Volkswagen Golf Mk4 (1998 – 2004) Review

Volkswagen Golf Mk4 (1998 – 2004) At A Glance


+Comfortable ride, good quality interior, feels solid and durable, very cheap to run TDI diesels, strong image means it will always be sought after.

-Huge number of quality problems in direct contradiction to "Few things in life are as reliable as a Volkswagen" slogan, Ford Focus is better to drive.

Fourth generation Volkswagen Golf is by no means the best version, but it still has plenty going for it, including a comfortable and well-finished interior along with a strong image for durability. And with so many Volkswagen Golfs on the second hand market, you certainly won't have any problems finding the right car if you decide to buy one.

Despite Volkswagen having a renowned reputation for high quality and reliability, this Golf suffered from a huge number of problems over its lifetime. That doesn't make the Volkswagen Golf a bad car in itself, it just means you need to be aware of any potential problems when buying.

These aside, the Golf is a safe car with a quality feel, from the thud of the doors to the durability of the switches and buttons in the cabin. It certainly feels like a good quality car from inside. On the move it's comfortable, but lacks the sparkle of other hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus.

But what the Golf does have is brand image. While the Focus may be a better car, the perception of the Volkswagen brand and the Golf in particular, is so strong that it will always be sought after, so selling one presents no problems. There's a wide range of engines too from the sporty 1.8T to the economical TDI diesels, offering something for everyone.

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VW Golf V5 2001 Road Test

Ask Honest John

Rear door doesn't unlock - is this an MoT failure?

"Only three doors unlock/open with either the key or fob on my five-door Volkswagen Golf Mk4. The rear offside door does not respond and cannot be opened from the outside etc. Is this an MoT failure? "
This will be considered a major fault and result in an MoT failure. The driver and front passenger doors must open from the inside and outside using the relevant control. The passenger doors at the rear must also open from the outside.
Answered by Dan Powell

Is the Volkswagen Golf VR6 a future classic?

"I just bought myself a 2001 Volkswagen Golf VR6. It's mechanically sound, but the bodywork needs some TLC. Is it a future classic?"
Sounds like a good buy. Great cars - and definitely a modern classic. Make sure you leave us an owner's review ( and tell us about your experiences with your new ride.
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a Volkswagen Golf Mk4 (1998 – 2004) cost?