"This has been a very reliable car, never breaks down. It's got good power and is fun to drive. Good gas mileage. For a small car, it has fit everything from 8 foot lumbar to several pieces of assembled furniture."
"I've had a bunch of problems with this car - bad oxygen sensors, mysteriously cracked oil pan, interior components falling apart, bad fuel pump. The check engine light is on more than not. And I am on top of scheduled service and maintenance.
When it's problem free, it's a great city car - zippy, responsive, and hugs the road. I'm 6'3" and can't fit comfortably in much else, which I like about this car. But I will try and avoid VWs in the future. Too quirky and overpriced for the quality."
"This car has never let me down (*knock on wood*). It grips the road, it has get up and go, it's sporty yet very fuel efficient. I get between 45-50 mpg when on the highway...even at speeds of 75-80 mph.
We bought it brand new, for a reasonable price and have never complained since. It is the only car I have ever owned that I do not want to sell. I plan on driving this car until it refuses to drive any further."
"Nice car great german engineering but at about 70K miles things started going bad and costing alot to fix- great car good pickup and 47 MPG go along way but high repair costs can put a damper on farfegnugen."
"Sporty, corners well, fun to drive and economical.Long road trips are not quite as comfortable as they should be, but not unbearable either.It even makes a great tow vehicle with a small utility trailer.I love to drive A LOT so this car was a must!"
"I really enjoy it's european handling. I like VW's maintenance schedule--oil change every 5000 miles. It is sporty to drive esp. 5 speed. 4cyl non-turbo can do 1/4 mi. at 119mph. Gets about 28mpg in city and 32 hwy. Little things go wrong with it, like vent air direction controls break off-even though the car has been well cared for. The 3rd gear has started grinding after 22,000 mi. Back seat on 4 dr is too small for adults. This car gets good gas mileage because it is so light, however, if there is 1/2" of snow on the ground the car can barely go. My model does not have the VW version of traction control because it's the very base model."
"I have owned this car for around two months now and love every bit of it. The 2.0L engine gives you some fun while still have fuel aconomy in the mid 30's
This little car handles the smokey mountains very nicely and loves to run on the highway. Only complaint I have is that they should have had either a taller fifth gear or a sixth gear on them. Otherwise love it. Will be doing it again."
"The latest model golf (not the rabbit) comes with only 115HP, little under powered. But for the price you receive a presentable little car, with more room than you would expect it to have (bigger than BMW 3series or MB C-class). It gets an average 29 Miles to the gallon. A good Reliable, safe, simple car. A lot of fun to drive, (cornering). Its a good car for the city, at the same time it has plenty of tourque for the freeway (get the manual transmission , more responsive). Maintain the car well, and it will run 200K, easy...!"
"This car was 2 years old when I bought it. It gets pretty good gas mileage and decent performance considering the low-power engine. It is not a fast car, but a very good driving car and handles curvy roads very well. I had a couple electronic issues when I first purchased this car. The Check Engine light came on a few times for a few different things, which was annoying, but nothing major. Where this car really shines is its versatility, the hatchback trunk area is very roomy for a car of its size, and when you fold down the seats you can carry quite a bit of stuff.
Pros: cargo space, handling, gas mileage
Cons: Underpowered, a few electrical problems"
"I love my 2003 TDI Golf, I have only had a few problems(knock on wood!) , I drive fast and spirited ,I am amazed how I can run the A/C all the time drive up hills and still 38mpg! ,believe me all German cars have problems because of over engineering!
To sum it all up : if you buy a VW TDI get a friggen stick ,the sticks are better , but depending on the year replace the clutch ,maintain the car and the car will maintain you!
The car does maintain there price the TDI's that is! ,I will say I would buy a new car ,but I would hate the gas milage! and I refuse to buy an ugly toyota prius!
VW/Audi are going to release the new TDI ,but only in the Jetta for now in middle of spring 08, that is the projected date for the release of the TDI"
"I've been always a big fan of volks, but my golf is just amazing.
Confortable ride, smooth when it drives.
One thing. Always take your volks to a volks dealer for maintance! it is a little more expensive, but its worthwhile. I never had any problems so far. 1 year of use."
"Bought as a one owner car, 23K miles...by 60K I'd replaced the transmission and both cv joints (4000.00 bucks and I bought a used replacement transmission.) Reoccuring electrical issues (warning lights), seem to fix themselves after a couple days. A/C went out last month...compressor...trading it off now. Not worth the additional money. The Good? Smooth ride, fairly comfortable, nice options and a great sound system."
"I rolled my 2003 Golf GL last night and walked away with only a scratch on my arm, this car saved my life and I loved it while it was fully functional as well. I don't know how I am alive except for this car saving my life. It made the drive from CT to GA relaxing to go to school for and I truly miss it."
"My First Car was a 1979 VW Rabbit and I've been hooked ever since. The SECOND I pulled out of the VW Dealer and pressed the the Fuel Pedal I knew the 2004 Golf TDI was my car. With an automatic trans it averages 38 to 43 mpg and I hammer this thing. My kid (4yrs old) loves it because sitting in the center of the back seat gives him excellent visability.
I love letting people try my car, because they are ALWAYS surprised that a Diesel could be so snappy and so quiet driving down the road. This is NOT the diesel of the past.
Excellent driving in inclement weather too. Maintenance Wise: 1 Set of tires @ 50k, Rear Brakes @ 65k and Regular Oil Changes of course. The only issue I've had was a check engine light which was an $11.45 coolant sensor; after 75k... I'd call that a bargain."
"This has been the best car I have owned. Routinely gets 50mph with good power. I drive over a mountain every day and this car does not waiver from speed while climbing the hill. Good comfort inside. Comes with pretty much everything standard. Hugs the road nicely. I currently have 136000miles and plan to get at least 300k out of this one before buying another."
"Bought this car in 2003 was 2 years old had 35k miles.
225,000 miles now no major problems other than regular maintenance, front axle broke because of a road hazard.first timing belt change at 190k miles and it still looked like new also replaced the water pump w/the timing belt but it wasnt leaking yet.I did have to replace the front struts but that was after 180k miles, the front wheel bearings went twice so far, and the front doors power windows kept breaking but VW fixed them for free everytime even after the warranty expired because they had a recall on them. Besides that nothing else still original clutch and no signs of going soon, the engine runs quiet and very smooth, chck engine light came on on humid or rainy days because the ignition wires needed replacing. Great car if maintained properly and not abused. I think I'll be good for at least another 100 to 150 K miles.a couple of annoying small problems besides the power windows regulator is the head lights frequent burning, they wont last more than 6 months."
Pros: "Safe, never broke down, mpg, affordable maint."
Cons: "I got emotionally attached."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Hands down, I absolutely love this car. That's saying a lot, being that I am a car buff. I bought it used from a certified VW dealer in 2008 with 27k miles. It NEVER broke down. The only thing I needed the warranty for was to replace a wheel barring (~$1k job). The oil is easy to change yourself, as is all other routine maintenance (also affordable at an honest garage). I was in love. It was as fun to drive as a loaded rally car, but not crazy enough to be targeted by police. 4 doors = a must. When the back seats are put down, there's tons of cargo space. Oh, and great speakers. The dash displays are nice too (blue and red color scheme).
If you are worried about driving a small car because of safety, I hear you. However, I commuted 60 miles (hwy) in this car a day and it kept me safe. No blind spots, too. Last month, I got rear ended at a stop light by a big Toyota pickup going 50mph. The kid was texting or something. My Golf was pushed into the Volvo in front of me... and it was totaled. I was well enough to get myself out of the car, but did go to the hospital. If i was in a Civic hatchback, it would have been another story. I miss this car terribly and am grateful it kept me safe (perhaps even saved my life). Those Germans know how to design a good frame and crumple zones..."
"Thinking about a used TDI ? Wondering if they are worth the money ? I would say they are.
The 2001 Golf TDI that I have owned now for 7 years is a great car. I have averaged 45 mpg in a 50/50 mix of highway city driving. I have had very few problems other than normal wear and tear / maintenance issues. The car drives like a larger more comfortable car and even with 210,000 miles, it has NO rattles and uses no oil between the 10,000 mile oil change intervals .
I would say that the performance is the only negative , as it takes about 13 seconds to get to 60. Cruising at 70 to 80 mph though, is effortless and extremely comfortable. Another big plus is not having to stop for gas much. I regularly hit 700 miles on a tank when driving conservatively. My best was 890 miles, but that was drafting trucks and driving no faster than 55, which simply isn't practical. If you are seeing reports of these cars achieving 60 mpg, it is possible.... but only if you drive extremely conservatively, and I would say wrecklessly, because people coming up on you doing 50 to 55 in a 65 might very well rear end you.
A real world MPG of 45 is not hard to average, and actually easy to exceed. My experience on a flat road during the spring (no A/C )showed @60mpg at 50mph, @55mpg at 55mph, @50mpg at 60 to 65 mph, and @48 mpg at 70 to 75mph. Wind , (yes , wind ) time of year (A/C usage and diesel additives for cold weather ) and overall steadiness with the accelerator can move these numbers around a bit, but on highway trips, the turbo direct injected 1.9L ALH is simply a wonderful example of German engineering.
I think when it comes to value, this is the best car I have ever owned. I definately have enjoyed it the most.
Good luck on finding one ,(as they are kind of rare), and I hope you have the success I found with mine !"
Cons: "Expensive parts, hard to find a diesel mechanic"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"LOVE this car! With 317,000 miles, I've had no engine/tranny/steering rack issues at all. Suspension, exhaust and brakes have needed work,because of road salt and normal wear. The 1.9L diesel hauls a decent load in a small trailer, and I can fit a lot inside the car.
The ONLY complaint I have is that the seat reclines only by slowly cranking it with a wheel. I like to nap when I'm waiting for people, and I'd like a simple lever."
Pros: "Rock solid reliability, cheap to own, handles well"
Cons: "Slow!, Not really a looker, Very small"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I recently traded this car in simply because I wanted more out of a car. (More power, a little bit of luxury, bigger, more comfortable). After 10 years and 121,000 it just didn't really suit my life style anymore…But, this car served me so well during that time that I feel compelled to give it the recognition it deserves.
People can say what they will about VW reliability, and a lot of it may be true regarding the other models, but these little hatchbacks really can't be beat when it comes to practicality, reliability, and utility. This thing never once let me down. I can easily recall every instance of taking it in for non-maintenance repairs. This is easy because it only happened 3 times. The first was in the first week of ownership to replace a part that was causing a knocking sound in the front axel area. Dealer swapped with no fuss. It was a little concerning to have something break that early in ownership, but I was rewarded for not giving up on it. It didn't go back in for a repair until 75,000 miles when the thermal sending unit needed to be replaced for $400. This would've been a lot less had I done it myself or taken it to an independent, but at the time I thought the stealership was the only way to go. Live and learn. The last time was around 95,000 when the O2 sensors went and took out the catalytic converter. Luckily, VW warrantied the Cats for 100,000, so they swapped for free and I replaced the O2 sensors myself for around $200. Other than that, it was just maintenance and wear items. The cost of ownership on this car was just ridiculously low.
From a driving standpoint, you aren't likely to have your hair blown back in this car. However, it handles surprisingly well for its class and will be far less boring than most of the Japanese econo-car counterparts. I thought the interior was very classy and simple. Just a great car to knock-around town in, or take cross country…which I did twice.
Im sure most people aren't very likely to be considering a Golf this old, but this is more of a testament to the longevity of the Golf line. If you're considering a new one, I say go for it. If you want reliability with a little taste of entry level German engineering, you won't be disappointed."