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I bought a new manual 1.6l Golf at the beginning of 2001, my first car. So far it has been a charm, a great drive with sufficient power (86kw) and very direct handling. This is combined with 'chunky' looks on the outside to make it a great car for getting around the country as well as city.
The 1.6l engine is quite efficient in the mid and high range but sometimes lacks when accelerating from a start, especially with the air conditioning on. This being said the gears are well placed and the stubby lever along with the small steering wheel makes you feel like a racing driver whilst being much more fuel efficient than the real thing!
I would recommend opting for the additional alloy wheels if you are going for looks, the standard hubcaps make it look like a bit of a grandma's car.
The brakes are more than adequate, and have brought me to a sudden stop on more than one occasion when I wasn't careful applying the pressure to the middle pedal.
The interior is solidly constucted, and I am glad of the fact I chose black carpet and trim, as stains do not show - it still looks as new. The comfortable seats grip you in all the right places, and the cd player is very comprehensive, but has swallowed burnt cds on a few occasions. The dealership has had to retrieve these. Legroom is great for a hatchback, I am 6'3'' and have always been able to fit comfortably in the back seats. The situation is the same in the boot, which can accomodate a couple of large suitcases and rucksacks without hassle. Twin front airbags are present as you would expect.
The only other problem I have had so far is that the front bumper has been dragged off twice after parking too close (nose to curb). The dealership admits this is a design fault and has replaced it on both occasions free of charge. This also brings me to highlight the great service I have recieved from the VW crew, they are always friendly and helpful.
In summary, this car is reliable, comfortable and good looking, with adequate power to make it a great runabout. The new model is out now which means a mk 4 such as mine can probably be had for a good price.
Informative review. Good service means a lot. Maureen
Connoisseur_Haggler1 08.05.2004 23:18
You can never fault much about a Golf can you?! Solid realiability through and through -its no wonder is won the What Car award again! I've seen the new Golf Mk 5 looks good. Out of interest what comes as standard on your Golf Mk4, is air-con, CD standard -or do VW charge extra for those? and how much does VW servicing cost -just to compare to other brands, my local VW dealer (Reg Vardy unfortunatley is very poor!) Very good and concise opinion! -CH
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