When I first bought my Golf it had 70k miles on it and I had every intention of driving it until 300k. Unfortunately at 148k that doesn't seem likely. For the first year i had it it went relatively alright, nothing too big. After that, it was all down hill. Almost all the knobs for the audio adjustments have broken off, the paint on the buttons and controls have all worn off, the ceiling lining it peeling off, the cloth padding on the doors is falling off, the hydraulic hood strut in the back has failed, not to mention the key fob wont unlock the trunk anymore, and that's just to name a few things. So far I've replaced the radiator, had several misfires, replaced 2 of the window clips (which have a history with failing resulting in your window falling off the track), the side mirror cover has fallen off on the highway twice, and not to mention it consumes oil like my gramps consumes whiskey. All in all, I've spent close to what I paid for it maintaining it, and that's only 80k miles in. Currently looking to sell it and get something more reliable.
I bought a 2003 vw golf GL 2.0L with only 35,000 miles on it. I love this car. Its not a sports car by all means, but even with just the 2.0L it goes like a bat outta hell. I was iffy on buying another VW because my sister has a 02' jetta 1.8t and to my knowledge of people whom have owned that engine. They hate it, always in & out the shop (mostly transmission problems and just everything goes wrong in it). Hints why I bought a 2.0L. LOVE IT There's always been VW in my family, dad had an old beetle, and a square back.
I love the Lights inside the car. The seats are really comfortable for me. Love love the candy white paint.
I would suggest more power. But it does need a bigger gas tank. Only has a 12.5gallon tank. Saves you money at the pump but would be nicer with a 16gallon for more mileage.
I love this car. In the past I owned a '95 Honda Accord and a '98 Jeep Cherokee. The Golf has been a lot more reliable than either of those. It has plenty of horsepower for me. I drive 64 miles round trip to and from work and it gets great gas mileage. I'll definitely go with another VW when it comes time to get a new car.
I love the styling of the car. The seats are really comfortable on long trips. Has plenty of luggage space for a small car. Very surprised how much actually fit in the hatch on my first trip with it.
Gas mileage is good, but needs a larger fuel tank. Radio reception isn't all that great.
I traded in my 1993 5-speed Golf for a used 2003 VW Golf 2-door hatchback, auto, 2.0L,silver, and WOW what a car. Its handling is great. It is very comfortable to drive. It makes city driving less of a stop and go nuisance as it is with a stick. The smooth transmission just glides all over the city. Its handling on the freeway is like flying an airplane. This car is easy to drive and park.
I like how it has lots of room, a nice interior, is easy to park, and has ZIP around the city.
VW must keep the interior cabin noise to a minimum. On a hard rough road / street with pot holes, be careful.
I've read all the reviews for the 2003 VW Golf GL on this site, and I can't tell if everyone is over the age of 60 or just emotionally tired, but this car puts me to sleep at the wheel, and often! The 120 HP engine is fast enough for me, thus the GL works, but if I had test driven the car longer, I would have realized the the suspension is really, really tame. The car wallows in turns, the back end (even with the short wheelbase)trembles mid corner, and the nose dives under the most gentle of braking. If I could choose a VW again, it'd cope with the reliability problems of the turbocharger and buy the GTi. Other than the performance issues, the standard kit is surprisingly nice for the price.
Standard kit (radio features, seats, cargo space)
Stiffer suspension. Not all Americans are unable to drive at any speed. The spring ratios are way to dumbed down in this car. My 86 Nissan / Datsun sentra wagon had more feel on the road...