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The Volkswagen Golf IV



  • jtaimjtaim Posts: 34
    Hey, let's not make gross generalizatiosn which aren't true. The GLS comes currently comes with 2 engines. The TDI feels a LOT faster than the 2.0L. But you have to drive it to understand, and don't make the mistake of shifting AFTER 4000rpm. The TDI has little power after 4K. The TDI has a LOT of torque!
  • Nedzel...

    I have not driven the GLX. Im afraid if I do I may not want the GLS. But I was trying to keep my cost bay below $20K. If I were to go with the GLX I would be inclined to go to the Passat. Im kind of confused at the moment since I have a chance to get a 99 Trooper pretty loaded for $21.5K wich is a great deal. I have had a Trooper before and I enjoyed it, very reliable. Hope I can make my mind up soon!
  • Does anyone know any websites or publications that explain how to increase overall performance of the 2.0 4cyl GTI. I would like to get a 20 to 30 hp increase in particular. Thanks
  • I have heard this rumor for a long time. Where is the proof? I may have missed it, but I have seen no VW announcement that the Golf was going to Brazil. Without finding a definitive article, I am going to believe this is an Internet rumor.
  • jtaimjtaim Posts: 34
    VW has built a new, super modern factory in Brazil. That's no rumor. They have a cool website, linkable frow Just go to the world section. There is a tour of the plant in English, but it's hard to find.

    As to whether Golfs for the US will come from there, the people at, who have ALL the up-to-date VW/Audi info and scoops, have apparently received confirmation that Golfs for the US will begin coming from Brazil, starting in Spring 2000.

    Just because it's from Brazil doesn't mean it won't be well made. Recent VWs from Mexico score higher in quality than the ones from Germany. The plant in Brazil is as modern as any Golf plant in Germany.
    And there's no reason to expect Brazilian and Mexican workers to be as dedicated as German workers. Of course, there will probably be some initial teething problems, as with any new production run, especially at a brand new factory.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    You won't easily (read cheaply) get 20-30 hp out of the 2.0. You can start with a chip, filter, and exhaust. But that won't get you 20-30 hp. After that, things get expensive fast.

  • I have a '00 Golf GLS auto. I was concerned it would be under powered but wanted auto (live in city) and a 4-door hatchback. After 3500 miles I am happy with it. It does fine in the city, on expressways and was great on a 1200 mi roundtrip. Very quiet till 80mph. Very solid feel at speed. While it doesn't feel overpowered I also haven't felt the need for more power.
    Feels better to me than any other car in its size/price range.
    Drivce it, you'll like. If not, its not the car for you.
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    The GLS is perfectly acceptable for what it is, which is an economy car. For an economy car, it has above average handling, excellent fit and finish, great versatility (Being a boxy hatch), etc, etc. It's not supposed to be fast, that's not it's mission. It's 0-60 times (I've seen anywhere from 9.7-10.4 for the manual) aren't out of line for what it is. It might be .5 or 1.0 seconds off the pace for entry level cars, but that's not really significant, especially when you consider most people that buy them don't really care. That said, I'd never buy one in a million years, because I like performance. Most of the cars I've owned had a lesser engined base model (Civic Si, MR2 SC and Turbo, Mirage Turbo, etc) that I never even considered because it's a completely different beast. Really, it's a good thing all those GLS's are out there, because, in theory at least, it keeps the high performance version of the car cheaper, since they share many of the same parts.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787

    I have to disagree. The 2.0 Golf is significantly slower than the competition. Let's compare 0-60 times:

    Golf 2.0 10.4sec
    Dodge Neon 8.8
    Ford Focus ZTS 9.6
    Honda Civic DX hatch 8.7

    The base Dodge Neon is not exactly a performance car, but it is 1.5 seconds faster 0-60. 0-60 in about 9 seconds is acceptable. 10+ simply isn't acceptable (at least for me).

  • wukwukwukwuk Posts: 17
    I have a hard time believing those specs. Must be coming from someone who can't shift for beans! I'm sure I could punch out well under 10 secs with that baby! Maybe even hit 9.1!
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Sorry, but that comes from a variety of sources, including Edmunds, Car & Driver, and Autoweek. The reason is that the Golf is HEAVY and the 2.0 isn't very powerful.

    Let's compare weight/hp rations:

    Golf: 2820 lbs, 24.5 lbs/hp
    Neon: 2567 lbs, 19.45 lbs/hp
    Focus: 2564 lbs, 19.72 lbs/hp
    Civic: 2388 lbs 22.53 lbs/hp

    The Golf is very heavy and the 2.0 is weak for its displacement.

    The Golf is a much nicer car than any of the other three, but you pay for the stiff structure, and quiet, refined cabin.

    '00 GTI GLX
  • wukwukwukwuk Posts: 17
    You're numbers don't lie Jared, and true, the Golf is quite refined for its class- almost too refined for it's (originally) intended market! I'm just a biased Golf guy who loves this car (and a little cocky about my quick shifting skills!) : ) When I drive it, it doesn't "feel" like it can only do a 10.4 0-60.
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    You missed the point. Yes, for people that buy a vehicle based on it's acceleration, .8 to 1.5 seconds 0-60 is significant, but for people that want an inexpensive daily driver, it just plain isnt. Most of the people that buy 2.0 Golf's don't care about 0-60 figures, or 1/4 mile times, or skidpad ratings, etc. If they do *really* care about that stuff, then really, they're buying the wrong car. 90% of the population wouldnt even be able to tell a difference in acceleration between 10.4 and 9.6, seat of the pants wise. The Golf 2.0 is perfectly acceptable for what it is.
  • wukwukwukwuk Posts: 17
    I didn't miss your point, I just agreed with you!
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Re: Brazilian production of the Golf. Standard VW practice seems to be that new platforms (like the A4 Golf) are produced in Germany for the first couple of years and when they've got the production line process running well, they transfer the production to Brazil, Mexico, etc.

    As others have said, I don't see any reason to be concerned about VW production quality when the cars are made outside Germany.

  • Just wanted to say that I was looking at buying a Passat but the look and price of the Golf caught my eye. I've had it for ~7 months and go for
    my second oil change tomorrow. The service has been great.. but of course I only used it for the 5k service..and don't expect to need it for anything but the regular checkups.

    I think the power is fine. I come from a 4cyl automatic Camry wagon, so the Golf is much better.

    I actually like not having the overdrive.. and like the sound. I like having the RPM's up there so I don't need to really downshift. It's a German car and feels like one. Don't know why I've never looked at a VW before but now trying to talk my wife into a Passat wagon.
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    From what I've heard they're going to keep producing the GTI in Germany, so if you really want a Golf that's produced in Germany, go for that one.
  • I have an automatic 99 GTI GLS and travel 130 miles a day. Mixture of highway and Boston traffic. The car is not fast but is good enough, revs are fine about 3000 at 70, I average 27 mpg, however the gear change is horrid, I have been back to dealer & VW many times. They have reprogrammed the 2000 software which is better but still horrid. The problem is the 'fuzzy logic' it gets is all wrong. They refuse to do any more so I am asking for my money back. It really is that bad.
  • I've had my Golf since July, have driven it just over 8,500 miles (I'm on the road ALOT), and still love it. I'm getting about 28 MPG on the average, w/ a good mix of city / highway driving per tank. Absolutely NO complaints, with the exception the it's so hard to keep clean... I told myself I'd never buy another black car, but they look so good when it's clean and shiny! It's got a good firm ride, it's fun to drive, and it's solid. I feel safe behind the wheel.

    Just my 2 cents worth!
  • Hi,

    Can anyone comment on towing with a TDI? I need to occasionally haul stuff to the dump or a couple of dirt bikes to the trails. Max towing weight = 1k. Speed would generally be back roads stuff an occasional highway at 65 max.

    I don't want to jeopardize the longevity or reliability of the drive train but I hate to get another pickup just for an occasional need.

    Any real world TDI Towing experience out there?

    Thanks a lot!!!

    Workingman (aka Marc)
  • My very first car was a 1978 Rabbit, made in Wolfsburg (shortly before VW opened the ill-fated Pennsylvania plant). It was a wonderfully fun car that had a succession of problems and scared me away from VWs for 2-0 years. My current car is a 1998 Golf--the last year of the 3rd generation, made in Mexico. It is wonderful, solid as a rock. There is nothing magic about "made in Germany" and nothing to be feared about a VW made in Mexico or Brazil. VW seems to have gotten serious about quality in recent years, and it shows.
  • I have a '99 GTI & '98 Passat built in Germany, the quality is much worse than my '97 Jetta which was built in Mexico. I have to say that the quality in nothing like it was 10 yeas ago. These are the last of many VW's I have purchase over the years. I think it will be a Saab next time.
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    You think your QC problems will IMPROVE with a Saab?? Guess again!

    My '99 GTI has been nearly perfect thusfar, sorry to hear you're having problems with your cars.

  • VW quality has gotten WORSE? I can't honestly see how anyone can think that. I had a '92 Jetta, and now am a very satisfied owner of a '99 Golf GLS, and can't be more impressed about how much better this car is put together than any past VW I've known. It rides better, handles better, and is smooth inside and out. If you want your fair share of problems, go ahead and buy that Saab. A lady I work with bought a new Saab, and two days later, it wouldn't start! The dealer told her it was the spark plugs. I didn't know car manufacturers put used spark plugs on cars these days~
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    dbakalar -- all gas engines use spark plugs, even VWs. How do you think the fuel-air mixture in your cylinders is ignited, if not with spark plugs? Diesel engines, of course, use different technology. Jared
  • don't you think i realize that they all have spark plugs? my POINT is that this woman bought a saab, and two days later, couldn't start the thing. THAT'S not my idea of what quality product is supposed to be. what did you THINK i was trying to say?
  • I am in no doubt that VW has improved the fit & finish of the car over the years. When I think of quality, I think of a car that starts in the morning and spends more time with me than the dealer. For the record I have purchased VW's since '85 since then all my cars except 2 have been VW's. I had a '96 Saab 900se, it never went wrong in 50,000 miles. I love VW's, but the last 2 have had so many problems I don't think I could ever buy one again. The Passat made 1,500 before it had it first trip on a flatbed. The GTI is just falling apart, the window fell out at 4,000, by 15,000 it uses a quart of oil every 600 miles. I have a long list of other problems. So please tell me why I should continue to buy them!
  • I guess if I'd experienced the problems that you have, I'd feel the same way. I've not had any problem w/ any of my VWs, and can't say enough about how much I love my car. I've known several people w/ Saabs, and most of them have had frequent trips to the mechanic. To each his own, as all of these forums allow us to express. Good luck w/ your current car problems. With any luck, they'll be remedied, and you can enjoy your current VW for many miles to come. I know I will.
  • I would like to ask for help from current VW owners; how has it been maintaining your car?

    I'm in the market for a car which would primarily be taken on road trips--the 600 mile weekend, or several thousand mile week--and not be used for much else. I live in a smallish town, and it's easy to get around with other means (although, from what I hear about the Golf and fun, I may not want to use other means). As such, two primary concerns are affordable (under 20k) comfort and reliability; comfort attracted me to the Golf, and now I'm wondering about reliability. I really don't mind paying a moderate premium of money and time for the better car, but how much does it take to keep the car running well--or would you suggest looking at another car? Fords and Subaru's just don't seem as appealing to take for a long drive; but nothing's less appealing than being stuck on the side of the road.

    The Golf seems like a car I could fall in love with. But I don't want to fall in love to lose half my estate in a messy divorce. :)
  • I'm the person having problems with my car, It would seem that I have just been unlucky, most of the info posted seems to be about good not bad. I think you could do much worse than a GTI. The car is a blast to drive, it drives better than most. Running costs are tiny, all cost are free for the fist 2years/24,000miles including service. I drive 130 miles per day to work, the longest journey so far for the car is 350 miles, it is very comfortable. On that trip I averaged 33 mpg. On a normal day 27mpg is normal but this includes an hour of heavy traffic. Please don't let me put you off buying one.
    The good news is that VW has finally agreed to let a District Manager take a look at the car after 2 months of asking.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    I've had my most recent VW Golf for 4 years and 40,000 miles with no serious problems. It is a great car for road trips because it has plenty of storage, as well as comfortable seats and good passenger room. I've probably made at least a dozen 500-600 mile trips and I've never been stranded on the road or had any problems. Can you tell how much I love my car?

    .....enough said
  • I have had my 2000 Golf 2.0 GLS w/auto since 8/99. Its got 4800 miles and is up for its first oil change. My impressions of the car is mostly positive. In fact, I love this car.

    It is NOT fast, but then again, I did not buy this car for its speed. If I wanted to, I could keep up or out run most traffic on the road, if I just step on the accelerator hard enough. I sometimes fear my car is too slow so I step hard on the pedal only to realize I have gotten away from the rest of the traffic. Not bad for a car that can only do 10.9 sec from 0-60.

    One concern I do have is a tapping noise that comes from the engine on cold starts. The tapping stops usually after 1-2 minutes, then it won't be noticeable until the next "cold" start. I have read this is a common "problem" with Golfs and that dealers do not "deal" with it. Has anyone else noticed this problem?

    I got my car with the alignment off and had to take it back to the dealer for realignment only to find that it is still off alignment. I read on an Internet post that VW dealers are famous for botching alignments. I will probably take it to a service station to have it done right.

    Oh, and my car had a linking coolant which was patched by the dealer. Now everything is a-okay.

    All and all, I still love the car. It's almost scary how much attachment I have to it.
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    That was probably MY post about lousy dealer alignments.. I've had about 5 VW dealership alignments going back to the early '80s, they've NEVER done it right - not once, and this is not one lame dealer but several.

    Don't go to a tire shop or dealership for alignment, go to a frame and ALIGNMENT shop - a specialist - they will do the job right the first time and are generally not as expensive as a dealership... good luck.

  • tjr688tjr688 Posts: 1
    the 600 mile weekend, or
    several thousand mile week

    With miles like that you might want to look into a Golf TDI, I have one and think it is a great car to travel in. Quite a few TDI owners get better than 50 mpg on road trips and it is a very comfortable ride. It might also help with the reliability as diesel engines tend to last longer that gas engines.
  • evita2evita2 Posts: 1
    My 1996 Golf GL is my
    first car, but
    experiences with it's
    maintenance needs have
    caused me to question
    if I want to take
    chanced of having same
    problems in a newer and
    more expensive model.
    I've put in over 60k
    miles. Repairs covered
    under warranty include
    battery being changed
    2x, gears being
    replaced, padding in
    driver seat changed 2x
    and it's broken again.
    expenses out of my
    pocket for new set of
    tires before 32k (which
    for those all season
    tires may be normal),
    1st minor brake job at
    25k miles, 2nd brake
    job just over 50K (
    including rotors,
    shoes, pads, etc.) 3rd
    brake job @ 60k miles
    because my caliphers
    went bad and wore out
    everything I got fixed
    back at 50k miles).
    I've spent over $1k on
    brakes in the last 5
    months alone. However
    I should note I don't
    have abs brakes. Would
    I have gone longer than
    every 25k miles if I
    did ? Is ABS more
    expensive to repair and
    how often do you need
    to check them? If I
    can get some reliable
    advice about what to
    expect for repairs on
    newer models that'll
    help. I'm really, really just hoping that I'll experience this JUST with this car. Thanks to anyone!
  • We will pick up our 2000 Golf GLS silver/black with automatic next Saturday.

    My current car is a 1988 VW Jetta which I bought in 1990. My first VW was a 1985 Golf which I bought new.

    I obviously think well of small VW's. They combine space efficiency, drivability and safety like nothing else on the road. There's a reason the Golf is the best selling car in Europe and the third best selling car of all time. (Beetle #1, Toyota Corolla #2 and Model T #4.)

    Not only do I buy their cars, I buy their stock! (Which isn't doing so well despite record sales.)
  • can anyone comment on the fact that VW still has an ongoing problem with radios from the '98 Golfs (and probably Jettas) that has not been resolved since November?

    i'm sending in my second complaint letter to VW about their lack of customer service.

    please email me at [email protected]
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    What problem? Can you elaborate?

    Also check out, they have ALL the recent TSBs and circulars online going back a few years. Very handy!

  • I don't really understand why in Europe there is available the 4motion with 205hp and 4x4 Golf IV and in the states we get the old fashion VR6. They should do something about this country. Cars are not environment machine guys. No food , no power. Emissions killed the joy of driving.
  • Can anyone say if the Golf/GTIS are built
    in Germany, Mexico, or both? I understand
    the JEttas come from Mexico.
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    Jettas and New Beetles come from the Puebla, Mexico plant. Previous generation Golfs came from there too, but with the popularity of the Beetle, VW elected to bring US-bound Golfs/GTIs in from Wolfsburg.

    Now word is that Golf production is moving to Brazil, and there are reports of them already arriving in some places..

  • I'm seriously considering of getting a GTI GLX.

    I wonder how much the current owners paid for their cars?

    Any reply would be appreciated, I want to get a general sense of what's a fair price for the car.

    p.s. I live in the Tri-state area.

  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    I bought mine early - last April. I had to negotiate DOWN to MSRP. The cars are in tight supply now, but were REALLY tight back then.

    Some dealers have been reported to have 4-5 of 'em on the ground now, other places they're still very rare. Call around - at, you can do a dealer search based on miles from your zipcode. Make a list and start dialin'...

  • Kevinc... here is the original posting I had made on Nov 19, 1999. I have still not gotten a response from VW as to when the radio will be fixed (three whole months later).

    Known Golf radio problems (trouphaz) Fri 19 Nov '99 (01:01 PM)
    there is a huge backorder on replacements. My girlfriend's tape player just stopped working recently (she puts in a tape it says side A, then it switches to side B and then it says TAPE ERROR and pops the tape out). I took her car to VW to check this out and they said they have to change the radio and it might take a while because they have them on backorder. I asked if I could have the info on the radio to see if someone else has one in stock and he gave it to me. After checking with 3 or 4 dealers, one of them finally told me this is a known problem and there is a backorder for the entire US that may take weeks. I called VW service and they could offer no help or estimate as to how long it will take.
  • scomoscomo Posts: 39
    I'm looking at a Golf GL 5spd and I was wondering how $$$ everyone paid. It seems like a great little car! THanks...

    [email protected]
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    That's a bummer. If I were in your shoes, I'd try a little experiment: call a few other stealerships and ask the parts department if they have a radio in stock for your car - don't say why, just act like you want to buy one - and if not can they check with VWoA and let you know how long the wait will be. I would be less than shocked if you found one sitting in stock someplace, or a day or two away... worth a shot, that's a bummer to be held hostage so long!

  • I am interested in getting this car (with automatic). Anybody heard about it's performance? I would get the regular GLS but I hear a lot of negative responses about that engine with an automatic. I think that the automatic with the 1.8T should be a better combo overall. Would my thinking be true? Also, would the Golf have the Sportronic transmission seen in Audi 1.8T's? I can drive a stick but I dont like em...
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Parveenj: yes, the 1.8T is a much better choice than the 2.0, with or without automatics. The automatic will definately reduce performance and mileage however. Expect to lose 1-2 seconds 0-60. Should still be acceptable in the 1.8T. Personally, I would go with the 5 speed, but then I can't stand autos. No, it's not an automanual, and it's not the same transmission as in an Audi A4. The Audi A4 platform (and thus the VW Passat and Audi A6, all of which are built on the same basic platform) has a longitudinally oriented engine. The VW Golf (and Jetta and Audi TT) have the engine mounted transversely, thus requiring a different tranny. Jared
  • Apparently the auto tranny on the VW Golf / Jetta is pretty problematic too .... so getting a M/T will save you a grand and minimize on your visits back to the dealer : )

This discussion has been closed.