Drives like a dream, expensive upkeep
By Eva on Thursday, June 23, 2016
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 152,000
overall rating 8 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
- Not Rated
Pros: "responsive, stable, great fuel economy"
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."
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