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TDI is the way to go by Coast-to-Coast VW TDI on 02/28/2011. Trim: 2001 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI, Owned more than 10 years.
Pros: Great mileage! 140k miles and counting, lifetime average for me is about 46 mpg. Get the 5 spd, not the auto trans if you want the most miles. Good power/torque. Styling better than most in this category, more unique than others on the road like Jettas or BMWs. 60/40 split rear seats make for great cargo capacity. TDI diesel engine, when regularly maintained, runs strong. Original battery to 7 yrs, original brakes beyond 10yrs/140k miles. No rust issues, but I wash it often, particularly after roads are treated in the winter. Original owner (10+ yrs) and baby her, good threads for support at fred's tdi web site. Not all VWs are lemons! You gotta take care of any car...
Cons: Not really cons, but some detail/additional info: Maintenance is a little high, recommend buying your own parts and doing your own work, or go to independent shops. Clutch kit at 140k miles was $800; timing belt is a $800 bill every 80k miles; AVOID the dealership for work. Suspension is a little soft, not really meant for hard driving/cornering but handles well - alignment needed at 100k miles, bushings wore out too. Mass Air Flow sensor will wear out around 60-80k miles (every time), but buy online for about $80 and install yourself instead of at a shop. Check Eng Light for 5+ yrs (flags glow plug pre-heater but drives fine). Reset but keeps returning. Headlight lenses scratch easy.
Overall review: Solid car for the price when maintained properly. Great styling, TDI mileage is hard to beat.
Review ID: #551204 Is this review offensive?
2001 VW Golf GLS TDI 5 speed - 12 yrs and going strong by dieselrunner from VA to CA on 02/20/2013. Trim: 2001 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI, Owned more than 10 years.
Pros: TDI - mileage (45 mpg lifetime average), range (best tank: 730 miles), styling, reliability. Good paint (no fading or peeling), no rust at all, original battery lasted 7+ yrs, I'm at 160k miles on original brakes. Towing capable (Curt hitch), comfortable commuter/fwy travel. All electrical still working.
Cons: Timing belt every 80k (expensive), check engine light came on in 2005 but nothing wrong, clutch at 130k (expensive). MAF sensor every 60-80k ($80, buy online, install self w/ screw driver). Headlight covers hazy after 6-7 yrs (plastic). Ball joints (front) began rattling around 120k miles, needed alignment around 110k.
Overall review: Owned 12+ yrs, original owner. Been/is a great economy car - 4 dr, 5 speed manual, fun to drive, great styling. Take care of it and it will last a long time. Buy parts online and have import shop install/do work. Avoid dealership if at all possible. Get TDI, better acceleration/performance/mileage than the 2.0L gas engine.
Review ID: #570049 Is this review offensive?
Don't buy VW! by A MSN Autos Consumer on 12/18/2002. Trim: 2001 Volkswagen Golf GLS 2.0, Owned 1 year.
Pros: Nicely equiped for the price you pay.
Cons: Piece of crap!!! I had my golf for 11/2 and already traded it in. I should've listened to the people who said the same thing before I bought it. Things started to falling apart after 6 months and took it in the shop for 4 times... There are reasons that this "German technology car" is cheaper than the others. In addition to the problem I had on my golf, their customer service sucks!!!
Overall review: Don't get tricked by their cute ad! You are buying problems!!!
Review ID: #331877 Is this review offensive?
performance with economy by Denny on 10/24/2002. Trim: 2001 Volkswagen Golf GL TDI, Owned 1 year.
Pros: great torque, fast & cruises very well at highway speeds. manual shift = 56 miles per gal!
Cons: very high maintenance cost...40k tiing belt + service = $800.00...ouch!
Overall review: I like it
Review ID: #320339 Is this review offensive?
Nice, solid, boring Golf. by Gunter on 06/03/2002. Trim: 2001 Volkswagen Golf GLS 1.8T, Owned 1 year.
Pros: Nice tight turbo engine has good power, despite the auto tranny. The fit and materials are nice to see and touch, inside and out. The stock stereo is decent ( I wish that it didn't have AVL though) but needs a CD player standard. The cargo allowance is quite nice too, with the back seats down you can cram a lot of things back there.
Cons: The Golf is very nice and has more power ( My Beetle had the stock 2.0 w/5-speed) but seriously lacks the style and flair of the Beetle. The european VW Polo has nice round headlights that would look fantastic on the Golf ( look at the VW UK site for photos.) The 4 speed adaptive transmission never seems to be able to make up it's mind how it wants to shift. NOTE TO VW: LEARN HOW TO MAKE & WHERE TO PLACE CUP HOLDERS ! Both the Beetle and Golf have have terrible cup holders in inconvenient places. In the Golf they block the stereo and the Beetle's were too shallow so that spills were guaranteed.
Overall review: The Golf needs the 1.8T for power, especially if you got the automatic. Too bad it is no longer offered starting this year (2002) I like my car, it is well put together and is far and above the competition in it's class. It can be fun to pull out and move ahead of larger cars that have v6 engines, from a stop light or on the freeway, and see the consternation on the other drivers faces. Too bad the styling is so bland. After I pay off one more year or so on this lease, I'm getting a Platinum gray Turbo S New Beetle.
Review ID: #279306 Is this review offensive?
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