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Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008) Buying Guide

Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)
Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)Volkswagen Golf (2004-2008)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

The car that bridges mainstream and premium, VW's evergreen Golf is a cracker in Mk5 form. Some earlier editions of the Golf proved fragile, but this marked a return to form for VW - although complete reliability is still not assured. However, the Golf is great to drive, spacious and comfortable, while it's got a rock-solid image too. But the Golf is also a relatively costly car compared with its rivals, so expect to pay for the privilege of owning one.

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Key Dates 
2/04The fifth-generation Golf goes on sale.
1/05The GTi reaches showrooms.
1/06The 247bhp R32 joins the range.
6/05A high-roofed Golf arrives, called Golf Plus.
6/06The 138bhp 1.4TSi replaces the 2.0 GT.
6/07The Golf estate is launched and a 170bhp edition of the 1.4TSi engine appears.
8/08The sixth-generation Golf is unveiled.
  • Check the stereo and climate control work properly, as they can prove temperamental.
  • Get the engine up to temperature then leave the car idling to see if the radiator's electric fan cuts in; it sometimes doesn't.
  • The rear light lenses can fill up with condensation, as their seals can fail, allowing water in.
  • The door seals can fail, allowing rainwater to get into the cabin, rotting the carpet.
  • On turbodiesels the turbocharger's oil seals can fail; repairs are very costly.
  • Air conditioning compressors and condensors can fail on the Golf GTi.
  • The FSi engine likes high-octane fuel; using 95-octane petrol can lead to running and starting problems.

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