Other Volkswagen Golf (1997 - 2005) models:

VW Golf Hatchback 1997-

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In their own words

I purchased my Golf v5 in July 2016, I needed a cheap car to commute in and I wanted something sensible but also a bit different, not an easy brief to fulfil! After 4 years of driving a diesel I fancied a petrol engine and spotted the golf for sale on ebay! The golf fitted the bill due to being an obvious sensible choice, it was also well appointed being a 'Highline' model ( heated recaro leather interior, climate control etc) the bodywork was also very tidy for its age. The seller was keen to make a deal due to the impending delivery of a company car, after a test drive I made a cheeky offer of £575 due to a few niggly issues and she reluctantly accepted! The car drives as one would expect for a mk4 golf with a typical solid VW feel to the controls and an excellent ride quality for a smallish car, it feels very refined and grown up! One area i was slightly disappointed with is the handling, it is predictable and safe but quite wallowy, especially at the rear end; it is not really an enjoyable car to blast down a b road but it is fine for A roads and motorway cruising etc. The interest in this car for me is the bizarre engine, it is certainly a bit different in this department, I mean who apart from a German engineer would build a 'V5' format engine on purpose! ( it is a like a VR6 but with 5 cylinders and shares the same narrow angle V block and one cylinder head bolted on top!) It provides the car with a fantastic soundtrack somewhere between a broken R32 and an Audi Quattro, I actually prefer the sound to the Vr6 and the factory exhaust is very well judged with a nice balance of aural pleasure (stop laughing at the back!) and refinement. The engine also provides bags of low down torque, especially for a naturally aspirated petrol engine, and being the later AQN engine has a rev hungry nature. I felt the engine was a little flat in the mid range after the initial welly so out of curiosity I had a custom remap done, to my surprise it really transformed the car especially between 2.5 to 3.5k revs, well worth doing! MPG is pretty good for the engine size and age of the car, I am pretty sure it would be illegal to make an engine that kills as many polar bears as this nowadays! If i drive with relative restraint an easy 32-40 mpg on a mixed run is possible, drive it like you stole it and you will run out of tears as fast as you run out of petrol at £1.25+ per litre! Being a Golf the car is very easy to live with and well designed , the only niggle i have is that the plastics can start to peel on the doors and dashboard which can look a little unsightly! The car has been mostly reliable but it did need a replacement steering rack, apparently this is quite common on mk4s and is worth bearing in mind as it quite a costly repair for a cheap car (350-500 ish) Engine, gearbox and clutch have been spot on and only other issue has been Anti roll bar bushes which are quick and easy to change on these. Overall, I find the Golf V5 a charismatic and interesting banger, well suited to eccentric (or poor!) petrol heads, with sensible running costs and good reliability. If a weird petrol engine is not for you i can also recommend the 1.9tdi 130 version, in my opinion it is the best diesel engine available in any car around this age with an excellent fuel economy and performance combination!
  • How they rated it

  • Reliability: 3 out of 5 3.0
  • Meets Expectations: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Martin Miles recommends this car

About their car

  • Fuel type Petrol
  • When purchased July 2016
  • Condition when bought Used
  • Current Mileage 122,000 miles
  • Average MPG 33 mpg