Can't wait to get another one. This model type IV is made right up to 2004, so there are tons of used ones soon to be available in the coming years. My next one will be a silver GLS 2.0 8v 2dr 5 speed leather, heated seats (Maine) and a full 32% window tint. Lowered 1.5" with custom wheels or Audi replicas.
Fit and finish (quality). Handling and fun to drive.
Bought this car used with 80K miles on it and I was amazed at how smooth the engine and clean it was (inside, outside, and engine bay). These TDI's are easier upgradable and I've added about 30HP and 100 ft-lbs of torque for under $500. My performance has greatly improved and my fuel economy is still 48 MPG mixed city/hwy. Most importantly, this car is amazingly reliable and is an easy car to maintain yourself. I love this car
Fuel economy, easily upgradable, tight design tolerances, easy to parallel- park, efficient use of space (interior/trunk), simplicity of diesel operation, low maintenance, incredible headlight output, dash gauges are bright, beautiful, and do not diminish the headlamp output.
Suspension goes soft after 30K miles, front suspension geometry is not optiminal, front skid plate should be stronger, front cup holders should be revised, 5th gear ratio should be taller to improve mileage on the top end, and side-view mirrors should be assymetrical to eliminate blind spots
In two years the car has been towed four times due to "electrical failure"...like a brake light goes out. AC failed twice, car looses power and stalls at 60 miles an hour. BUY THE WARRANTY....Have another car available to drive when they have to order parts...could be days for repair.Between repairs it is fun to drive....Electrical and fuel issues are many at 50k miles
Fun to drive
Electrical and fuel system are not very good. Actually, be prepared to have the car towed for little things and do not even try to replace something like a headlight. That takes a certified mechanic.
Maybe I got lucky, but bought my Golf for about $13k. 1-owner, highly maintained. It had 60500 kilometers on it (bought 2-yr warranty). Standard 5- sp, winter package, full climate control, ESP, powered sunroof, front/rear foglights, AM/FM/CD/Tape* (*removed radio/CD player and installed premium integrated system), bought deep housing to replace CD player-slot so I can drink coffee now and still play CD's I have driven from Bavaria to Sweden and all over Germany. Avg speed 190kph on autobahn, 100kph secondary roads and 50kph city. Avg 16km/L or about 37mpg hwy, 19-20km/L city Front wheel drive makes winter travel easy (snow/sleet/rain) Great visibility, sweet suspension/handling
Heated seats, heated mirrors, ROOM! (took 4-beer racks, 4 foot-lockers, 2 bags of armor, weapons, 2 shields, food, cameras and 1 passenger to Sweden SCA event) adjust headlights, powered sunroof, foglights front/rear, full climate control, power headlight spray, keyless entry/alarm, full-size spare
New radio option; The rear door speaker cutouts: poor placement for tweaters! Too shrill for the driver IMHO. Had custom install on back trunk panels. Limited room for sub, so went with KW sub under passenger seat. Poor radio/cd placement for coffee drinkers (maybe consolidate into 1 unit?)
Pros: 42 mpg mixed driving with automatic transmission. Good handling and ride for a small car. Roomy too, but backseat legroom is cramped. More cargo capacity than expected with the rear seats folded down. Good exterior finish. Cons: Unscheduled maintenance, all of which occured in the 3rd year of ownership, include: 3 glow plugs replaced, rear brakes (Rotors and pads), intake manifold clogged with diesel residue, intake manifold gasket replaced due to leak, said leak spraying diesal onto wiring harness which required replacement (These last three being caused by a "fuel quality issue" and not covered by the warranty, $1,200+ to fix.) and tires. Oil changes are expensive too.
Miles per gallon, handling on dry pavement and in the snow.
A warranty Volkswagen will stand behind. Improved reliability especially in the electrical and fuel systems. Poor fuel quality does not erode an intake manifold gasket and most diesels don't have problems with the intake until over twice the miles.
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