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2003 volkswagen golf 4th gen my02 se review



I was considering buy a second hand Volkswagen Golf, and I have a few questions.

The one i am looking at is a 2001 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 4th Gen GLE Manual.

It has the 2.0L engine, abs brakes, airbags, bells, whistles, you name it.

The list price is 10,500 and apparently has a 3 year warranty, so it seems like a pretty good deal.

I'll primarily be financing the car, so will need a loan, my bank (st george) can offer me a 10.99% pa personal loan, and that is secured by the value of the car, Is this an alright deal? know any better ones?

The golf itself, anyone got a mk 4 and care to share its pro's con's etc?

How well do these go with kms on them? Its got 144k on the clock, and i'd like to have it for the next 5 years, which would add 20k to it each year. Are repairs/servicing ludicrously expensive?

Check the warranty that comes with it. Who backs it? What's in? What's out? Can you only claim when Jupiter and Pluto are in alignment?

Also, if you have a mortgage, bung the cost on it, making sure you increase your repayments to have the extra debt and interest paid off in three years.

Personally though, I wouldn't be buying anything Euro that was that old (seven or eight years old is when I'd want to be selling, not buying, a Golf). This is about the age that things start to go wrong, and Euros will tend to cost more to fix. Also, go and buy a copy of the Dog and Lemon guide to see what things typically go wrong. They're not very fond of VWs though.

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I've been looking all day now, and i've found a couple of nice models with low (sub 80k) kms on the clock, most are 2003 2.0L MY03 ones, unfortunately only black ones seem to have been made this year, but i reckon one for around 13.5k and rock up with a briefcase full of cash and offer them 12 i should be laughing.

Nope, steer clear. Mum has one of those and although its a great little car, and much more solid (in terms of the way they feel/drive) than anything from japan it has had a few reliability issues, and to be honest the 2.0L is frikin gutless, smooth, but gutless (I think, off the top of my head it's an 8 valve set up).

If you insist on the MK4, make sure you read up on them. Check for smooth revving (siting still in neutral), when driving any sign of hesitation in power delivery, don't bother, Make sure all you central locking works properly, and consistently and check for heavy signs of wear around door handles and the like.

Also, not sure what the go is where you are, but I would work on striking up a decent relationship with your local volkspower equal.

MK5, well, I own one so can list a hell of a lot of known faults with them. Thankfully as far as I am aware none of them are detrimental, (un-like say the butterfly valves that came loose in certain mazdas), so get it well checked, make sure it's been well loved and you should be fine. Check for things like doors lining up, particularly on SA models (everything with four doors excluding the R32).

One thing worth noting is that the over all build quality/fir and finish is not as good as the MK4, my mums is getting on in age and K'ms now and it rattle free (that's right, not a single rattle in a nine odd year old car with well over 150k on it).

In terms of why VW, well they have a lot more character/personality than the equal jap cars (which are pretty much all very plasticy and boring or ricey) and FWIW, I had a hell of a lot more trouble with my Japanese built 2003 astina than I have with my German built 2007 GTI.

I had a mk III Golf 99' model, I'm still in love with it. even though it broke my heart and took my wallet! Lots of electric window issues.

2.0 litre engine was gutsy enough. When my Mazda 3 is paid off, i'll be getting a new Golf, i like the sound of the 1.4 engine with the Supercharger & Turbocharger!

I drove a friend's Golf once or twice and hated the damn thing due to the wipers and indicators being on opposite sides. It's not much help when you go to turn the corner and the wipers come on.

but the servicing and general maintenance cost has got me worried, a mate of dads had to get all 4 discs done (and pads) and it cost him about 4000 bucks!

I had a 2000 model beetle (same platform as Mk4 Golf) and discs and pads weren't that expensive (they quoted about $2000) but i agree - parts and labour were ridiculously overpriced and the mechanics were incompetent.

Mk6 Golf has just come out - have a look for bargain Mk 5 if you have your heart set on a Golf

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I know your heart is set on a golf - but think outside the square. I did and ended up with a 2007 Focus TDCi demo for a LOT less than the Golf. I still think Golfs are super cute. but am very happy with Spot.

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You're right - you'll only get an entry level Mk5 for that.

Commonwealth Bank have secured loan @ 9.8% compared to your St George example.

I agree with samuelowens comments and as asphotos says, have a look at a Suzuki Swift S pack that is still under warranty - great car. I think the manual version was only $20k drive away so a 2 year old version should be in your price range.

Edit: seeing some 2007 models for around $14k negotiable

President (and only member) of the Hockey Puck and Mighty Mouse Appreciation Society