The car's not that pretty or that much fun to drive on a hot summer day compared to a BMW convertible, but it beats everything else as a daily driver/commuter. I've gotten 750+ miles off of a single 12-gallon tank with a manual transmission (62.5 mpg). When driving in the city for the full tank, I still get over 50 mpg. Since the car is a diesel with gobs of torque, you don't have to downshift that often on hills, even when loaded with gear. There is lots of room in the car, enough for three friends, a dog, and camping gear.
The diesel engine is the best, as is how easy it is to maintain the car. The engine bay is cramped, but it's a tiny car which is to be expected. However, it's easier to do the maintenance yourself and save several hundred bucks instead of going to a dealership. The car is a great bargain!
The car could do with a bit more power, but you'd sacrifice fuel economy so it's a good trade. If you want more power, there are a few modifications you can do to it. I prefer a chip modification because you're actually get more power and torque with better fuel economy if done correctly.
I love, love this car! It travels well, and provides great diesel mileage of course. I have had little problem with it. My only complaint is that it is designed so that a dealership has to do most of the basic maintenance.
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.