've owned it for 4 years now and have been to the garage about 14 times. They had to come and pick us up about 6 times. (not talking about the times we tried to get home in very dangerous circumstances. (engine falling out, restarting at stop light, just stopping in the middle of a highway)

-first we went on a 3 hour driving trip from Holland to Belgium... after 2 hours at 120 km/h we couldn't take any gear anymore. Nearly crushed by a truck while trying to get aside. gear pump broken. (3 months old)

- A couple of weeks later we had trouble to put the car in third gear.. sometimes it was impossible. It happened about once a week... garage owner drove with it... no problem...it still happened several times. Result: they put a new gearbox in. (after going to the garage about 3 times) problem solved.

-then the car was leaking oil... VW knew about, but didn't tell their costumers.. we had to find out ourselves.

-then the well known exhaust emissions warning light problem. No problem they said your car is not going to break down. (up till now it broke down about 7 times.) Our car sounded like a tractor which was about to fall apart any minute. Most of the times we couldn't start the car... The garage replaced the Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve about 4 times. Still every 3 months we had the same problem. Every time we drove more than 2 hours we could hardly drive, hardly start the car and he to risk our lives to get home. The light was on for a week, then went out, then again on and of. Last time no light at all, but we broke down again and the same problem. maybe they turned it off?

-the all 3 ignition plugs had to be replaced... after breaking down 3 times..

-then our drink holder got stuck.

And on and on and on...

General Comments:

4 years later, and after reading everything on this website (we thought we were the only ones, the garage always said we were the only ones... but now we heard different things) there is no other option than selling our car with a huge amount of cash loss. My mum is a single mum and money doesn't grow on trees as we all know. She's having health problems because of the whole situation.

Because in those 4 years our car broke down every three months (at least). Whenever we have to drive a long distance we are very scared of breaking down...

I can't understand that VW isn't doing anything about this situation..We've been ripped of... we will NEVER EVER buy another VW!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th April, 2006

9th Apr 2006, 10:51

Does Belgium have some sort of equivalent to a Lemon Law? If that car was here in the states, especially in car crazy California, you would have had a case and gotten your money back.

9th Apr 2006, 14:22

And for your mother's sake, try to trade this thing in before it causes her more grief.

2002 Volkswagen Polo PD100 Sport 1.9 TDI from UK and Ireland


Another high quality German import


Anti-roll bar bushes failed at 21,000 miles.

Sticking rear brake calipers.

Rattles coming from dash board.

General Comments:

The Polo was my first diesel and I searched high and low for the right one at the right price. I picked up a Silver 3yr old with 18,000 miles and FVWSH for £7,000, bit of a bargain considering they are selling all day long on VW’s forecourt for £8,000+ with more mileage.

The 1.9TDI Polo shares the same engine that is used throughout the VAG range and can be found in Golf’s/Passats/A3’s/A4’s etc. Whilst driving at high or low speeds you wouldn’t think you’re in a diesel car, infact, it’s quieter than a lot of petrol engine cars I have been in. The only time it is noisy is when the engine is cold, but it soon warms up.

The performance is impressive; the mid-range torque is good for overtaking and it can embarrass a lot of bigger engine cars. The thing I like most is that there is always usable power available although it does die off after 4,000rpm. The 0-60 time of 10.2s is underestimated it's more around 9 seconds, but the car is more for mid-range acceleration which is were the 177lb of torque comes into play.

The handling is decent enough, but it can suffer from understeer. I plan on improving this with an uprated suspension kit. If you are planning on tuning the engine as I am, there are plenty of options available. A custom remap of the engine, a full sports exhaust system and a decent free-flowing air filter would make a reliable 160bhp+ and over 250lb of torque is available without needing to spend serious amounts of money. The brakes are very good and sharp vented disc brakes up front and solid rear with ABS, ESP and traction control are available as an optional extra.

Economy is excellent I’m averaging around 42mpg on short stop-start travel and on longer journeys it can go up to 55mpg, but if you put your foot down it can drop to as low as 35mpg. Parts seem reasonably priced for a VW, I recently bought new rear discs and pads for £64.77 from a VW main dealer. Cheap tax and insurance also make the car an excellent buy.

The standard equipment is reasonable, but adding on extras can boost the price up considerably. Mine came with a dash mounted CD changer which is not cheap. I would recommend traction control as the car likes to wheel spin in the wet whilst accelerating; I’ve had mine wheel spin in third gear a few times! The standard stereo system is excellent with 8 speakers as standard, very high quality gamma unit. Also the blue backlit display is a nice touch for when you turn the lights on.

The interior is excellent; the sports seats are very comfortable offering good support and are height adjustable on both driver and passenger side with pull-out storage space under the seat. The dashboard is well laid out and made of high quality plastics, it doesn’t look cheap or tacky like a lot of other cars in its class.

The exterior is also excellent and very well built. This is a good looking car and the 15” alloys look excellent. The usual high standards of paintwork and build quality remain and there are very few cars that can rival this.

A lot of people have written reviews complaining about poor build quality. I do agree with this to an extent as the car does have a few rattles here and there and my car has suffered a few minor problems, but I still think the car has very good build quality. After test driving all the other small cars in it's class in my opinion the Polo is the best car.

To sum up, I would give the car 7 out of 10, it has a lot going for it, but it does have a few minor niggles and the handling could be better. If your thinking of buying one I would say go for it as it’s an excellent little car, just look out for any ‘clunking’ noises coming from the suspension as it will more than likely be the anti-roll bar bushes and/or sticking rear brakes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2006

10th Nov 2006, 06:47

UPDATE: Car is now at 28,000 miles and other than servicing and yet more new anti-roll bar bushes the car is still a joy to own. I'm sorry to read about other peoples bad experience on here with there Polo, but thankfully mines proving to be a good one (touch wood).