Brought this car after a tree in my work carpark blew over crushing my Mondeo, was after a slightly smaller more economical car and German cars seem to have a good reputation for reliability, I have owned it for just over a year now.
The Golf its self is a very solid car, it feels safe and there's enough room in the front and back for shopping and kids, road noise is limited as this model has improved sound dampening over the last.
The ride its self is smooth although cornering the car tends to have alot of roll in the corners more so than say the Ford focus that my partner drives.
So far its been very reliable have only needed to replace the tyres due to wear and tear it passed its MOT no problems, it also does on average 43 mpg which isn't bad and road tax is cheap.
The only downside is the lack of power from the 1.4 engine it takes forever to get to 60 mph.
We bought this car after hiring one for a week and thinking it was great. We were going to buy a 1.6 diesel version but found it too slow to accelerate and cumbersome around town. After driving an audi 2.0 diesel I was a bit worried about motorway performance in a 1.4 petrol car but found this car to be ok even on the motorway - it has enough welly to get you out of trouble if you need to overtake etc. The boot space is ample for a pram/pushchair and the rear air con is great for the baby too. We toyed with getting (and waiting) for the bluemotion version but realised that actually you get similar specification for your money. Whilst it's not as economical as the bluemotion it is only a 1.4 so not that costly to run and you get great performance. The best thing about this car is that it doesn't feel like a 1.4.
Ah another car review from me... Yes I know I have covered a few in recent years on here but this is due to a bit of bad luck with cars in the past couple of years. My last car review was the Rover Streetwise, unfortunately this came to a squashed end... Literally! A drunk BMW driver decided to park on top of it, thankfully I was asleep in bed at the time. So since then we have had another 106 which eventually gave up on me and was replaced by a 206 (soon to be reviewed) which came to an icy end and now due to being fed up of spending money on having newish nice cars I decided to spend as little as possible on as decent car as possible... this was not as easy as I thought as my review will explain.
*** 1999 T-Reg Black VW Golf ***
After my bad luck with cars I decided I was going to set myself a limit of £1500 to spend on a second hand car and see what I could get. It was a Wednesday evening and totally fed up of not having a car I decided to pester my Grandad into driving me round a few car places as he knows more about them than me. Luckily he had been driving home from work and a black golf had caught his eye, so we drove to the place and had a little nose. My first impression of the car was that it was dirty and needed a good clean. The price was £1750. "its above my price range needs a clean!" were my exact words. Grandad ignored me and went to talk to the man in the sales hut. When they came out the sales man said he was willing to drop his price for the Golf to £1250 if I had it how it was... Dirty! I thought about this for a moment while grandad was checking the important things like the engine and I had a play with the stereo, it sounded pretty good and after all saving £500 just for the sake of taking it for a £50 thorough valet didn't seem so bad after all. So the deal was done, I paid a deposit and arranged to pick the car up on Saturday so they had a couple of days to carry out all the safety checks and oil, water etc.
Saturday morning arrived and I was slightly excited that I was about to be back on the road again. I picked up the car and this is where the fun, adventures, oil problems, laughs and road trips began...
*** The Car Details ***
My Volkswagen Golf is a 5 Door, T Reg first registered in 1999 and cost me £1250 in January 2010. It has a 1.4l engine, which is just the right size for me and living in Birmingham with rush hour traffic. It has central locking with a key but not remote. Electric windows, power steering and heated electric mirrors, very handy in the winter.
The car looks good. It is quite chunky for a small car, yet at the same time it is neat and very easy to park.
*** Insurance ***
Insurance for this car is higher than I expected to be honest. At 28 years old I am paying almost £600 a year for fully comprehensive insurance. I think this is partly due to one claim being on my policy, although it was a non fault claim this doesn't seem to make much difference.
*** Have a Look Inside ***
The inside of the Golf is rather nice... or rather was nice until a certain small furry dog was allowed inside!
After going for its big valet on the day of purchase the inside of the car came up looking good.
The seats are all material and cream in colour, which looked nice until a trip to the park with Izzie, needless to say she has one seat that is hers now and it is covered with a thick blanket! The rear seat is a split seat to give easier access to the boot area. In the back part of the middle seat there is a pull down arm rest which also opens up into a secret little compartment, ideal for keeping dog leads and treats personally, but it is a decent size for things such as puzzle books, pens and small toys if you have children.
The boot area of the car is a lot larger than I thought it would be, I do car boots on a regular basis at the moment and I can fit absolutely loads in the boot. I have also been camping with this car and again managed to get all of the camping equipment and various gadgets in the boot with no problems.
The spare tyre is located in the boot area underneath the carpet which pulls up easy. The spare tyre is a regular tyre, not one of those 'temporary X-amount of miles' ones which you are restricted to travelling at 50mph maximum and must have changed at first opportunity!
The car has no sunroof, which is fine with me as my last one didn't work and it leaked!
It has electric front and back windows and there is a child lock for the back ones that can be activated from the controls on the drivers door. The driver front window is 'one touch' which means to open it all the way you only need to give the switch a firm press down and the window goes all the way down itself.
There is no CD player, I have the factory fitted radio cassette, old school! It is good though, the signal sometimes disappears as I drive through the city centre but only slightly. The radio has 6 programmes to save radio stations. I'm not too bothered by not having a CD player as most of my music is on my ipod and I invested in the ipod to radio connector instead and this works fine.
The dashboard is the usual combination of speedometer, mileage clock, rev counter and petrol gauge. I also have the joy of seeing the oil light flash at me on a regular basis as I seem to have an oil leak that no one can find. It was suggested to me that because the car is old and not been looked after too well in the past that the engine might be burning excessive oil due to wear and tear, but I'm not a car mechanic so I have no idea how accurate this is. I just need the car to last me until the end of October this year!
Other accessories inside the car are cup holders in the centre of the dashboard above the stereo, they are neat and tidy and push away out of sight when not in use. There is a cigarette lighter which is ideal for charging my phone and ipod. The glove box I found to be quite small, but it does have a couple of little shelves in it which i find to be very useful when I want to keep things separate.
There are front driver and passenger airbags, so nice and safe.
The back doors have child locks which can be turned off or on.
The car has an adjustable steering column which is really easy to adjust, you simply pull the leaver at the side of the steering wheel down, move the wheel to your ideal position and side the lever back in place.
Above the rear view mirror I discovered there is a mini sun visor which has turned out to be fantastic when the sun is at that awkward position where you cant block it with a regular sun visor and end up driving with you hand up to block it!
*** Driving ***
I find driving this car to be smooth and I feel very safe and like I'm always in control. It handles the road well at all speeds and most conditions I have experienced so far, although I did find in the snow the car is actually quite low to the ground and had a tendency to scrape along the ridge of snow created in the middle of the road, I was slightly paranoid the icy snow was going to pull something off the bottom of the car, but thankfully it didn't!
Driving in the snow was actually less stressful than I thought and this says a lot as since a previous rather serious accident in the snow I was very nervous about driving in snow and tried to avoid it however one day it snowed while I was at work and I had no choice but to face my fear, to my relief the car handled well and I felt safe driving it.
The car provides a smooth ride at both city street speeds and the higher speeds of the motorway. I feel safe driving this car on the motorway!
Petrol consumption isn't too bad, I find that if I put £25 a week in this will get me to work and back all week, this is 14 miles each way and also a couple of random trips just around the local area.
*** Overall ***
Overall, despite my car being an oilaholic, I do love this car and I will be very sad to part with it next month. Since I've owned it I've done around 20,000 miles and so far (touch wood) I've had no major problems other than having to keep a constant eye on the oil level.
I like that the car looks quite chunky for a smaller car and I feel very safe and protected while I am driving it.
Overall I would recommend a Golf, just check the engine properly if you get an older one like mine just in case the mechanic was correct in his theory about it burning oil.
Thanks for reading!
I bought my 1.4s Golf 6 years ago now. At the time of purchase, the car was 3 years old. Approaching the big ten - zero, this car looks and drives ever bit as well as it did when I got it. My main reasons for buying it was that it is a group 3 insurance, so surprisingly cheap to insure! The cabin offers ample space for 5 adults and the boots is by no means small. The build quality is an classic example of VW, you just can't compare it to a Ford, Citroen or Vauxhall. I have covered 75,000 miles, and in that time I have had no major repairs. Expect normal wear and tear like tyres, brake pads and maybe a back box for the exhaust. I would recommend changing the oil every 4,000 miles to keep the engine running as it should do. With regular servicing (oil changes) these engines are good for 200,000 without any problems at all. If you purchase a vehicle second hand (obviously you won't be buying a MK4 new!) check the service manual and see whan the cambelt was changed last. If in doubt, get it changed!! I can't over emphasise this point. As a broken belts will be a major and expensive repair. A good clean example will last you many years if maintained correctly.