"I purchased my 1999 Volkswagen Golf in 2000. So far, I have had both the side trim and the piece that holds in the license plate simply deteriorate and fall off as well as about 3 of the hubcaps over the years. The muffler and heat shield had to be replaced within my first year owning it. I have replaced the ignition, wheel bearings and numerous other little things over the years. I have put $1500 into it in the last 6 months alone and it still needs a new throttle body. I have heard good things about the Golf. Maybe '99 just wasn't a good year. Maybe its just this individual car... Fun to drive when it was still only a few years old. Now its just an albatross."
"Well loved styling and performance. living in the cold though vehicle will not warm up unless driven. Plagued by electrical problems ..8 dealer visists for drivers airbag light never fixed. rear disc brake decided to lock on and eat itself rotor caliper and all. silly expensive timing belt change price and schedual. rear tail light bulbs on driver side burn out every 3 or 4 thousand miles (hint change oil and bulbs). turbo went at 68000 miles convient for warrenty purposes(sarcasism). when new drove in a winter storm ..handled very well untill the airintake froze over and whole intake manifold gummed up. overall wanted to love the car but unless ur independantly weathy type who just send car to dealer and use platinum/gold card and never look at bill never ever buy this car. VW has horrible national support as they couldnt care less about the dealers and the dealers will make you pay instead of trying to get VW to cover anything.
PLEASE Heed the bad reviews!!!!!!!!"
"Don't believe everything you hear about VW reliability. Most of those ratings are for car reliability in the first 3 months. This is by far the most solid and reliable car I have ever owned (at 97K, so far). I bought it on the recommendation of a friend, who owned his 1986 Golf for 12 years, without problems. You can drive these cars well past 175K with ease!"
"Love my 2001 golf! So fun to drive, and looks great too. The body style is so classic people can't tell what year it is, especially when you stick to the basic colors not something trendy. Gas mileage is good. Easy to park and feels real solid to drive. Not like a lightweight honda or toyota. Lots of head room and leg room an plenty of room in the hatch back for groceries & stuff. I had a rack put on mine for ski stuff. there's nothing like a German car. Get one!"
"I reviewed my car recently here, but just thought I'd post an update...I noticed that some people have posted about the lights going out, and I wanted to ditto that, I just had to replace the driver side headlight and running light, it's only a 2004 but I have had to replace all of the lights. It's not expensive, just annoying (in light of repair costs with my previous car, a 1994 Mazda 626, not a problem). My doors freeze shut when it snows or there is freezing rain too (have had to get in through my trunk before). I don't know if anyone else has had this problem too, but it's annoying if you live in a colder climate...and if you open your door if there is any precipitation it lands right on the driver seat...embarassing, little things a girl would notice! If I lived someplace warmer I wouldn't trade it in, it's great and economical, but I am looking to upgrade to an AWD, now if only I could afford a Toureg..."
"Drove my daughter back to college in her's from Upstate NY to NC. Love it so much I bought one for myself. I've got 63K and it's been wonderful. At 6'2' no problems with comfort and in&out.
Handles winters with ease, love the ABS , 30+MPG and room for stuff!
Great sound system, A/C a little light but I'm in upstate NY no big deal."
"I've had my 2001 VW Golf for over 1 1/2 years. Bought it with 39,000miles and just hitting 54K now. Not one issue. I've spent a bit moding it though, but who couldn't with an awesome car like this. Perfect for anyone! Plus you can do just about anything to these motors and they'll still run like a champ. I love VW!!"
"The Golf TDI has excellent handling traits, very good acceleration, is comfortable for me at 6' 250 lbs and.... GETS 45 MPG! That is combined city and highway real life millage. The audio system is first rate. The 1.9L diesel engine is proven technology with a large base of users in Europe. I have had no difficulty with it and don't expect any. If you want durable, economical, comfortable, functional transportation you should give the Golf TDI every consideration."
"I have 120,000 miles on my 2000 Golf. It has never broken down or stalled on me but has had some malfunctions (some expensive-transimission, power steering...) that HAD to be repaired in order to keep the car safely driveable. A minor issue I have with my vehicle is the interior finish. The dash is gorgeous & looks new but the material used around the fixtures/buttons/door handles is some kind of soft plastic? that scratches/chips away easily and leaves an UGLY look. On the plus side, I really like the handling and performance. I still find the car fun to drive."
Cons: "expensive upkeep & repairs, not for extreme cold"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I'm 2nd owner on my 2004 VW Golf GLS TDI manual; have driven it for 6 years now. I've driven many types of vehicles, and this remains among my favorites for its stability and handling. It's great in sun, rain, sleet, and snow. It has great fuel economy (I used to get 45–48 mpg under 100K; now 43–45 mpg). I can easily fit 2 bikes in the back with the back seats down; the hatchback has a wide opening. My list of cons is going to be a bit detailed, so I just want to reiterate again that I *love* how this car handles, and that is what balances out everything below. |||||||
First, a note about diesel engines for noobs: |||
Fuel: Diesel can be hard to find. I downloaded an app that helps me find diesel fuel on the go. |||
Emission: This car has been grandfathered into US emissions standards. I've never failed a test; however, this is nowhere near "clean" diesel (which we've learned is a myth, anyhow) and is, in fact, quite dirty. I have asthma and sometimes the exhaust bothers me when I first start it up. |||
Cold weather: Even though oil changes are much less frequent for diesels, I always change the oil before winter because the car starts more reliably at or below 0 degrees with fresh synthetic. The car has always started for me in cold weather eventually, but below 10 it gets cranky. They sell winterized fuel in the winter in my location, so I haven't ever used additives. The cabin takes forever to warm up in cold weather. ||||||
Repairs: Repairs are frequent and expensive. In my city with bad road infrastructure, I have to work on the suspension every other year ($750). I had to replace the turbo at 140,000 mi ($1,800). Around the same time, small motors on windows, windshield wipers, etc, began to break. Timing belt is coming up again soon. Clutch is still good (*knock on wood*). A lot of small pieces in the interior have broken (common in VWs of this era). All repairs and upkeep cost more than in more common vehicles. |||
Overall, if you like the handling of older diesels that aren't subject to recalls, if you're looking for something stable and can afford repairs, if you don't live in a climate that regularly gets weather below 0˚F, I would definitely recommend this car."
"Simple styling reasonable performance and reliability. That pretty much sums up my experience with the 04 Golf. Purchased certified pre-owned in 2007 with 20,000 miles, now have 75,000 with only routine maintenance cost since purchased."
"The little things that Volkswagen has done to this car makes this a great value, such as the Telescoping steering wheel and center sun visor. My one complaint is there is no storage in the vehicle. NO center console and minimal compartments, and the trunk is to small to fit my golf clubs without lowering the back seat"
Pros: "Great mileage, peppy acceleration for a small car."
Cons: "Cold starts (less than -10F) a bit iffy."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my second TDI Golf. I bought my first one new in 2000. It was a 2D base model. I drove it for almost 250,000 miles with nothing but standard maintenance. The car still ran beautifully, but the body was showing some rust. The mileage is phenomenal. I averaged 46 mpg, but I do a lot of freeway driving.
My second TDI was bought used. It has a lot more bells and whistles, but has been a trooper for 171,000 miles.
I find VWs to be well designed from the inside out. Very comfortable seats; simple, intuitive dash controls; very peppy ride. The torque on a diesel is amazing.
I will likely buy a third Golf TDI, although I'm toying with getting a Paasat TDI wagon."
"I'm not too satisfied with this car. If you've ever owned a old air cooled VW you know they are quirky.. well the apples don't fall far from the tree and this apple isn't cheap!! This car has had some problems that could have been avoided all together if they would have just made quality components.. I like the concept of the 1.9 tdi engine and cam driven fuel injection system but bad rings and seals in the fuel pump, a breaking serpentine belt tensioner, and a seized fuel injector that required us to rebuild the top end of the engine (not at the same time mind you) This little hipster mobile is a great choice if your into spending lots of money for no reason."
"One of the best-built cars around, no question. The 2.0L is super reliable but obviously lacking on power (great on gas though). The 5-speed transmission is a must because VW makes great transmissions. Interior is refined without being over-complex. Exterior is plain when stock but gorgeous when you lower it and put some nice wheels on. Very easy to work on and modify as well."
Pros: "Great mileage, fun to drive, can haul a boat"
Cons: "2 door can't have moon roof"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned 7; 5 being diesels. Current car is Golf TDI with 212000 miles. Maintenance is absolutely NOT a problem. Every 60,000 miles new timing belt and oil changes every 5000 miles. No problem.
Can decide this minute to go to Florida and drive this car without any special planning.
Love the hatchback. With seats down I got a full size dishwasher still in the box in the car."
"When I purchaced this car "I had to have it". It was used...I bought it in 2005 with 1200miles on it. Now it is 2010, it has 88,000 miles on it. With the 88,000 miles it has two sets of wheel bearings, axel pilot bearings, new fuel pump. I am afraid to drive it because it cost money every time I turn the key. The dealer acts like I owe them and should bow down in their pressence. I received a recall for the glow plugs. They want the car all day....which is over an hour away and then they do not know if my car is the one that needs the glow plugs untill they are removed. I replaced one of the glow plugs, but will not be reimbursed for my expence. It would be less expensive for me to purchace the glow plugs and replace them myself. The car has been a headach from about 50,000 miles, and dealing with the dealership makes it worse."
"I bought my 2004 Golf new to replace my 1989 Golf which I bought to replace my ___ Golf -- well you get the idea! This is the only car I will ever want and hope it lasts a lifetime! I have a 5-speed manual transmission which can get a bit tricky on San Francisco's hills but it allows me to totally control my speed and handling and gets me superb 35 mpg plus gas mileage. I love to coast too on the hills and my dream is to get all the way across SF without going into gear at all! In a city where parking spaces are almost nonexistent, I can usually find a spot even where homeowners have sneakily widened driveways to keep people from parking in front of their houses. I love the way my wide and low slung little car hugs the road and handles on sharp curves (unlike my husband's giant Toyota SUV). I love my Golf's indigo blue body still looking good after all these years! Because it's a little car my Golf's sunroof and windows keep the interior cool on even the hottest days. I recently took my Golf in for servicing and it only cost a small amount. I was told the transmission, brakes and tires were still in like new condition and I was in no way ready for an engine tuneup! One of the few things I would like upgrade is my sound system (AM reception is not so hot). Also, I have the pale blond interior but did not discover until after I had the car for awhile and my dealer had gone out of business that my seats hadn't been Scotchgarded which means my driver's seat is now the denim blue of my jeans (no seatcovers should be used because of airbags -- something else I didn't know until too late to change upholstery color!). But all this is just to say my 2004 Golf is a fabulous car and if you are looking to buy one -- go for it but know that it's a love that could last forever!!"
"I've owned my 5-speed manual 2-door TDI since it had 17 miles and this little car just keeps going. It's fun to drive the standard shift (I thing the automatic version feels sluggish) and after 115,000 miles, I'm getting over 48mpg with mixed street/freeway driving. The only downside is the glowplugs. They are very expensive to replace and seem to go out every 60,000 miles. Luckily, I live in a warm climate where this isn't an issue, but if you're in a cold climate, this is definitely a concern. Overall, I love my little dub and have gotten unsolicited offers to buy it.... but I'm not selling!"