1996 Volkswagen Vento CL 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


Slow, poor handling and unreliable


Where to start?

Refuses to start cold.

Electric windows have a mind of their own.

Even the slightest hint of a wet road would previously result in the engine cutting out. A little tinkering sorted this in the main, but the issue returned intermittently.

Thermostat failed causing it to overheat. Took car to a very reputable mechanic and he discovered that the head gasket's on its last legs, and the driver's side CV joint's about to go.

General Comments:

The car's slow, handles poorly, and leans on its doorhandles in corners.

The body roll prevents the car from being comfortable.

Woeful engine lacks power, torque or reliability.

There is nothing about the car that I like.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th May, 2009

1996 Volkswagen Vento VR6 2.8 from UK and Ireland


Understated family racer


When I bought the car, the dodgy dealer had disconnected the ABS warning light as there was a sensor off and the braking ECU was faulty. I cured this with 2nd hand parts. The dealer wanted 578 plus VAT for an ECU!!!

Rear subframe bushes also shot, but a £15 part and £150 labour to fit, so not bad there. Had to change the plug leads as well, not cheap at £100 from the dealer, but the car runs spot on now.

General Comments:

Very quick car, even with the auto gearbox, but does use a LOT OF FUEL when you push hard.

Great Q car, most people don't know what's lurking under the bonnet, especially since I've de badged mine. No seriously, this car is very fast - a Porsche Cayenne was right on my tail till I got fed up and floored the accelerator. Left him for dust. This car will still keep on accelerating past 130 mph (on the autobahn of course). Probably good for 150 tops.

Downsides I suppose are the looks are very plain, has no aircon, bit of a bummer in summer and the ride can be fidgety and firm over potholes, and any poor surfaces.

On the plus side, the boot is big enough to swallow a family of refugees!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2009

12th Jul 2009, 10:27

I drive a Vento VR6 too, and yes it's very fast with huge reserves of torque, especially in the midrange.

It doesn't have much image, but that's all the better, and the dull looks are no bad thing when you don't want to attract attention from plod when speeding! Oops did I say that???

They are getting rare now, so if one comes up for sale, I'd grab it.

1996 Volkswagen Vento CL 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Supremely comfortable and solid to drive, but I know I bought a dog


Starter, fuel pump, windows open when you unlock the doors, interior lights have a mind of their own, plug leads are poor, and it's a slow starter in wet weather.

General Comments:

I know there are so many good reviews of this car, but if buying one, be very careful. Rev the nuts off it if testing. If it's an unsteady climb to 6,000rpm, walk away.

I bought a very poor one, which is a shame because it has the makings of a very nice car. It's comfortable, solid to drive and not badly equipped.

It's not fast, and it does roll about a bit in the bends, but it is much nicer to drive than the Golf of the same era, because it's more rigid and handles much better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th March, 2009

1996 Volkswagen Vento CL 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Brilliant, with more luggage space than a Golf


Replaced the battery at 104000

Had to replace rear back exhaust box at 110000

General Comments:

This car is solid and durable.

One of the best smaller cars I have owned.

Very reliable up to now.

The performance is very good and economy is excellent for a 1.8 engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2008

6th Apr 2011, 08:55

I love Vento-Volkswagen 1.8.


1996 Volkswagen Vento GL CLASSIC 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand


An excellent buy, cheaper than an equivalent Golf, but with more equipment and more room


The rear passenger's side electric window regulator had to be replaced; at a cost of over A$300. Not cheap if all four windows fail.

General Comments:

Excellent dynamics, feels solid to drive, plenty of power, gearbox not the smoothest, especially in 1st gear.

However a pleasure to drive and will definately consider a new Bora in 1-2 years' time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th July, 2002

22nd Mar 2003, 15:30

I think electric windows are a VW weak spot.

Have owned a Golf TDI, Jetta CLi and a Passatt GT. All have had all their electric windows fail one at a time from one cause or another.

7th May 2003, 19:54

I have just bought a second hand VW Vento. Yes, you guessed it. The rear passenger side electric window does not work. Neither does the air conditioning. The airbag warning light is on, obviously something wrong there. I have also discovered that I have to use premium petrol to get the engine to run smoothly, Despite all this, I love the quality of the car and the roominess, especially in the boot. When I get the faults fixed, I will be very happy with the car.

14th Feb 2004, 03:26

Having compiled the original review above, my Vento has just completed 130,000kms and I have only had 1 service in that time- to replace oil and the timing belt. Unfortunately it was also involved in a serious collision where another car T-boned the car at 60km/h- not nice!

The other car struck the left hand passenger wheel at 90 degrees- surprisingly the car was not a write off and I had all the suspension components replaced (by insurance cover). Now it handles even better than before!

The other car was a brand new Daewoo Kalos- it was written off and a total wreck.

No one was injured in my car, and it was back on the road in 5 weeks. Parts expensive I think.