We have a golf 1999 GT TDi, in dragon green. The car does 70 mpg whilst traveling 55 mph on a long stretch and whilst city driving around 35-40 mpg. 140 bhp
Heated seats, electric windows, digital display which shows the mpg you are doing, air con
A stylish car which we think looks better and more well built than the newer rounder style. It is quite reasonable on fuel for the engine size which is a 1.9. The car is made to last and is very reliable.
Not a lot of room at the back, especially leg room, but it is quite spacey at the front of the car. The suspension could be better but it is not majorly bad. The bucket seats are quite bad for the spine but i suppose they are meant for the men who want to feel like they are racing. Diesel is quite noisey
The car can be quite expensive to purchase but they do keep their value for longer. So i cant say that this is a good nor bad point. Value (Oct 2009) for a 1999 reg around 2400-3000
I hunted high and low for a descent mark 4 tdi and found a silver 03 plate GT TDI 130 with a good history. I replaced an aging 16 year old 3 series beemer, which I adored, with this car so it does have a lot to live up to. I had talked with several close friends about what car to look out for and had whittled the list down to either an Audi A3 or the Golf. This was that I really wanted a car with great build quality, a sporty feel and overall reliability and economy. And after runing this car for 9 months I have been less than impressed with it on a couple of counts so far.
Firstly it has been dripping oil on the drive and when I took it to the local VW specialist to check it out he said, "oh they do that.. live with it!" not really the answer i wanted. Apparently its an internal oil gasket which is nothing major and a common problem but very costly to fix so best ignored.
Secondly the front suspension is really noisy round town, another norm for mark 4 Golfs I'm told, I hope they're right and its MOT time at the end of this month so lets hope it passes, the beemer passed 5 in a row!
Anyway, with those minor points aside the car does have some big pluses. It is very comfy with the GTI interior offering a nice environment to be in, the seats are very snug and firm without being uncomfortable even on long journeys. The driving position is good with the pedals well positioned although I miss the floor mounted accelerator that the BMW's use, mine has the 3 spoke airbag steering wheel which feels like good quality leather and provides a nice contact with the car and can be adjusted for height and reach allowing you to pick you favourite position. The seating position is also very adjustable with the usual manual adjustments including height and offers good visability, although when reverse parking I'm always nervous of bumping those big bumpers. The rest of the cabin is very well made with 90,000 miles done there are no squeaks or rattles from inside and the plastics and other materials feel and look good and like new in most areas although no one area has shown much sign of wear yet. Climate control is great and keeps you cool and warm at a constant chosen temperature no matter what the great British weather does outside. Mine also has the central arm rest in the front which has some really useful storage although the catch has bust on mine. Reat passengers are treated to sports seating also keeping them firmly seated at all times. The radio works well and has most normal features and a single slot CD which is stable on all but the roughest roads. Doors have that satisfying clunk although the boot does take some closing, i've found shutting it from the side seems to work.
The driving experience is a good one although handling could be better but maybe my old 3 series spoilt me. The steering is well powered but gives good feel, the standing alloys have good grip, breaking from the all disc system is good and ABS keeps you straight and stops you safely. The 130BHP turbo oil burner is plenty quick off the mark and has plenty of torque and will pull in most gears and revs making it very usable although the sports suspension doesn't offer the best handling, to heavy i think for the standard springs maybe, not as good as the A3 I tested. It keeps the car solid and stable but if you get racey with it, it feels a bit top heavy and understeers a bit but powerful front wheel drive cars are prone to that I guess. The enconomy is good out of town with 55mpg easily achievable from most journeys although 25 is more like it in town. I have had a couple of steady stuck in 55 mph traffic journeys when i've seen 65 mpg plus!
Overall i would rate this motor as acceptable and solid but lacking in driver interest due to its heavy feel when driving hard. It is great value though with my 03 plate coming in at just under £7k from a private forecourt, (VW still have similar cars on their forecourts for over £10k!!). With the same running gear as the A3 tdi amongst others I would recommend the Golf for a good mix of value for money and build.
Update: It passed the MOT test no problems so its gone up in my estimation and the guy said it looks like a 'good motor'...