2001 Volkswagen Golf Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Fun to drive, comfortable ride, high-quality interior materials, solid construction, lots of standard goodies, practical hatchback design.
  • Some controls hard to decipher, handling could be crisper, CD player should be standard.
List Price Estimate
$846 - $1,935

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A fun-to-drive hatchback with plenty of features for the price you pay.

Vehicle overview

We've always liked the Golf, a fun-to-drive, chunky-but-spunky hatchback that has been a bestseller in Europe for more than two decades. Here in the States, the fourth-generation Golf does battle against a range of compacts, many of them with less sporting credentials.

The Golf is available as a base two-door GL, an uplevel four-door GLS, or a sporty two-door GTI in either GLS or GLX trim. There are three powertrains for the GL and GLS. The standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine is good for 115 horsepower, while an optional, fuel-sipping, 1.9-liter Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine is available. You can also opt for the turbocharged 1.8T motor, which increases horsepower to 150, produces lots of low-end torque across a wide rev range, and can now be had with an optional sports suspension.

The GTI comes standard with the 1.8T turbo engine and new sports suspension in GLS trim, or you can get the GLX version which serves up a smooth 2.8-liter narrow-angle V6 with a wide torque band. Horsepower is rated 174 at 5,800 rpm, while torque is 181 foot-pounds at 3,200 revs. This year the GLX gets a new 16-inch wheel design and standard multi-function steering wheel controls for the radio and cruise control system (steering wheel controls are optional on GTI models in GLS trim). New 17-inch alloy wheels are optional on all GTI models.

All Golfs are available with a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission (except the GTI VR6, which is five-speed only). Silky and playful, both the turbo engine and the VR6 make for high-spirited driving. Ownership piece of mind comes from VW's two-year/24,000-mile limited warranty with free scheduled maintenance for the same period.

The Golf offers a long list of standard features, including side-impact airbags, four-wheel-disc ABS, 15-inch wheels and tires, clear halogen headlamps, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, sliding sun-visor extenders, a brake-wear indicator, an anti-theft alarm, remote keyless entry, a split-folding rear seat with three headrests and an optional, dealer-installed, in-dash CD player. An eight-speaker Monsoon sound system is also available. New standard features for 2001 include an improved cupholder design, a trunk entrapment button and head protection airbags.

Consumers will be impressed by Golf's structural rigidity, which not only provides a solid, quiet body with precise gaps between the doors and body panels, but an overall feel of quality. It all rides on front MacPherson struts and a rear independent torsion-beam axle. Separate shock and coil-spring mounts reduce intrusion into the luggage compartment and cut road noise.

Inside, the instrument panel is stylish yet functional, and the dark wood trim in the GLX model blends well with the high-quality fit and finish of the soft-textured surfaces. Like the New Beetle, gauges are backlit in blue with vibrant red pointers. Volkswagen wanted this combination to be marque-specific, noting that they are the same colors used by international air traffic on airfields at night. Seats are firm and supportive, and the back seat folds down for expanded cargo-carrying capacity.

Behind the wheel of the Golf, whether swayed by value or performance, drivers will be racing to start their engines.

2001 Highlights

All Golf models get clear side marker lights, trunk entrapment buttons, new cupholders and head protection airbags. Golf GL and GLS get higher-quality interior fabrics and the GTI benefits from a new 16-inch wheel design, optional 17-inch wheels, and multi-function steering wheel controls.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Volkswagen Golf.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best car I've ever owned!
rhett,09/17/2007
I have had many Toyotas. I have had many VWs but this is the best car I've ever owned! It has never laid down, cranks everytime. It has 248,000 miles on original engine, clutch, even brake pads with 50% left. It has never had an alignment and drives as straight as an arrow. This TDI gets 47-50 miles to the gallon avg for the life of the car. I have only used synthetic oil and rotate the tires every 5k. If you are thinking of buying one you should.
lots of miles, lots of fun
reclab1,06/03/2009
I purchased this car used in 2003 with approx. 28,000 miles on it and I just turned 218,450. I would have to say it has been a good experience overall. Most of the maint work has been done with a local VW independent garage and they really know their stuff. I usually get 29 to 33 MPG depending on the season. (Mi. resident) Most of my repair work has been related to front suspension because of Mi. bad winter roads. I still have the original clutch and exhaust system, and have used synthetic oil with oil changes between 6-10,000 miles. I never owned a car for this long, but I find it's a blast to drive. I'll be looking for a good deal on a 4door GTI for my next ride.
I love my little car!
Diesel Snob,02/16/2009
I love this little car! My brother talked me into a TDI (he has a Jetta). I get better mpg than my buddy's Prius, and a better looking car. Build quality is excellent. Attention to detail inside is unreal compared to US/Japan cars, like the tiny sun visor above the rear-view mirror. Only problems I've had: plastic window clips loosened up, had to replace MAF sensor when I upgraded the turbo, which I did in an afternoon on my own. Other than oil and tires, it just keeps chugging along. I love the heated seats, a must with a TDI in the winter. I drove from Indy to Virginia on one tank! I love the look on people's faces when I tell them about my 49mpg in town.
Buy A Warranty and have fun
Look Out,06/19/2005
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

Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
115 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
115 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 2001 Volkswagen Golf features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2001 Volkswagen Golf

Used 2001 Volkswagen Golf Overview

The Used 2001 Volkswagen Golf is offered in the following submodels: Golf Hatchback, Golf Diesel. Available styles include GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS 1.8T 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A), GLS 1.8T 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), GLS TDI 4dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 4A), GLS TDI 4dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), GL TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 4A), and GL TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Volkswagen Golf?

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Which used 2001 Volkswagen Golfs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2001 Volkswagen Golf for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2001 Volkswagen Golf.

Can't find a used 2001 Volkswagen Golfs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Golf for sale - 8 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $15,764.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 1 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,651.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Golf for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $10,220.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 5 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $13,238.

Should I lease or buy a 2001 Volkswagen Golf?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Golf lease specials