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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This car has cost me ?1100 in total. That's including buying a new pioneer cd/mp3 player to go in it from halfrauds on the way up to collect it!

Pic here: Clicky

For that I have got an N reg, 1.9 TDi CL VW Golf (with new stereo!). It has 110k on the clock, brand new tyres all round. MOT etc etc, full service history.

- Hole in front bumper (bout an inch wide, not gonna bother with)
- Stone chip in windscreen (insurers will fix for me)
- Rust bubble on front driver side wheel arch
- 2 dent's in driver side of car, not that big at all, but noticeable.
- Couple of deep scratches
- Corroding wheels
- Cracked lower headlight covers

The above are ALL of it's bad points.

What I wanted to do is give it a little review though, so here we go:

When I first got in the car I noticed it was sluggish to actually get going in first gear, I have now got used to that, it's just different from a 1.8T. The car, for a 90bhp actually flies. I did a test with my mate who was driving my 1.8T back home with me while I was driving the 1.9 TDI. We lined them up at 70mph (it was 10am on an empty dual carriageway). I told him to floor it in fifth gear and I would do the same when I said 'go'. So 'go' and I floored it, so did he. It took him about 10 seconds to actually go one length in front of me (i.e. 1.8T boot in line with 1.9TDi bonnet).

The TDi I have noticed when you accelerate it goes nose up and boot down and off you go! There is no smoke, only a tiny puff my mate said when I floor it. Setting off from 3rd though was a different league, we both came off a roundabout we both know in third gear where there are two exits, him on the outside, he took off and was about 4 car lenghts in front in what seemed like about 30 secs. So obviously the 1.8T outperforms the car, but I was expecting 90bhp diesel vs 150bhp petrol to be a whole different ballgame, i.e the 150 way out in front, in reality, it wasn't.

Now the fun part. The car got me, last night, 290 miles. It is STILL above the half way mark, in fact one notch above the half way mark. That tank cost me ?45 to fill from the read area.

The 1.8T did 340 miles last night, I filled it up 10 miles after I started the journey costing ?43 from under a quarter of a tank. My mate then rang me on the way home saying we better top it up. Sure enough, we wouldn't have got back home on it. So, the 1.8T coped with about 320 miles on a tank.

Therefore, based solely on that, I'm going to be getting DOUBLE the 1.8T did for about ?3 extra per tank. I simply cannot believe that! Nor could my mate who is also a petrol head!

Inside is poor I think, standard Mk3 interior, to me just looks god damn awful. Outside, not too bad looking.

The car is costing me ?18, yes, ?18 per month to insure (?63 deposit). The 1.8T costs me ?54 per month to insure, with a heaftier deposit at the start too!

Do I like the car for its looks and stuff? No. Do I like the engine and how solid the car feels? Absolutely fantastic. Could not ask for more from the engine or the ride (though lots of bodyroll).Like I said, did 290 miles last night and never skipped a beat, did all of that without stopping the engine too. Got in it this morning, started it up, lovely, just starts and is ready for work.

Damn noisy beast though! Sounds like I am driving a large transit van!

Overall. Very impressed with the engine, not at all impressed with the interior. Oh, and who was it that said 96 CL's had 4 x EW's! Cus I have 4x manual window winders!!! Probaly the most upsetting thing about the whole care!

Once again people, I didnt buy this because of the looks or anything like that, just a simple stop gap car. My cred is going down the drain rapidly!

I however, would certainly reccomend it to anyone looking at a cheap second car. Cheap to insure, cheap to run, no one is gonna deliberatly key it and I can leave it anywhere (unlike the 1.8T which got keyed, attempted break in leaving the handle knackered and kids admiring my wheels a bit too much and nicking the valve caps). Or, to anyone, like in my position, first house or something they want to finance, it's a decent car for a grand.

Wouldnt reccomend it to anyone otherwise. Its the interior which is really niggling me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a jalopy at the mo, not gonna be after saturday though when the bloke picks up the 1.8T!

Jalopys....now I can see, they DO make sense!
 

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My cred is going down the drain rapidly!
What is this "cred" that you speak of ? [;)]

1. It's a Dub.

2. It's only a temporary stopgap on the route to something nicer

3. It's not a sheddy rice mobile or a nova/corsa/tigra or a fraud onion.

4. Stop bein' such a woman worrying about if we think your sad. You've done it for the right reason (house etc), so fair play to ya.

[:p] [:D]
 

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My cred is going down the drain rapidly!
What is this "cred" that you speak of ? [;)]

1. It's a Dub.

2. It's only a temporary stopgap on the route to something nicer

3. It's not a sheddy rice mobile or a nova/corsa/tigra or a fraud onion.

4. Stop bein' such a woman worrying about if we think your
sad. You've done it for the right reason (house etc), so fair
play to ya.

[:p] [:D]
...and 5. your sad!! lol[:p]
 

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My dad used to have a mk3 gti which i learnt to drive in for a bit - wasnt impressed, it wasnt fast (and i'd been driving a festa for most of my learning) at all, and the brakes were terrible , even when it had brand new pads and discs that had been bedded in (which is when i drove it). Mind you the mk4 brakes arent nothing special!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My dad used to have a mk3 gti which i learnt to drive in for a bit - wasnt impressed, it wasnt fast (and i'd been driving a festa for most of my learning) at all, and the brakes were terrible , even when it had brand new pads and discs that had been bedded in (which is when i drove it). Mind you the mk4 brakes arent nothing special!
Forgot I did this post!

The brakes I thought were terrible. Now though I have got used to it, just litterally need a heavier foot. The brakes are much more spongey, so you can actually brake better and more controlled if you play it right. Nothing wrong with them, just need to adjust to them, I don't have ABS I don't think so that could be an issue.

However, as this has cropped up again...

I'm actually quite liking the car for what it is now. Not a single problem, no coolant sensors letting me down, no misfiring, just starts up and you go. Non of this jolting around for a second as the MAF has decided to play up.

Got 513 miles out of the tank, which equates to 55mpg from what I put in and that was getting used to the car, now I'm driving it better, so should get more. Gearing is completely different in an older engine diesel for instance, so was doing a lot of gear changes to start with, now I'm used to it I'm not.

Decided the car is a keeper for sure. It's just far to cheap to run. ?43 of diesel at 99.9p got me those 513 miles with more to go, it was just hitting the red so I filled it up. Tyres are ?30 fitted, and not the real budget brand, the top of the ranges are about 50 quid. This is coming from paying ?110 a tyre that I was used to. Insurance 18 quid a month. Just serviced it for under ?25. It's just ridiculously cheap, so deffo will be keeping it until it dies unless I have no need for it, and knowing these older 1.9TDI engines, I shall be keeping it for a very long time yet. My mate has an Audi 1.9TDI on an L plate, 250k miles and still going strong, he never has a problem.

Don't care what it looks like now, it pulls like a train, never misses a beat and does it all for a fraction of the price. Obviously at some point I would get another car and this would be a jalopy to get me to work and back and do longer trips in.
 

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The TDi I have noticed when you accelerate it goes nose up and boot down and off you go
Nice to hear your car is obeying the laws of physics in regards to weight transfer [:p]

Jalopy motoring does have its appeals; the idea of driving a wide range
of old skool cars and not caring about what happens to them is quite
cool! I had a stunningly beautiful 92 Mercury Topaz for a few weeks in
Canda on loan from a friend...I watched him basically tear the front
bumper off with his own truck once while he was backing out of the
drive not paying attention. He just shrugged and carried on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The TDi I have noticed when you accelerate it goes nose up and boot down and off you go
Nice to hear your car is obeying the laws of physics in regards to weight transfer [:p]

Jalopy motoring does have its appeals; the idea of driving a wide range of old skool cars and not caring about what happens to them is quite cool! I had a stunningly beautiful 92 Mercury Topaz for a few weeks in Canda on loan from a friend...I watched him basically tear the front bumper off with his own truck once while he was backing out of the drive not paying attention. He just shrugged and carried on!
LOL. I was reading the paper the other day in there on my lunch break. This kid opened the car door into the passenger side rear door. I looked, and then carried on reading the paper. Couldn't care less! Didnt even bother going to see if they had left a scratch or a ding, it's got enough in it anyway. I've done my best to clean it up and its looking ok now, pretty shiny and paintwork is good bar the couple of bigger scratches it has in it.

Surprised myself about the car parking incident, it really does not bother you, whereas before I was looking for bigger spaces / end of car park.

Apart from the wheels now, its not looking too bad, pretty nice for what it is. Everyone should have a jalopy, you appriciate your car MUCH more when you get back into it. I'm loving the 1.8T when I get in it while I do still have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In fact, I was on the bay the other day just looking at other golf TDI's. One the same as mine, but an L reg with 134k on it went for ?490. That would have made an absolute bargain jalopy car for someone on here. Just look at my costings above.

Some people say it costs more to run two cars, but if your doing the miles, this will soon pay for itself. 1 because its literally so cheap to run and 2 because your not depriciating your 'better' vehicle as much.

Don't know what the standard diesel engine is like in these though. Mine was a pretty low mileage one though looking at some of the otherson the bay, have seen a few of the same model with over 200k on them now, and still fetching money, every listing says how reliable they are and I did actually do some research, its in the top 10 most reliable cars on warranty directs site. Funnily enough, the octavia is the most reliable car.
 

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That MK3 looks quite a good buy; my brother ran the same model(also N reg) for @7 years. From memory these were the good & and bad points:

++ Fuel economy; performance(much better than I expected); solid build(better than MKIV)

-- brakes(hopeless; when VW brakes were poor), handling(rolled alot even when new), very basic spec for a ?12K car.

For info; these were the spec changes on 94-96 MK3 CL TDIs..

April/May? 94 CL 90bhp TDI introduced with PAS, central locking, tinted glass..errr that's about it.

Dec 94 Driver's airbag standard

Oct 95 Colour coded bumpers standard

June 96 Electric windows(x 4) became standard.

Hence I assume your car was built between Oct 95 and May 96?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Delivery date was 08/01/96. So yes!

Did your brother find his reliable? 7 years is a good long ownership, so he was obviously happy with it. Know if it had many miles on it?

I mentioned the body roll in my review first thing, its very very noticeable. I could I suppose sort that out but then I aint gonna bother.
 

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Ha, bad brakes - thats just reminded me... When I first had the tuning
box on, I took it to the nearest dual carriageway, I had done 1
hard stop on the entire journey before reaching the end of the dual
carriageway, trying to stop from 100ish before the roundabout and I
thought that was the end of the car - mine was an abs model aswell,
that came with 256mm brakes and the larger master cylinder, utterly
useless from higher speeds.

The body roll thing, well, its a comfortable car - how often do you
cane it round corners? If as often as me, i.e never, you'll understand
why i'm 99% sure i'll be a VR6 owner this time tomorrow.
 

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I've been on the lookout for a cheap GL TDI for a little while now, nearly all the kit in a gti. I suppose you could call it a GTTDI of the Mk3 almost! Saying that, i don't think the 1.8T is that bad on fuel, driving swiftly on the motorways (read as 3.5-4k revs!) and it still returns 34mpg! I was told by a mate, that the older diesel were crap on economy when driving swiftly, as you basically have to rag it all the time. Graham, have you found this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Right, thought I would update this as I have now done just over 3k miles in it.

I'm on my fifth tank of fuel, yes fifth tank! I'm getting an average of 550 miles per tank ful.

As for the question above, I haven't found that it drops at all really and don't find the need to rag it either, its not a slow car at all. Its ceretainly not fast, but its fine for every day driving, can overtake fine etc. Its only 90bhp (I think) but it certainly feels a lot more. It literally pulls like a train. The only time it has dropped it recently when I have been doing short 6 mile trips a lot. Normally I get 300 miles out of it before the fiel gauge hits half way, its hit half way this morning, on 265, but I haven't done any longer trips in it, longest trip being about 20 miles. All the rest between 5 and 10 miles. Basically its just started warming up and the temp gauge moving when I have finished my journey, been working from home more.

As for the car itself. I really do urge anyone looking for a jalopy or just a standard car for a while to have a look into these.

In those 3k miles, I have had to do nothing to the car. Nothing has gone wrong, it has never skipped a beat. It idles at about 800rpm ALWAYS, never drops below that, you can do anything you like to it, rev the life out of it and it will just settle quick happily back to 800rpm and sit there until you move again. The 1.8T would have given me a drop a few times down to 400rpm and back up, guarenteed.

It has never missed a bit, never misfired, never while I have had my foot down had a flat spot or a lack of turbo. It just does exaclty what is stated on the tin! Pulls in all gears and thats it!

Starting it has never given me an issue, as soon as I hit the ignition its started. All petrol models of VW I have had (all being MK4 and bora variety) have had varying start up times. Either it starts within a second on cold and hesitates when warm or the other way around. This starts exactly the same in any given situation. Flick of the key, done, started.

There are absolutely NO rattles. Non of the dash is moving, everything is intact etc.

I have changed the oil, oil filter and air filter, did that myself in about an hour. It's not running any better as it had FSH anyway but thought I would do it. Cost me the grand sum of ?30 for the oil, filter and air filter! So that was ?30 for a service. Was going to do the fuel filter, but was ?30 alone and this one looks quite new anyway.

On my spreadsheet that I'm keeping, due to not having a MPG calculator in the car, I am getting an average of 55.12mpg over 3000 miles. I expect that to drop a bit on the next fill up because of all the short journeys I'm doing recently.

All that and the car has 113k on it on a 1996 plate!

Absolutely great car for the money, first MK3 I have had and got to say, much more impresed with it (for what it is) than the MK4. No doubting the MK4 is a nicer car etc, but in terms of reliability and build quality, the MK3 does take the lead in my books.

I will be in the market for another V5, either buying the bora back or going for a Toledo as the toledo is more feature packed and can be picked up cheap...in the market in about 6 months. Will I be selling the MK3 if I get a V5? No way. Only reason I would sell the MK3 would be if I got another diesel, until then, I'm running it into the ground, and I have a feeling that will take me a long time!

Do feel a bit stupid driving it after driving much nicer cars, but it costs me hardly anything. Its cost about ?160 in fuel to do 3k miles, and I got another 250 miles left before the need to refuel at least!

Those same 3k miles would have cost me around ?350-?400 in the V5 and pretty much the same for the 1.8T.

So basically, jalopy!? Get your mitts on one of these! Absolutely great car for the grand I paid for it. I wouldnt think twice about picking one up for ?500 with 170k and more on the clock, theres plenty around as my mates been looking as a real cheap, reliable second car.
 

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This sounds exactly what i could do with. I'm at university and running a mk4 2.0 GTi and it is killing my studo loan doing 29-33mpg. I think i was abit stupid to buy it to be honest, its a really nice car and all that but i should have bought something basic that would be cheap to fuel. Where did you get it from?? A car for a grand would be great to run for a year with no probs and not really care about it. Totally no what you mean about where i leave it and stuff, i get reallly paranoid at the momoent and spend ages lookin for a good space. Would be good not to have to worry. I use to have a peugoet d turbo which was also 90bhp and gave 45-55 mpg , guess that offers similar things but would prefer an old golf if they are as bullet proof as suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got mine on ebay. Was cheaper than a few others on there that had higher mileage because of a couple of dents in it and wasn't looked after cosmetically. Most of thats sorted now though.

I was just after the reliability, cosmetics I can sort.

Realistically its saved me about ?260 in just under 3 months. Thats just on fuel, not to mention insurance. In 3 months saves me ?114 on insurance.

Grand total saving in just under 3 months ?374 - ?30 servicing = ?344.

That's why it makes sense as a jalopy. Of course its not going to save you as much as you will have extra insurance to pay for.

As for like you say, being at uni. It is well worth it. BUT be prepared for a noisy engine and seats that you fall from side to side in. Its VERY different to a MK4 in the comfort department! But, can't have everything!
 

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I think it should still save me a good 300? in insurance over a year and a fair bit on fuel. The reality is i dont like drivin my car on short journeys because its not particularly good for it but a lot of the journeys i do are short (about a mile and a half).So I end up driving further deliberately so the engine warms and cools properly, but frankly this is ridiculous given my lack of cash. Think the  way forward is a jalopy (whatever that means). And an old diesel golf sounds good and i wouldnt worry about mistreating her for a year or so. My housemate drives a 1.7 astra turbo diesel he picked up for ?600 and he uses it as he wants it short journeys and long runs when he needs to and its been throughly reliable , although very basic it suits the purpose perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yer, short runs are not good for a diesel either, infact worse sometimes. However, if it's a second car, bought cheap with one purpose in mind, what does it matter?!

Mines also very basic, but it does its job fine. I actually like it being basic, had no end of problems with the 1.8T because of all the electroinics and sensors etc. This one don't give those problems, it's just an engine and shell. Start it and off you go! Not start it, get some warning about temp's, go into limp mode and cry your way home!
 

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......I will be in the market for another V5, either buying the bora back or going for a Toledo as the toledo is more feature packed and can be picked up cheap...in the market in about 6 months.....
Why go for another 'normal' car as your w/e one? Why not get something truly fun? A Westfield or track car of sorts.....?

This is on the trader for ?4.75k and would be so much more fun and would still be worth the same in 2 years time......

http://pictures.autotrader.co.uk/ATD_web/servlet/media?id=323362528
 
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