"With MPG close to gasoline hybrids and all the "green" benefits of a diesel, including potential to be converted to a "grease car", this car is a true bargain. Turbo provides strong acceleration. Great secure handling, surprisingly smooth and quiet ride. You don't hear much road noise or diesel clatter inside the car with the windows up. Comfortable interior with lots of room for a small car. Monsoon audio sounds good. A/C is super cold and climate controls easy to use. Some other controls are a bit unusual but work well. Has been a reliable and economical car, returning 40 MPG on B20 biodiesel with a 530 mile fuel range. If you can find one of these, and can live with it being a diesel, buy it. You won't regret it."
"Until I got my 2002 Golf, my favorite car had been my 82 Honda Accord hatchback, but this has outdone that car! Almost as reliable (but not quite), and endless fun to drive, handles wonderfully, stable, holds corners and curves to give a thrill to driving.
Up to 112,000 miles now, and my Golf still runs like a much newer car, is still stylish and fresh looking, although gas mileage has dropped 4-5 mpg with age. I keep up with all scheduled maintenance at VW dealer (a bit pricey), but it seems worth it, since the car is running so well. I love that it runs like a peppy, sporty car, is very responsive, yet hauls all sorts of large objects, e.g. camping gear, two bikes inside, or even a dishwasher, and fits in tight city parking spaces easily. Minor annoyances are plastic parts that break off, not being able to change a headlight without taking to the dealer, and the frequency with which rear lights burn out-at least I can get to them to change them myself!
Love the Golf, would highly recommend it to others. Works great as an only car for two person household, but my friends love me to swap with them if I need to borrow a minivan or truck to move really big stuff, or take 6 or 7 folks somewhere!"
"I bought my 2001 VW Golf TDI new near the end of 2000. At the time I was commuting 150 miles a day for work and the mileage of the diesel was the reason I settled for this car. It now has 218,000 miles on it and shows no sign of fading. I tend to the minor maintenance myself, things like oil changes, brake replacement, lights, etc. The diesel engine has always started for me. It seems to struggle to stay running when the temperatures are below -10 degrees or when I park it overnight in the high elevations of Western Colorado. But it has never failed me. Because of it's inherent effeciency, the diesel engine doesn't warm up quickly, in fact it has electric heaters to warm up the engine coolant when it's cold.
This car drives well, rides well and handles well. It's not for the races but has ample power for most situations. But what sets this car apart from all others,including Toyota Prius's is it's fuel economy. My normal driving habits result in fuel mileage of 50 to 52 MPG on the newer ultra low sulphur diesel fuel. When I burn B99 bio-diesel it gets slighly less, maybe 49 MPG. My best tank of fuel at 774 miles was 57.6 MPG but that was in the days of low sulphur diesel fuel. Driving between Denver and Knoxville I fill up once in western Missouri.
Overall, I like this car but I probably won't try to keep it beyond 350,000 miles unless it's running really strong. I highly recommend this car to people like me who are DIY'ers and don't like spending limited resources on fuel."
"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!"
"I bought my car 2004 with 60k and it has now 100k. Besides the normal scheduled maintenance (timing belt/water pump/brakes), I had no issues with the car whatsoever. The interior is classy, the handling/brakes are great, engine could have more HP despite the torque in low RPM. The car is way better than comparable Civics/Corollas."