1994 Volkswagen Vento GL 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Fantastic power, reliability and value


Mud flap fell off.

New batteries for immobiliser fob.

Front brake pads feel like they might need replacing soonish.

Car required service when first purchased - since then nothing else at all.

General Comments:

An Amazing steal: much cheaper than Mk3 Golf to buy, but inside and out, apart from the boot...

No rust whatsoever, bodywork very resistant.

Beautiful gearbox: incredibly precise.

Very economical - on a run (motorway at 80/85), will return 37mpg. Around town perfectly respectable, returns low 30s.

Very eager and willing engine - drives like it's done 9000 miles not 90,000!

Very quiet.

Starts first time, every time.

Uses virtually no oil at all (trip from Cornwall to Scotland return, didn't use a drop).

All electrics work perfectly - how many cars this age are still faultless here?

Lots of legroom.

Power steering fantastically precise.

Huge boot - hardly anything between this and a passat.

Packed full of really useful features, it's hard to believe the car is nearly 10 years old. For instance, holding the key in "lock" position automatically closes all of the windows + sunroof.

Lots of handy pockets and bins.

A bit short on headroom, but I'm quite tall.

Everything you hear about Volkswagen build quality is true - these machines are genuinely built with parts that are made to last. Comparing it with our other car (a newer Ford Escort), it amazes me the differences in build quality. Even the black plastic feels expensive!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th July, 2003

17th Jan 2005, 03:20

Update now I've reached 110,000 miles: Front valance has almost fallen off (plastic clips worked loose, aggravated by driving into a muddy bank...), recently needed new cat converter and failed last MOT due to split rear brake pipe.

However, this isn't bad considering mileage. As far as I'm aware, it's still on the original clutch, for instance. If I stick to 65/70 on the motorway I can easily get 42/43mpg (record of 48mpg on a 200mile trip).

Only comment: usage of front brake pads seems to be a bit high, but maybe that's my driving.

Still recommended. In a way I wish I could get rid of it and buy something more exciting, but it's too reliable and I just can't justify it.

7th Mar 2010, 11:16

I've just got a '94 GL like yours, 149k and it's still running, although it needed a new ignition coil, mine's silver with the blue interior.

1994 Volkswagen Vento GL 2.0i from UK and Ireland


Golf GTi without the badge


No major faults until recently.

Clutch replaced at 80,000.

Electric sunroof developed a fault at around 85,ooo. Small plastic clip broke and now roof only tilts. No slide.

87,000 Fault with central locking caused drivers door to deadlock. Other doors worked okay though. Local auto electrician fixed this for £60 including parts.

120,000 Air flow meter failed - gas conversion had a backfire. I think this caused it.

125,000 Drivers electric window motor failed. Got one from a scrap yard eventually for £40. They are like rocking horse poo and apparently a common fault.

The electric window cables split where they meet the body of the car from the rear doors. This can only be fixed with a temporary repair. Only costs £10 once you know the fault though.

135,000 gearbox stepper motor failed after driving down a steep road too quick for the brakes to handle it. Stopped okay though.

While gearbox was being replaced the crank oil seal was noticed to be leaking. The car uses a lot less oil now.

137,000 miles water pump replaced. Costs £40 all in if you know the right people.

General Comments:

This car is really reliable. I've been everywhere in it and pulled alls sorts.

It didn't really get quick until a 40mile drive one night at 130mph. You have to break these cars in to make them quick!

Its lost its edge a little bit now, but I blame the gas conversion for that.

If people say this car doesn't handle, they're not driving it right.

It has two personalities. You have to learn to drive this thing at speed on tight corners. It will leave anything though with the right tyres on it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2003

15th May 2006, 01:34

Interesting comments. An owner of a new GL manual for more than nine years, and only 103000 Kms. No rust in Australia! except internal metal corner of rear window rubber strip. Had a power chip installed a few years ago, because motor detuned here for regular petrol. Only complaint is serious flat spot with air conditioner on at low speed, not present otherwise. Love the build quality and solidity. Great economy and reliability. No power window problems, only failed driver door lock. Plan to keep it forever.

1994 Volkswagen Vento GL 2.0 litre petrol from UK and Ireland


The best car I have owned so far


The distributer electronics failed at 60,000 miles This cost £200 to fix.

The windscreen wiper control switch broke at 70,000 miles. Approx cost to repair £30 for the part. Easy to fit by the average DIY person.

Rear discs needed replacing 70,000 miles due to corrosion.

General Comments:

A comfortable family car with good performance and excellent steering.

Rolls a bit on cornering, but very safe.

Huge boot makes up for not being a hatchback.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th May, 2002