The Volkswagen Golf has to be one of the world's favourite cars. In Ireland it has been among the top-selling vehicles for years. Next time you're walking down a road start counting how many Golfs you see, you'll notice that there are still even a lot of the MkIV's floating around, and that's what we're looking at today. The Mk IV Golf.
I had one of these vehicles until it came to an early demise when a stag jumped into it while I was driving the Letterkenny-Gaoth Dobhair road back in 2008. The stag, which survived the incident without any major injury, pretty much wrote off my much-loved Golf and sadly since then I haven't gone back. I moved onto a 2004 1.8i Passat, which turned out to be the bane of my life - something I'll talk about the next time I do a second hand review of the Passat.
There are so many positives about this car. Firstly in my opinion the MkIV was one of the most stylish. It wasn't too curvaceous and it oozed a certain type of style. I had the 1.4 petrol and I found it to be extremely fuel efficient, in fact I'll go as far as to say that it was the most fuel efficient car I ever owned - that doesn't say too much about the car considering I have gone for some pretty big and thirsty vehicles in the past, like the Volvo S80, the BMW 5 series E39 and even a Nissan Prairie - which was fond of the old petrol.
For what it was the car was comfortable and even though I had the three-door version there was still sufficient room for adults in the back. Boot-space was fine in it and of course the fact that it was a hatchback was handy for odd-shaped items.
In terms of handling, I really liked it. There are reasons why the Golf is so loved, and handling is one of them.
I have encountered some faults with the Volkswagen Golf, the main one being that it wasn't a stag deterrent, but actual problems include;
Early owners of the MkIV have complained of brake and anti-lock brake problems. According to forums and various websites the reasons for these problems could be due to an electrical fault in the ABS control unit. Other reasons for the brakes having problems is apparently down to a pipe cracking and leaking which meant that the driver needed to apply more pressure on the brakes to stop the car.
Owners have also been known to complain about general electrical issues with the car like the central locking, electric windows and other electrical items failing.
I found that the Golf I had was a little bit oil thirsty, but this was something I looked into every few weeks and I was happy to live with this particular issue.
The CBG.ie verdict
Personally I am a fan of this vehicle. As always I can't recommend highly enough that if you are considering a second-hand car, especially one of this age, you should ask a qualified mechanic to give the vehicle a once over. Even if it costs you a few quid to get a mechanic to this it may end-up saving you thousands.