Bought Golf GLS M/T new Jan/2006. Had a great run for the first few years. It handles great, is a lot of fun to drive and looks good.
But, once it was out of warranty, the problems started. At about 44,000 miles/7 yrs., the master cylinder (brakes) needed to be replaced, and rotors. Internal engine oil leak - new transmission needed before 50,000 miles. Hood latch broke 2x. Strange front thumping noise that cannot be diagnosed began in 9th year.
Around year 6 the armrest latch broke. Around year 8 the glove compartment latch broke. And this is from a single driver - hardly ever passengers, no kids - so these things were hardly ever opened.
Loved the car but would not buy again.
materials appeared to be high-quality
-better internal materials
-fix the hood latch that doesn't hold up
-use better quality engine parts or offer a better warranty
I bought this car expecting good milage, in exchange for weak performance. Instead I got weak performance and 20mpg on the highway. Worst automatic I've yet encountered. Decent little car apart from the powertrain, though. Just keep off the highway and expect SUV-like gas bills.
Handling is great, especialy going downhill on twisty roads.
Better transmission, better fuel economy. No reason for a 2.0 4 to gobble fuel like a V-8
What a disappointment! The engine is pathetic and sad, and gets only half a mile per gallon more than the supercharged 3800 in my 2001 Buick Regal GS when driving the same commute. It's decent for surface streets, especialy if you live in a flat area, but woe betide the poor wretch who tries to accelerate going uphill. And I thought that, in exchange for any hope of good performance, I might at least get decent mileage. Ha! The handling is OK, and the interior space is all right, though the cloth seats seem to be made from the same material as lint brushes, never seen seats pick up so much hair and dust. In short, if you have a short commute in flat land, go ahead. Otherwise, avoid.
The new generation seems to hit most of my problems, adding a decent transmission (worst automatic I've yet driven) and better engine. Styling also left much to be desired, but not much you can do with a hatchback.
I have had my Golf for over a month now and am impressed. It is a very fun to drive, it handles extremely well, especially on curves. Its interior build quality is impressive. It has excellent paint and exterior finish. The car feels very solid, and tight at all speeds. The manual transmission takes time to get used to. It is very effortless, but very slick. My second choice was a Honda Civic. How did I decide? A naive young boy once asked, "Should I buy a Civic or a Golf?" And the response was simple...buy the Golf if you want to park it outside, buy the Civic if you're going to garage it. This is a unique car.
Peppy/well balanced engine if formated with a manual. Factory CD radio is very loud! It has great cargo room..I was able to fit my mountain bike in the hatch with the rear seats folded down. Excellent factory warranty. Relatively quiet when cruising at highway speeeds, considering RPM is tacked at 3,500 rpm at 70 MPH.
More efficent. For a I-4, 24 MPG city is relatively low when compared to similar vehicles.
I just bought my 2005 Volkswagen Golf GL two weeks ago and so far, so good. It's comfortable, even for a big guy, handles very well, and has tons of great features standard. You do pay a bit more than other hatchbacks on the road, but the quality of this versus the others is worth the extra money. Since I seldom carry even three passengers, the 2-door is fine. The trunk is as roomy as most small sedans. I would have liked the TDI but you can't get them in NY state. Maybe because it's new, but the engine revs higher at speed than most cars, and has curious shift points at times. For what you pay, I would like a little more power, better gas mileage, and a simple trip computer or something to set it apart.
The handling, the build quality, the appearance. The convenience of the hatch and keyless entry. Full-size spare. It just feels good to look at and drive.
The folding the rear seats are awkward, I can't put my seat back all the way when they are folded, and I want a flat cargo floor. Some controls take time to figure out (the wipers & stereo). It runs at high RPM, shifts feel odd at times. The gas mileage and/or horespower could be better for the price.