Written on: 26/02/2010
Now I know i've not owned this Golf long, but I thought i'd put finger to keyboard in the hope that my witterings would assist anyone who is thinking of purchasing one of these cars.
I began hunting for a MK4 Golf as I wanted a car that was well built, with a good pedigree and was nippy yet practical.
I drove ten variants of the GTi and GT TDi in both petrol and diesel guise before taking the plunge and I have to say that the diesel, for me, is a great choice. Frugal when driven thoughtfully, yet a bit of a monster if the mood takes you. Careful driving will see low to mid 50's in the miles per gallon stakes. That's great!
Build quality appears to be good so far. A rattly centre console winds me up a bit, but i'll sort it soon i'm sure.
My fave mark of golf of all time. I actually prefer it to the newer versions. It still has that Golf "look and feel", but with refinements and performance too. Happy days.... plus it's in my budget.
My Golf is a 2002 model has done 85k and I bought privately after looking at some really lousy examples via local dealers. It's completely standard and has good history. They certainly hold their value well and I manged to save around a grand buying privately compared to dealer prices (most local dealers were only offering 3 months warranty anyway, so i'll risk it thanks very much)
Test drive plenty before you part with your sheckles and trawl the internet forums for an idea of common problems/faults. This site, http://uk-mkivs.net/ is a great starting place.
Performance is great, handling is good. The car seems quite heavy compared to others in it's class, but it feels like it was built to last.
The 130hp diesel is all about torque - bags of it, which will happily whisk you along at 70mph via the 6 speed box at 2000rpm. A serious mile muncher.
Seating and general comfort is superb. Driving position is very relaxing. The centre arm rest is a nice addition and the stereo is adequate (but I would imagine it'd soon be ripped out and replaced by our younger owners....) Seems weird to have a tape player again after all these years.... Maybe i'll dig out some of my old C90 mixes??
Boot space is good and once the rear seats are folded down you've got some serious lugging capability.
My car has had cruise control fitted by the previous owner. I don't do many long trips, but a recent jaunt from Norwich to Dover was an utter pleasure.... if a little boring letting the car do most of the work for you! I wish i'd brought a book to read (i'm joking of course)
The oil burner is a little lumpy when cold, but once a few miles are covered it becomes more refined. Cabin noise is low.. possibly thanks to the low revving nature of the engine.
I had the passenger side dip bulb go this week. They're certainly "fun" to replace. I read with horror about people removing the bumper to replace bulbs, but all I can say is make sure you have a friend with technical know-how and very small hands. My glamorous assistant took all of 5 mins to fit the replacement H7 bulb. Result!
Normal checks apply when buying one of these motors, i,e history present, previous accident damage, firm evidence of cambelt change etc etc. All in all it appears to be a car that will go on for years without too many complaints if serviced regularly and treated with a bit of respect.
Re-maps and performance upgrades are all widely available, but i'm more than happy with how the car performs as standard..... plus I value my licence
So, to summarise, if you're in the market for a sensibly priced, comfortable, reliable and well-built all rounder, then the GT TDi could be the one for you.
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