Overall the 1999 VW golf is a fantastic car. It has the handling of a go-kart, fuel economy like a moped, and acceleration like a puma. The TDI engine is exceptional with its milage and reliability. In burning biodiesel, I expect to reach 300,000 miles without any major issues, if the body lasts that long (salty Maine air, roads).
Phenomenal fuel economy, peppy handling, and it oozes torque. The diesel engine does NOT handle like the diesels we all remember Americans making in the 70's.
The center console is easily replaced with one with cup holders and an armrest, which makes it far more comfortable. The cup holder built into the dash is less than ideal. A sixth gear for highway travel would allow one to drive at 75+ and still break 50 mpg.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.