2003 Volkswagen Polo Reviews

2003 Volkswagen Polo Sport 1.4 16v from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.4 16v Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance55000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Corsa

Summary:

I love it, but it hates me

Faults:

Where do I start. I have had my 2003 1.4 16V 100bhp Sport Polo just over a year, and well it's been a very costly year.

It has the usual EPC light problems, with sensors cleaned, replaced etc with the problem finally fixed after 2 months by a software update... it's a car, not a computer!?

It's had 2 coil packs changed, and I'm sure the other two will go very soon.

I had a £1400 service!!! Front suspension changed, being a big cost, AC had something wrong with it, the brakes were changed, the steering rack was knackered, my cam belt was about to go... so much for German engineering, this car has done 50,000 miles!

It drinks oil, it probably burns 1 litre every 800 miles (if I am lucky), and no garage can tell me why?!

And just yesterday, the gearbox/clutch (they can't tell) went at 80mph on a very busy dual carriage way, not fun.

The car cost me 4,000, and I have easily spent over 2,000 in 12 months, not including sorting out my clutch or gearbox; I'm sure they will rip me out of hundreds for that too.

General Comments:

When the car works (very rare) it's brilliant. It's fast, smooth and sticks to the road like glue. The petrol does however seem to fly down the scale if you drive enthusiastically (above 4,000 revs) for a while.

If it was reliable, I would happily keep the car forever! I love the interior, it's very classy, and feels very grown up, and the blue and red instrument lighting is amazing. The sport has many extras, leather steering wheel and gear knob, red upholstery and fog lights, 6 CD changer are just a few examples. Lovely cabin to sit in.

My patience has finally run out now though, I can't afford to have this car, it has a new problem for me to pay for every 2 months. It may put a grin on my face when it works, and it may take off when you stick it in 3rd and floor it, it may have a nice interior, but what's the point if it's always in the garage.

The heart ache this car has caused me is unmeasurable, I tried to be smart by buying a VW; you think of German cars and you think reliable, solid, good cars. Well this one may as well be french, it's bloody useless. Don't bother getting one, keep your sanity. I wish I had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th October, 2010

2003 Volkswagen Polo 1 1.2 from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.2 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired5000 miles
Most recent distance51000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Rover

Summary:

Attractive, solid, but with an expensive hidden flaw

Faults:

We just had a service yesterday by a VW specialist (not a VW dealer) who gave a first class customer care and competitive price. Unfortunately he informed us that the car is developing a common fault on 1.2 Polos, which he suggested had its origin in the factory; two of the cylinders are losing compression to the extent that we have only 70% compression and a misfire at tickover. He said we'd likely get another year with the problem growing, but that by then it may become necessary to repair. The cost of this is an astounding £1,300 because the whole top of the engine would need to come off. It is shocking to think that this fault was not recalled early on, and that unsuspecting used buyers have to foot the bill.

General Comments:

We bought the car 3 years ago as it felt as though it was as solid as a tank, and VWs reputation suggested we'd get about 10 years out of it. (We'd already managed to get 10.5 low cost and trouble free years out of our previous Rover Metro and got nearly 13 from our Rover 100. We'd thought of buying a Toyota Yaris to replace them as we'd also had a Toyota Camry reach 250,000 miles!).

After a couple of months of ownership we thought we'd done the right thing after we were hit from behind by another car, and the Polo took the knock with incredible strength - a new rear bumper was needed, but the solid panel behind it was undamaged.

Another reason we chose the Polo was because it looked good with cute styling, and its silver paint still looks new after 3 years of ownership.

The interior is also very solid and durable, and has pleasant fabric and the blue-lit gauges are a nice touch.

The only problem we'd had before now was the rear washer, which failed soon after buying as did its replacement part!

I also frequently lamented the penny-pinching behind the lack of a boot-light!

We'd also always found the 1.2 55 bhp very underpowered, and would always recommend the 1.4 over it.

Until yesterday I thought we looked good for another 7 years of ownership, but think we'll have to move her on. £1,300 is ridiculous.

I may consider a 1.4 as this problem is restricted to the 1.2 - but I think Toyota may be my next stop.

On the other hand - can this be done cheaper?

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

Review Date: 25th September, 2009

6th Dec 2012, 15:32

There should be laws against putting junk like these cars on the market. If car mags warned the public what to expect, they wouldn't buy this junk. Next time buy a Japanese car; they last a lot longer.

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 15 reviews