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As you can probably tell from my username, I am a huge fan of cars. The current car I have on the road is a Mk 4 1.8 Turbo Golf. It has 3 doors and is Jazz blue in colour. W reg. I have the 5 speed gearbox in mine.
I love performance cars and also modification of cars to make them slightly different from the 'norm'. My Golf has a different exhaust, tinted rear windows, R32 bumpers and also bigger, aftermarket alloys. Obviously I realise that many of the readers won't be into this "boy-racer" style as many call it so won't dwell on that. (For those that are, it's a great car to adapt and personalise as there are a variety of different things that can be done to it.)
I also have 2 small children so will look at this car at a viewpoint of being a family car. I have no problem at all fitting the two children's seats in the back and it also leave room for a small adult to be seated in the middle. It was vital for me to be able to fit a pushchair in the boot which this does with ease. I have a twin buggy which is larger than most and this easily fits in and leaves some space for a bit of shopping around it. (Just be careful about how you put the buggy in though as the boot has plastic sills on the side which can bend slightly if you get it wrong!)
When driving it, you do feel very safe. Being German built, you can feel that there has been attention to detail and also a sense of it being made from the heaviest metal known to man! Having said that, the Turbo version that I have can soon push out the power and top end speed and pick-up definitely isn't an issue. When it comes to fuel economy, I did a recent 200 mile trip and averaged 38mpg. My usual commuting each day is roughly 35mpg. Obviously this won't appeal to everyone! Those figures just aren't very impressive. I enjoy driving though and weigh up that I don't drink or smoke, so my 'enjoyment' is filling the tank.
I was used to driving 'older' cars with limited gadgets. This Golf has air conditioning, and trip calculators which enable you to view how long you have been driving for and the miles you have covered as well as the average MPG you are achieving. I keep mine on what the car is doing at that particular time because I quite like seeing how changing my driving habits will change my MPG.
The Golf also has an electronic way of telling you if there are faults to the car. They appear on the dashboard and include such things as airbag faults or oil service check. This is a good way of telling you if something is wrong with the car BUT to remove and rectify some of these faults you have to plug the car into a service contraption! (You can buy simple ones of these from ebay which will help identify some faults but other times the car will need to be seen at a garage. This can obviously become quite costly with some places charging £50 to simply have the faults diagnosed.) Fotunately, I've had nothing major happen which my simple one wouldn't read and then clear. If you do decide to look at buying a Golf then I would recommend researching this area further.
I have put drivers comfort as excellent as the bucket seats in mine keep you secure. (Although, to be honest, the roads that I live near and also how low my car is apparently doesn't make it a comfortable ride for passengers I have been told.) Having been in other Mk 4 standard Golfs, they are extremely comfortable.
My Golf has now done 142500 miles and there are no signs of it giving up yet. I would highly recommend this make and model as a car suitable for anyone. It all comes down to the engine size, fuel and amount of doors ~ there really is a VW for you out there.
6th Jan 2014 ~ my car is now nearing onto 170000 miles and still not giving up. Hopefully it will last another year.
(I will continue to add to this review. I could talk about cars all day!)
I have always liked VWs and Audis since I was a little boy. When I got my first Golf almost two years I was delighted. I have a 1.6SE 16V 5 door hatch in Silver.
The good bits: The engine is powerful and certainly has enough grunt when you need it. In saying that if I was to buy a golf again I would look at the Diseals as 38 mpg is quiet a poor when you look at petrol prices. the interior is very comfortable and the layout is the best I have seen. I still think its better than most new BMWs and very well thought out. There is plenty of spaces for the back seat passenagers and a good size boot. Its also very comfortable, we choose my VW over my girlfriends new Ford for every long journey!
Bad bits: The Cambelt snapped early causing a complete overhaul of the engine. From what I have heard, this is quiet common so make sure you get the cambelt changed every 4 years minimium! In saying that this is the only problem we have had since we purchased it new so shouldnt complain (my old pug cost a fortune!) The standard tires are pretty ugly so I would look at getting alloys on the car as soon as possible! With Alloys the car looks great
Summary: If you are looking for a reliable, comfortable, fast but not too fast car this is a fantastic choice. I bought mine from my sister 2 years ago at the Parkers price and its gone down in value by £200 pounds! However it is a little bit boring I think now days though for the price there is nothing better you can get!
The Mk3 GTi is a car that is built to last, good to drive and offers safe and solid motoring for not too much money. They offer a civilised alternative to many other hot hatches and are usually worth more second-hand than most rivals. You're paying for the Volkswagen name and reputation to some extent, but don't forget that though a Golf costs a bit more than some rivals, it will equally be worth more and probably be in better condition when the time comes for you to sell it on.
The Golf has a strong reputation for reliability, but it still has a few areas that need to be checked carefully. One is the manual gearbox in high-mileage cars. These can have worn bearings which need expensive repairs ' if there's a lot of noise from the gearbox, get it checked. Corrosion is rare on a Golf, which speaks volumes for Volkswagen's rustproofing methods and the quality of the steel it uses. A GTi with rust should scream ""badly repaired accident damage"" at you. Steer well clear, as a bent chassis will probably have caused misaligned panels and subsequent corrosion.
If you're after the definitive hot hatch, buying a Mk3 Golf GTi may well leave you with the impression that Volkswagen has traded rather cynically on the cachet of the GTi badge. Others do ten-tenths cornering a good deal more convincingly than the slightly tubby Golf. If, on the other hand, you're looking for an impeccably built and classically presentable hatch, the Golf GTi has few rivals.
Put simply, i love this car. Having driven a thirsty 2.5l subaru legacy beforehand, I really appreciate both the cars acceleration coming from the 1.9l diesel engine, and and the cars economical nature. In this car i can drive twice as far on one tank of petrol than the subaru, i love it! When someone says vw to you, you instantly think quality manufacturing and that is exactly what you get with the golf. It gives you a smooth, controlled driving experience through simple, yet staggeringly effective design. Another strength of the golf is the amount of space you get. For a medium sized car the amount of room you get both in the front, back and boot is phenomenal, making it not only efficient, but practical too. However, there are a few downsides to what is otherwise, a flawless car. The first of which being the gearbox, which can be described as slightly clunky. Although i have somewhat got used to it, it is all too easy to slip into the wrong gear, not guiding you like other gearbox's i have used.
I've always been a fan of Golf's
, but the Mk4 just takes the biscuit! When you've just about had enough time to get over the smooth bodywork, (and check out those alloys!)
Upon opening the car door, the interior is very impressive for a hatchback, with leather upholstery and urban chick dashboard.
In terms of the driving experience , this thing is quick, I mean 0-60 mph certainly feels like seconds, and will literally PIN u in your seat and refuses to let go! One of the safest things about the Golf range ( but in particular, The mk 4 model) is the 0-60 back down to 0 mph again.
In short the stopping distance is very impressive, making accidents I guess less likely , when of course driving with due care and attention.
The torque especialliy surpirsed me about the Mk4, driving up the hill near to where I live , normally (in my renault clip sport I'd have to change from 4th gear down to 3rd and I would ascend the gradient of this hill, but in the Golf I can actually stay in 4th gear without the all familar chug-chug of the engine!
Fuel Economy is obviously a slight sore spot when it comes to cars as nippy as these, but the old adage, "its how you drive the car that counts" will have a bearing on what you guy/galls will be shelling out on fuel each week., (at least to some degree!)
In the early months of last year I decided it was time to sell my old Renault Clio and actually buy something good. I actually ended up spending 1,000 more than I got selling my car and the new one was 3 years older. That's because it was a Golf. Vw's hold their value really well, which is a pain when you're buying but good when you want to sell.
Anyway, I'd always wanted a Golf and so I was rather pleased. In fact I fell in love. Despite being a TDi (that's a diesel to the layman) it drove wonderfully and made everything a pleasure. I then made the mistake of joining an owners club. Which opened up a whole new world of detailing, modding and spending ages admiring other VW's. I've probably bored my wife to tears.
Over the last year I've slowly but surely fallen in love with Golfs and more specifically the MK4. Even more specifically the R32. We came into a little money and it was a toss up between modding the old car or buying an R32 and since I would only have made it look like an R32 anyway, I decided to just buy one instead.
This is my review.
I'm going to start by mentioning the bad points because they are the least important unless you are very poor.
1 - fuel economy - driven normally, this car gets about 20-25 mpg. So if you do a lot of miles, I wouldn't even bother buying one unless you have money to burn.
2 - road tax - the R32 suffers from high road tax. The government enjoy robbing us for a lovely sum of £215 per annum. God knows what they spend it on, have you seen the roads lately?
Even the dials are sexy
That's it in the bad points department. Now for the good stuff.
3.2 litre V6 engine. - this pushes out 240 bhp which means its faaaaaaaast. 0-60 in a snip over 6 seconds. That's just a figure really. You have to experience what that feels like to actually have an understanding.
4motion - which means 4 wheel drive. Better road grip, less wheel slip, generally safer to drive. Since its lowered as standard and has anti-roll bars all round, the car handles corners, roundabouts and bends better than your average Golf.
OEM body kit - R32 bumpers, side skirts, rear spoiler. These mean you know and R32 when you see it and that's only if you don't hear the V6 roar first.
High quality - it has to be said, the Germans know how to build cars. All Golfs are well made and high quality, but the R32 steps it up a notch with brushed aluminium trim inside, bottom hugging koenig sport seats and all the funky things you need - climate control, cruise control, self tinting interior mirror, trip computer etc etc. Xenon headlights as standard which adjust themselves as you drive. Sheer class.
Basically the R32 has made me fall in love with driving. When before a car was just a method to get from A to B, now its a fun packed thrill ride that leaves a smile on my face. Even if you are driving sensibly (or as I call it "in granny moan") its still brilliant. Comfortable, classy, elegant.
Going from a 1.9 litre 130 bhp deisel to a 3.2 litre 240 bhp R32 was a pleasant shock to the system. Despite the sheer power, the other major adjustment is in terms of gears. Both the gear ratio and the RPM's are so different you nearly have to learn to drive again. In a good way though as it's totally fun!
I actually don't think its possible to stall this car, you can move away in 2nd gear without a worry. You can go uphill at 30mph in 6th gear and it won't struggle (in fact I've done that at 20mph with no worries) and you can go from 0-50mph in 2nd at the drop of a hat. There are so many ways to drive this car, its like learning something new every time you go out.
As standard, the MK4 R32 comes with 18″ alloy wheels which set the car off nicely and make it stand out from the others. Beware though, there is no spare wheel - only a tyre sealant kit (hoping never to use that) which has a best before date!
My car came with half leather, half suede which I think is the better choice. You can find them in full leather though if you wish.
The R32 is a sports car (R = Racing) disguised as a hatchback. Even the old ones 53 reg and there abouts are fetching £10,000 or so.
It will actually beat some porsches in a flat out race (not on roads of course!) And looks better in my opinion.
I own the 1.6 se version and it's not been too bad. I bourght it knowing about the common faults with the rear H frame bushes, the window regulators and the gearbox (that will cost at least £1000 to replace). Not had many problems with it, although bulbs go all the time at the back, it sometimes says my boot is open when it isnt and the electronic accelerator cable makes it idle irratically. So a few minor electrical problems there, but nothing mechanical to fault. Build well and solid, although it corners like a fast tank. I normally get about 35mpg and it costs about £190 per year on road tax. Tyres are relatively cheap on mine as its on steelies, so they cost about £30 per tyre but do look very bulky. Styling is ok, interior is fairly roomy and not aged that badly. Ok allrounder but not outstanding.
My MK4 5 door Volkswagen Golf TDI puts the fun back to driving. I have owned dozens of cars over the years, all different makes and models but none of them compare to this cracking little car. It handles like a dream and when you need that little bit extra power you can have complete confidence that it will never let you down. Mine has a few little extras like the spoiler and the rear light covers but it doesn't matter; the basic model is excellent. I haven't had this car very long but I just can't get enough of it. Having become increasing annoyed by the volume of cars on the roads and the new sleeping policemen, speed cameras, and traffic lights every time you go anywhere I had almost decided to give up driving altogether, but the Golf has saved me from the horror that is public transport. I am enjoying driving again and actually look forward to getting behind the wheel and feeling the thrill of driving a really fabulous, well built, totally reliable, fun car again.
My '02 Golf GT TDi 130 has 185,000 miles on the clock and it is still going strong. I drove mostly motorway, 75-mile commuter journeys and averaged 55mpg for the first 2 years I owned the car with very few problems - annoyingly I had three clutch master cylinder failures in a short period of time, but finally after using a more reputable garage I have not had any issues for over 30,000 miles. I also had a worn differential bearing that required replacement of the gearbox, fortunately I was able to get the work done for £250 - including a used gearbox - I think I just got unlucky here as the MkIV rarely has gearbox issues.
The car has otherwise served me well - in fact it is very economical with brakes and tyres, and I have not yet had to change any suspension parts. The cloth interior - despite the high mileage - comes up like new with a good clean, the dash has little wear and it has developed only a few slight squeaks here and there with time. The sporty GT seats are comfortable and give just as much support as when I first bought the car. The paint work is now showing it's age and mileage but I still get compliments after a good clean and polish!
I really should be considering replacing the car, but I am now covering alot less miles and it still manages 45mpg with town driving. It offers good performance with the TDi engine, and still feels new inside. I think I'll have it for a few more years yet.
Very nice car comfortable drive and smooth it is also reliable nice interior comfortable bucket seats the set up ans all the features are easy to use it is also very quick through the gears and handles very good i purchased this model secondhand for a good price as it was a bargain and only suppose to be a temporary car at the time and now i am thinking of looking at the newer shape golf as i think they are a truly reliable car and parts are easy to come across and its a car that suits any oaccasion
I have the SDI (which doesn't mean sport or standard, it means suction!) version of the MK4 Golf and it's the entry level version too! Basically it is the diesel golf with the least power! Nevertheless it is still a great drive and gets to thirty quickly!
Pros: Seats are comfortable and slightly bucket shaped so provides support whilst driving. Lives up to the volkswagen reputation by being a very reliable car. In the 4 years I have had it there have been no serious problems or breakdowns (I bought it with 105,000 miles on the clock and have done 40k since then). Very large for a hatchback, you'll be surprised by the boot space and back seat leg room compared with other cars in that category.
Cons: Low ride height gives great traction through the corners but the front bumper is always getting bashed over speed bumps and caught when parking. Starting to look outdated now and my basic version is a bit tacky in side due to excessive use of plastics. Looks like a modern day skoda interior!
Conclusion: Great, large and economic diesel I would recommend to anyone looking for a large hatchback.
My partner and I bought this car second hand from a private dealer after much consideration and looking around at different cars in the same price range. We came to the conclusion that this was the best one based upon brand reputation, interior, exterior look, miles per gallon and reliability.
We have had the car for over four years now, and we bought it when it was already two years old, so far it has lived up to its reputation as a reliable car and we have had no problems/break downs etc. We regulary have it serviced but this also has not highlighted any major repairs needed during the time.
Interior is comfortable and well designed. The boot is large for a car in this price range. Good looking car considering it is quite old now and newer ranges have replaced it. Feels solid and sturdy to drive to its rather low and wide positioning. Front bumper seems quite low to the ground, and regulary scuffs speed bumps whilst driving over them and will mount, and on occasion get stuck on curbs when parked up to close. Overall very good.
This was my first ever VW I bought this via an action when it was 18 months (June 2003), the car had 24,000 miles and FSH. It was around 16k new I paid around 10k for it, thought that was a good deal.
Drivability is very smooth and comfortable compared to my last car, Peugeot 106. Just was I need as I drive over 500 miles a week.
Fuel economy is great, I average around 60mpg if I am very sensible around 68mpg. It is still nippy enough with the ninety horses under the bonnet, when required. Insurance is reasonable enough and the tax is £120 per year
Safety is well thought out with front airbags, side airbags and side impact bars the car has 4 encap safety stars. The all disk breaking and abs means you can get it stop pretty quickly when needed. It also has a very low sump to it sticks to the round on the corners, although you have to be carefully with bumps and kerbs.
Service wise, I have no major problems as I fully serviced air oil and fuel religiously every 10k. After 160k apart from usual serviceable parts I have had to replace the air flow meter and the front wiper unit. It does however blow bulbs like they are going out of fashion.
I had a wee incident when I first got the car, my drive had incline where I parked the car. The handbrake uses the disk brake as opposed to drum brakes in the rear. Well after 15 minutes the brake disks cooled and the car came off the brakes and into the wall. From then on I always park it in gear with the handbrake on.
The interior is cool with the blue and red light dash, love the computer that gives trip miles speed mpg etc. Discovered I had a 6 cd boot loader a few weeks after purchase, nice surprise. My seat material is velour which attracts all manner of dirt and fluff though.
It is good spacious car plenty of room in the boot, the car and be quickly turned in a van by removing or folding down the back seats. I also fitted a tow bar and have pull caravans and trailers with no issues.
This was my first VW and after looking round several dealerships I spotted this car in black. Booked a test drive and bought the car the same day. I was very impressed with the interior & build quality, which was in a different league to the Corsa's and Clio's I owned before.
The performance isn't breathtaking but I wasn't expecting a 1.6 to be a rocket ship. The power available is fine for town and motorway driving. One main thing that didn't impress me was the handling. There is quite a lot of body roll so I wouldn't advise throwing the car into any corners at speed.
After a few months I eventually put on some nicer alloys and changed the clusters to euro smoked GTI lights, which in my opinion made a nice looking car even better. I remember people approaching me and regularly complimenting me on the car.
Running costs were reasonable but I found the road tax quite high (£170) due to the emissions. I was getting around 350 miles to a tank and servicing costs were reasonable too. The only major parts that needed replaced were the rear axel bushes, front brake pads and a new timing belt, which is all standard wear and tear.
Although the MK5 Golf does handle and drive better I would have no hesitation in recommending the MK4. There are plenty of nice used examples available so if you are considering one go for it.
I bought my Mark 4 1.9TDi about 4 months ago after passing my test. I called him Conor and I have to say, it was SUCH a buy. He's 2002 and in really good condition - I paid £2000 for him which I thought was a bargin.
The 1st thing I noticed about Conor after having learnt to drive in a Vauxhall Corsa is that looks are decieving. I thought when i bought him that he was a 'small car' but once I got used to him, and compared him to a friends 'Saxo' I realised that he was in fact, a medium sized car. I have had several roadtips and can comfortably fit 3 adults in the back seat.
As for luggage space, that is also amazing, easily fits two large suitcases in the boot and the back seats fold out to make it massive - i've had many an ikea trip and even managed to move house comfortably in him.
The handling and control is amazing, even on the motor way - he's so smooth and the difference between driving the golf and the corsa is amazing.
Reliabilty - no probelms so far, osassionally it takes a few seconds longer to start on cold mornings - not sure if this is because the engine is cold, or because he's heard me talking about getting a VW Beetle!
Fuel Economy - no complaints, i dont drive that much, the daily commute to and from work (about 2.5 miles) and the odd trip to the supermarket see's him drinking about £10 in diesel.
Overall, I think the golf is a good strong car, that feels safe and well put together which is impressive for a car that is 8 years old!
Image is also important - despite being built in 2002 - people are still impressed because simply, its a golf, and golfs are cool!