My Golf at the VW dealer on the date of purchase

For 9 years, I've wanted a Golf. Ever since I was 18 years old, and saw the first photos of the A3 Golf, I wanted one. When VW released the TDI, I knew I had to have one of these in a Golf. In 1999, when VW finally released the Golf in the TDI format, I began to figure out how to afford one. Finally, on February 12, 2001, I drove off in a 2001 Golf GLS TDI with the Luxury Package (Power sunroof and Alloy wheels) and the Cold weather package (heated seats and winshield washer nozzles.)

This car is just plain wonderful. The engine is smooth, quiet, fast, and clean. The interior is very cushy. The car has plenty of power at low RPMs. The engine barely does any work on the interstate. At this time, I only have 300 miles on the car, so I haven't been able to check mileage yet. All I can say is... WOW!! This car rocks!!

The 1.9 Liter TDI Engine

The TDI is incredibly refined. My Rabbit's diesel engine is an antique compared to this thing. The TDI is easy to start, doesn't smoke at all, and has plenty of power. It's not nearly as simple as the 1.6L engine is, but I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

Me in my Golf, leaving the dealership after purchasing the car

Hopefully my Golf will last as long as the Rabbit. With the reliability built into the diesel engine, I'm confident that it will. I don't think I'm going to work on it much, though, as the engine is very, very complex.

The Golf dashboard at night (gotta love it!)

As I take more pictures of the Golf, I will post them here. I will also report some of my fuel mileage figures, as well as praise and problems. If you have any Questions/Comments, email me

Updated 4/6/01 :

The Golf has been getting betweeb 42-45 MPG and now has 3500 Miles on it. The car has been absolutely wonderful.

I took a couple of pictures of the engine without the engine cover. Here's one of them :

Updated 7/16/02 :

The Golf now has nearly 38,000 miles on it. I've taken 4 trips in it to the west coast. For mileage, it has been getting 46-48 in the summertime, and 42-44 in the wintertime. On trips, it gets between 48-50. I have been very happy with it. Problems have been minor. Under warranty, I had the hose from the turbo to the intercooler replaced, the front bumper repainted, the right rear wheel bearing replaced, and a seal replaced. Also, I had to have some minor body work done to the passenger side when I hit some wood that had been dropped all over the road. Other than that, I've had no complaints.

Here's a picture from the Oregon Coast.

Updated 4/10/04:

The Golf now has 75,000 miles on it. It's been very nice overall, but there have been a few issues. One issue was the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) decided to quit at about 50K miles. Volkswagen was kind enough to change it out for me, even though I was out of warranty. About 6 months after they replaced it, they announced that due to an abnormally high number of failures, they were replacing MAF's up to 70k miles.

I've also had one window regulator fail. Volkswagen replaced all of them in the car for free. There is also a warranty on the window regulators for 7 years due to an abnormally high number of failures.

Other than that, I've had no complaints. The car starts and goes like day one. I am starting to see a little smoke during acceleration though, which could be attributed to buildup in the CCV. I may have to pull the air intake and take care of it.

I did replace the timing belt at the recommended interval (60K miles). The dealer charged me $500 for it. The next time I need to have it changed, I may do it myself.

Updated 6/18/08:

The golf now has 166,500 miles on it (or thereabouts.) The car still looks and drives well. People think it still looks new. The paint is starting to dull up front where it's been brutalized by the Colorado winters. The interior plastics are peeling, though the parts are cheap at the dealer. Both front door lock modules are faulty. I'm going to attempt to repair them. We'll see how that goes. I've also picked up a slight grind in 1st and 3rd gear that only happens once in a great while. I'm not sure what that's about. It's on its second timing belt, which was replaced at 140K miles.

Mileage on the car has been betweek 44-48mpg lately. I'm really liking driving it in economic times where gas is over $4 a gallon and diesel is higher. A 700 mile range on 15 gallons is nice.

Updated 1/7/10:

The Golf is sitting at 196K miles now. I've got a lifter beginning to make some noise, the brakes are starting to grind, the heater core developed a leak, and I've got some clear coat starting to peel on the passenger rear door. I guess it's time to give it a little TLC since the Rabbit is currently in storage after relocating to Florida. I ordered a cam and lifters, brakes, and I'll attempt to repair the paint. I have a new heater core, but I've heard they are a complete pain in the ass to replace. The dash has to come out. I'm not looking forward to that. One thing at a time, I suppose.

At this mileage, I'm still getting 46mpg. Not too shabby, all things considered.

Updated 11/7/10:

The Golf has 210K miles on it. The lifters and cam were returned. I had the lifters checked, and they looked fine. I'll reorder and replace them when I do the timing belt. Also, it wasn't the heater core that was leaking (thank the maker!). One of the small hoses at the firewall had split and developed a leak. After finding the car with no coolant in it, I replaced the hose, and the smell of antifreeze vanished. Yay!

However, there has been another problem. The clutch has been chattering for awhile (several months). It wasn't engaging very smoothly. Well, on Friday, there was a pop. It still shifts, but the engaging point fell to the floor. The Dual Mass Flywheel is done. Parts are on their way. I don't have a ride to work, so I'm going to have to drive the Golf. I'm really nervous about that. The parts will be here in a few days, and I should be able to get them installed right away. My fingers are crossed that everything goes well.

Updated 9/27/14:

The Golf is over 13 years old now. It has been the best car I've ever had. So far, it has 307K miles on it. That's right... 307K. It is beginning to show its age, and items on the car are starting to wear out. The headliner has started to pull away and the cloth on the door inserts is doing the same. The clear coat has begun to peel. The car has developed a slight pull to the drivers side, and the heater core leaks. Otherwise, it starts and runs great!

I suspect the pull is caused by a stuck caliper. Mileage has suffered as well. I'm getting around 41-42 mpg on my commute, which is low for this car. I'll probably have to replace the rear calipers, as those are the ones that stick.

When I can financially afford to, I think it's time to replace the Golf with a new one. This has been a great car, but it's starting to get to be time for a refresh. And what will I be replacing it with, do you ask? Another Golf TDI, of course!

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