VW Golf 2.0 Comfortline tested: Not everything that glitters is gold

The VW Golf is optically and technically attractive than ever. But as so often at VW also the Fair apparent expectations that are not always met in everyday operation wakes. The show 100,000 kilometers in 18 months.

30.12.2000 Thomas Fischer

The look of achievers: bright eyes, shiny appearance, stylish appearance. What impresses people, makes an impact in the auto company.

So that the VW Golf arrives no wonder dazzling. The strained concept of bestseller is here really once installed: 2.1 million copies of the fourth generation Golf were sold worldwide since its launch in autumn 1997, in Germany alone 830 000. This vote is like a seal of approval valuable than a fresh TÜV seal. So many buyers can not be wrong. Or?

Stephan Wolff from Aachen has "often regretted the purchase. It keeps the quality of the golf IV for "more illusion than reality." He is not alone. Image studies of Auto Motor und Sport VW show a severe decline in entries under the headings "high Zuverlässigkeit` and" value for money ".

This need not be surprising. Less and less hold new VW models in terms of longevity and unproblematic what the customers since Beetle times by a Volkswagen (, runs and runs and runs ") expected. Miserable endurance test balances for Sharan (Bulletin 19/98) and Passat (Bulletin 24/99) prove this.

Reason enough IV to subject the Gulf a long-term test. Finally, the long-term test of the Golf III was the VR6 disaster.

The positives first: The balance for the Golf IV 2.0 is a lot better than the six years earlier tested predecessor. The sobering: The new Golf is ranked Buffs Index of Auto Motor und Sport second to last place in the compact class - just a place higher than the VR6.

But first things first. In the beginning was sweetness and light. The fresh impression of the long-term test car, which anrollte on 29 March 1999, the first entry on the boarding pass describes: "Nice car." The blue as the Mediterranean Sea on a summer dazzling pearl effect paint (760 Mark surcharge), which like jewels in a showcase issued behind clear glass headlights look, the generating of custom work in the body shop tight body gaps and the attention to detail betrays perceived quality in the interior make the golf on the Grabbeltisch the compact class appear as jewelry.

The impression he makes 18 months, 100,000 kilometers later still. Except for a few dirty marks on the bright upholstery and some signs of wear in the form of scratches on the plastic planks of the tailgate inner panel of the Golf looks almost as new as the day - no comparison in any case for Audi A3 (endurance test report in issue 26/98), in peeling the soft paint of the door trim and einstaubte the dashboard unappetizing.

Also driving with the Golf is still a virtue. The soft suspension can indeed seem a bit vague to front-wheel drive with snow tires or load, but filters out uneven floors away effectively. The power steering is so smooth and precise that can be easily and accurately conduct the Gulf - it was when parking or chase up winding roads.

The seats of the Comfortline version offer enough lateral support and are firmly padded. From the editorial staff were partly as too hard, some just right perceived as - but all were in agreement about the fact that you can cover in them very long daily stages relaxed. A guarantor is also the seat position can be adjusted almost any body type perfectly because of the adjustable steering wheel height and depth.

However, rear passengers traveling in the Gulf only second class. Due to the short wheelbase of the leg room is tight; and who wants to install child seats, seat belt buckles must show fumble underneath, so narrow is the rear bench.

A moral advantage of the best-selling VW is his classless image. In this car, everyone can be seen everywhere. A golf seems out of place anywhere: neither at Aldi before the golf course.

So beautiful, so good. However poor you may not be given the proud prices to be able to afford a golf. And soaring expectations in terms of long-term quality and reliability you should save. After all is certainly not gold in the Gulf.

For a brand like VW, which so much is decorated with the label Premium, it's a shame that obviously the best-seller of the house the demands of endurance tests was no match, it is always the same deficiencies are, which VW driver transversely have to deal with all classes: squeaky seats, body rattling, broken windows, rubbelnde brakes, unreliable electrical system and transmission damage.

All this as standard at a price of extra class: ordered duration test car, which accounted for 33,300 marks on the base price. Today, even 47 914 Mark would be due for the same car with ESP is now standard, many other extras but were significantly increased in price.

Particularly expensive is what is our bestsellers: four doors (1760 dollars), climate control (2,768 dollars), radio Gamma sound package (2,356 dollars), electric sunroof (1,486 dollars). Much of that was shown in continuous test mode, you can give: in the sound system hardly a really better sound, the seat heater plugged (in winter package for 694 dollars) speaks itself at the highest level so sluggish like an awakening from hibernation marmots, and the rain sensor (269 dollars) for the windscreen wipers react insensitive.

The result in fog or drizzle wet: Wipe impossible. Really recommended is the Climatronic that keeps the interior in summer and winter at the desired temperature. However, the fan tends to be loud hum strong, and the control panel is located too deeply in the cockpit.

In any case, the functionality in many places left to be desired. Although the blue instrument lighting effect effects one but tired in the long eyes. The right outside mirror is too small. The headlights are nice, but light stained the pavement, and the bulb can be changed only in the workshop. The clicking of the central locking system is so loud that it can therefore wake up the half-neighborhood.

Also annoying are the crackling on the radio when starting the engine, cracking the front axle at full turn, the quake that captures the Golf body every time a door opening falls into the hinge and the shaking of the engine at idle, which the workshop was almost enough to never.

In general, the 115-PSBenziner, to choose only four percent of the TDI-oriented golf buyers, no revelation. Two liters of displacement can especially expect more pulling power. But much more unpleasant is the drone, which is on the highway beyond 130 km / h as the traveling companion on board.

Once the machine was running on not only the Gulf had to be towed. Cause: a corroded starter cable - damage which is reminiscent of the seventies.

Also, the gas mileage is not up to date with an average of 9.4 liters per 100 kilometers. VW is still zweiventilige engine, especially one because it is inexpensive to produce and has a very low emission of pollutants.

The most annoying items in the balance sheet duration test are the chairs Bleiber, six unscheduled workshop visits and 17 days, as of time. They go primarily to the account of transmission damage, allegedly caused by metal residues from production.

There are also recurring defects such as chatter center armrest, windscreen wiper problems (wave), water inlet on the doors due to faulty gaskets and brake vibration during deceleration from high speeds, which could not be eliminated despite repeated exchange of pads and discs. Because most repairs were settled by warranty or goodwill, the cost is kept well within limits as tire wear and oil consumption.

Unlimited disappointing but that remains now for the third time Sharan and Passat Variant poor performance of a new Volkswagen in Auto Motor und Sport-Endurance test. VW should finally be put into action the mantra recited quality assurances.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • Comfortable and wear-resistant seats
  • comfortable suspension
  • Less tire wear
  • Very good handling
  • Optically very good impression of quality
  • Clear Body
  • Durable interior
  • High defect susceptibility
  • With increasing mileage declining body stiffness
  • Grumpy engine idling and schütteligem
  • high consumption
  • Vibrations under braking at high speed
  • Little space in the rear seats
  • Hake Lige circuit