Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: very spacious
Cons: 4 door cargreat car. love it
Pros: the get up and go
Cons: where the cup holders are
Advice: don't ever sell it, if you don't have to...I have an injury and have to switch to automatic.Handles great. Good get up and go when you have to get into traffic. Handles any types of weather...except ice. Great gas, about 23 mpg (reg). Not a beauty to look at, but power, it has lots! I bought my husband the 2004 VW GLS...........He loves his car, and they finally got it right on where the cup holders should be...down next to the emergency brake. Yea! but they dont make an all wheel drive golf...damn! ENJOY THE GREAT RIDE FROM THIS GREAT CAR!
Pros: Everything - handling, room, features, snow-handling
Cons: Manufacturing defect - corrected quickly under warranty.
Advice: same for any vehicle - choose a dealership whose service dept has good reputationI decided to buy this car the minute I finished my test drive. I commute 200 miles per day (mostly highway of course) and I absolutely love it. It drives like it's on a rail, gets more than twice the mileage, and has room! I am a 6'6' ex college lineman and I have less leg room in a DeVille. VW just makes cars for tall people. The only reason that this car does not get a perfect rating is the small problem I had: a problem with the cooling system that was fixed on warranty. The dealership (CitiWest in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is the best. Get this car!!!
Pros: My favorite feature is the diesel engine and the fuel mileage it achievs.
Cons: So far, the only thing i don't like is the comfort level of the drivers seat, but it is an economy car.
Advice: My best advice to a potential buyer is to not wait around to make the purchase as it may not be there when you make up your mind. The TDI's are hard to find and well worth the money.When I first drove a VW diesel 20 years ago, I thought 'this is a real dog'. A friend recently purchased one and raved about it and let me drive his. He showed me his mileage record and it was over the listed 49 MPG. I knew he was not the typical 'old foggie' type driver and I was sold. I found a new TDI at a local dealer and took it for a test drive up the nearest hill which was on interstate 215 in Henderson Nevada. The hill is a 5 to 7 % uphill for about 4 miles. The TDI peformed as well as my full size F250 diesel pickup truck did, accellerating quickly up to the 65MPH speedlimit. Later that day I drove it home. Now, 2 months later, I have almost 4000 miles on it and a hugh grin when i fill it up and check the mileage. the first tank was only 40 MPG, but considering it is new and not broken in, that will and has improved. The best I've gotten so far is 53.3 MPG.
Pros: driver oriented design (i.e. placement of instruments, visibility)
Cons: The seats, while comfortable, could use a bit more side bolstering.
Advice: Test drive it! If you buy, consider the monsoon stereo upgrade.I test drove several hatchbacks in this class, but none really compared. The Golf was immediately comfortable to drive, there was nothing 'to get used to' in the handling or performance, it was very responsive. It's obviously not a sports car, but the acceleration is excellent for the type of city driving i do, with lots of torque available in the lowest 2 gears where you need it most to pull out into traffic. If you are a performance buff, consider the GTI. The clutch is smooth without feeling mushy, and the gearshift is easy to work but feels nice and solid. The European positioning of the reverse gear seems a little odd at first but is easy to adjust to. The automatic version (which i didn't consider, i hate automatics) has an adaptive type transmission which adjusts itself to the driver's habits over a period of time, shifting earlier or later depending on how you tend to drive. The steering wheel has both tilt and telescopic adjustments. Golfs come standard with a long list of features which are options on other cars, including power everything, auto up/down and 'pinch protection' on the windows, heated mirrors, keyless entry, alarm, ignition killswitch, every type of airbag known to man, CD/cassette, ABS, good cold AC, and more i'm probably forgetting. The key is integrated into the remote, folding into the side of it when not in use. Cost to insure was lower than any other model i considered, by a large factor. Cargo room is nothing short of astounding, especially with rear seats folded down. There is a nifty device on 2 door models that moves the front seats out of the way when needed, making it much easier to get into the back seats than usual, and doesn't require repositioning the seat when returned to normal. I've had several people riding in the backseats, and while it wouldn't work on long trips, it's comfortable for shorter ones, and the tall guy said it was suprisingly roomy back there. The vehicle is well designed and built, instruments and controls are well placed and intuitive to use, the doors and hatch have a comforting heavy solidity to them, visibility is good with blind spots minimized and a rear wiper/washer, interior materials are classy, understated, high quality. The glovebox has a shelf to hold the binder style owner's manual. The little things like that add up to a luxurious feel not found in other cars in this class. Previous complaints about cupholders blocking stereo controls have been addressed, my cupholders are conviently located in the console area. I have the monsoon stereo upgrade and i really like it, the sound is full, rich, and clear. All in all, this is a great little solid car, fun to drive, practical, stylish, and sophisticated.
Pros: The turbo (TDI) diesel engine... very zippy
Cons: 14.5 gallon fuel tank. Imagine if it were only a bit bigger... you could travel 1000 miles on a tank instead of 750
Advice: Don't drive off the lot expecting it to be anything like a vehicle with a gasoline engine. It's very different.The 2003 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI is the best car I've ever owned. It performs well on all types of road and road conditions, it's comfortable and most of all, it's fun. Volkswagen offers all sorts of different features that other manufacturers haven't even thought of such as the ability to open all four windows with just the turn of your key... trust me, it's VERY handy on sweltering hot days: you can open the windows before even stepping inside the car. The Golf TDI is unlike any car on the road. You won't find anything like it!
Pros: seat warmer
Advice: don't buy one, poor manufacturing and customer serviceI had the car for 2 days and it failed. The factory forgot to install a clip on the linkage to the transmission so i was unable to drive it. I was stranded, VW did nothing to help me get home is all they did was get the car to the shop and left me 40 miles from my home to find my own way home. I will never buy a VW again ever, if you are going to buy buy something that is reliable like a Toyota of Honda.