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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I bid goodbye to a car I've owned for over a year and thousands of miles I feel a sense of regret that the good times are over and also a bit of jealousy about what the next owner is going to do with her. I guess it's a lot like an amicable parting of girlfriend and boyfriend in a way- you don't like to think of what they'll be doing once you're out of the picture even though your time together is over, probably for the better.

Curiously though, this time, I was just glad to see the back of her, I'll try to explain why.

The Golf Anniversary, resplendant in reflex silver, done up to the nines in 18 inchers and sporting designer mo-nickers (heh!) like 'Recaro', pushing 150bhp and more if you remap, she offers a perfect blend of power, comfort and economy. Or does she? She doesn't in fact and sad to say she is very firmly an 'it' in my mind.

If you were to liken the Golf Anniversary to an alcoholic drink you might think it would be something classy, perhaps a well aged malt, evolution and the passing of years giving it a depth of complexity hard to find elsewhere. I'd say it's more like a bottle of Bells, it does the job but when it comes down to it what you've got is a melange that really isn't that good at all.

In less esoteric prose I'll try to explain what I saw as it's good and bad points. The good we all know, an interior of such fine quality that the feel good factor is present every time you sit in the drivers seat. The exterior looks, although a little 'tarts boudoir' for me, are some of the best ever seen on a hot hatch in my opinion. The Anniversary always passed the 'look back' test when I parked it anywhere, usually warranting an admiring glance as I abandoned it in some dodgy place miles away from all the other cars to avoid it being scratched.

Power and economy? The PD150 engine offered all that and made the Anniversary feel like a much larger engined car, in fact it made the 3ltr BMW petrol I used to drive as 'my bit on the side' feel gutless. Not only that in general driving it could top 50mpg. It also introduced me to the fabulous world of driving economically for fun, seeing just how high I could get the MPG to go- record 56mpg over 300 miles. Not bad eh? Reliability, complete and total, no squeeks, no failures just something I could rely on, like a Golf should be.

So you might think given all these good points why was I glad to see the back of it. Here's the flip side of the coin.

You'd think one of the pre-requisites for a hot hatch would be that it's fun to drive, this one isn't and here's why.

A car that rides so harshly on it's stupid wheels that it tramlines and fidgets on anything other than an ultra smooth surface (proved by the fact the car was miles better on a set of 17's). Where you can feel the chassis flex as if it was made of balsa wood not to mention the appalling body control. A front end that bottoms out on undulations, again due to the poor chassis I suppose. Like a car that you can place on the road 'just so'?- let me tell you this isn't the one. Understeer, understeer, understeer and understeer- nice. Moving on to the brakes they are pretty good, the first couple of times you use them, after that massive fade, probably due to the obscene weight problem the car has. It's not a car you'd like to use at night either, simply because the headlights are so [email protected] you can't actually see where you are going. Want Xenons- never available as an option. Want to upgrade the bulbs? Then take off your bumper to change them. A design fault you might think? No, a money making scheme for VW stealers I reckon.

Moving on to the looks, it's a car that has had lots of comments. Unfortunately most of these were from young baseball cap wearing urban scumbag types who said things like 'wicked motor', 'love the wheels', 'we're gonna nick it later' etc etc- not good unless you feel the approval of low lives is a positive thing.

I went to see a house and was shown round by a very pretty young estate agent who came over to the car as I was leaving, looked inside and said 'ooohhh a boy racer car- did you do all this yourself'. She took one look at the interior and assumed I'd ram raided Halfrauds tack department. Not the image I was hoping to project. Later a close friend commented on how childish the interior of the car was with it's tin trim and red motif everywhere, again I was not a happy bunny mostly because I started to suspect he was right.

Moving on the VW themselves and their network of dealers.

I've owned most mainstream marques as I like to change cars as often as funds allow, after all life's all about new experiences. I do though have a soft spot for VW's having owned quite a few, my beloved MK2 GTi being the shining star for me. I'd never though had to deal with VW UK as all the others were company car. I won't bore you with the details but needless to say their incompetancy, lies and intransigence mean I'll never buy another car in warranty from them as long as I live. The dealers were useless as well, although like anywhere with enough banging together of heads you can get things done in the end.

As awful as the bad things sound and sweet as the good things undoubtedly were I'll tell you what the real problem with the MKIV was.

It has no soul

For me that's the worst sin a car can commit and why I'm glad to see her go.................
 

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Kind of agree with a lot of what you've said - although your comments about impressing the Estate Agent made me cringe! Is it better to be a tw*tty, BMW / Audi / Lexus "hey I've got loads of cash and I'm a bit lush" type, than it is to be a baseball cap wearing boy racer ? As bad as eachother I'd say.

I love a car that generates it's own unique status, not one that affirms your membership to some supposed elite acting shallow club. (Although I have to confess, the Golf IV is not in that unique group!).

I ultimately agree with you that the car is lacking in a degree of soul, certainly compared to say the Mk II Golf but remember that it's a German car - it's evolution has been more or less that it is turning into a robot of technology, solidity and specification... Italian cars evolve in soul, spirit and personality... German cars evolve in function, conveniance and efficiency (underlined by the superbly performing PD engines in terms of performance and economy).

It's hard to disagree with many of your individual comments but I would say that you may look back with more fondness for your Anni PD150 once she's gone. At the moment you'll be glad to see the back of that lifeless handling but in a month or so (depending what you get next), I'm sure you'll miss getting that degree of performance, while not throwing all your cash into your local petrol station's coffers.

The biggest question for me regarding VW is, when are they going to sit up and acknowledge the dire view that the majority of customers seem to have about the Dealer network ? Surely it would be an investment to implement a major new customer strategy to change people's minds about the dealer service - after all you're not the first person who has said they would not buy another VW, purely on account of the dealer service.

David.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Think you read something into my comments about 'impressing the estate agent', that I didn't intend. What I was trying to get across was that I always hoped the Golf had a pretty neutral image rather than being the type of car people think you've kevved up.

Also don't get me wrong the Anniversary was a good car but drive say a decent BMW (even some of the diesel ones) or a MKV GTI and you'd know that effeciency doesn't have to be at the cost of a total charisma bypass.

I think ultimately I'll miss the Anniversary about as much as I'd miss a decent fridge or other consumer durable because that's really all it was.

Another major plus point is that I won't have to read anymore posts with the word 'anni' in them. Makes me cringe every time I read it, is it really such an effort to type another seven letters? Always strikes me as rather juvenile shortening names like that (Clio Williams owners and their 'Willy' springs to mind [:p]). Then again I'm a miserable old sod so that probably explains that.[;)]
 

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....drive say a decent BMW (even some of the diesel ones) or a MKV GTI and you'd know that effeciency doesn't have to be at the cost of a total charisma bypass.
Couldn't agree more - I don't have an Anni(versary[;)]) but when I get to the first corner in the BMW it still puts a smile on my face and I've had one for nearly 3 years now.

Nice to see an honest appraisal of a car - may elicit some comments from the other members here but I do agree with much of it. It reminds me of Andymacs comments a little while ago about the MkIVs handling, quality and the dealer network.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've got an E90 320D hire car at the moment as the car I was looking to buy in replacement to the 'Anni' (pass the sick bag- first,only and last time I've ever used that word[;)]) has fallen through. Even though it's not a patch on the E46's I've driven in terms of fun due to it's sheer bulk it still has that certain something that was missing from the Anniversary.

As for 'comments' I can't see what would prompt anyone to make negative ones at least, I've given a full frank opinion on a car I drove for over 18K miles, warts and all. I'd have thought it's good to hear an unbiased voice giving a review.

Tell you what else, I'm pig sick of stinking, low revving diesels and fuel economy. I'm now on a fuel card and am looking for something that snarls, roars and drinks petrol like it's got a crack at an open bar and the boss is paying.

My thoughts thus far- an E39 M5, failing that I could break the bank and get an RS4.

Something I forgot to mention about the Anniversary, it performed extremely well in one way at least. Depreciation, over 18K miles and 14 months ownership it cost me one oil service and 1K in depreciation. That's pretty exceptional. I'd also like to add that whoever buys the car in the end is getting a car in truly exceptional condition for it's age. It looks like new inside (never even had a back seat passenger when I owned it), has never been in any kind of accident. Has been garaged throughout it's life with me, always warmed up, always allowed to idle after a run to protect the turbo and has had early oil changes. All in all it's been treated with more respect than many people afford their loved ones. Should add though that if the new owner ever gets to read this- I've had 140mph out of your car!
 

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Couldnt agree more about the chassis and dealer network, Howvere I think tghe 4motion does have a soul....... in a funny kind of way, I am saeriously attached to this car In a way I havent been since I had my 205 GTI1.9, sometimes faults and quirks can make a car (as in the 205) I later had a 306 gti, which was twice as good in every department as my 205, but just didnt have the soul.

Have to agree the golf chassis is crap, but theres no need to be, the Cupra R, TT and S3 are all fine handling cars, why couldnt they have just put those bits on performance golfs.

The minute Peugeot make another car as handsome as the 205 gti or 306 gti, I will go back to them, VW is ok, but the feelings above are too much to live with
 

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As of tomorrow i shall also see the back of my Diesel Anni, but im suprised by your comments as i was very happy with mine. Most of your critisms are infact common or worse on the standard Golf and i think thats what you have to remember is that is a Golf with a slightly prettier face. Golfs were designed to do a billion miles of motorway miles for which VW compromised over "soul" have to made space for comfort (granted not on 18in BBS!!) reliability and most important to any manufacturer, COST!

Its only really we enthusiast who care how well it corners and how quick it goes, if 80% of people are happy with it as it is (and i reckon they would be) then thats who VW are going to go for, not us. BBS wheels are the example, vw never really got to grips with sorting the corrosion out cos it really wasnt worth the hassel for only 1800 cars out of hundreds of thousands.

I liked my anni, its a great car that covers all bases for me. It is fast (but not nuts), it handles well (on the road with typical driving) it looks great (but doesnt cost the earth).

Soul belongs in cars that cost a lot more money and feature Soul on the spec list. Cars from the likes of TVR, lotus etc whos drivers wont buy them if they arnt great cars.

Joe's 2peneth
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've never driven a 4motion although I have had a test drive of an R32 and really liked it. Different kettle of fish. I should make clear my comments were about the 25th Anniversary car that I owned and not MKIV's in general as I'm not qualified to comment on them.

Regarding the other VAG group cars, I was underwhelmed by the S3 but found the TT a much better drive, odd considering they are essentially the same car. To be honest even the Octavia's I've driven were better than the anniversary.

Odd you should mention the 205GTi- best car I've ever owned in terms of fun, miles better than the MK2 GTi. Not as good an all round car though.

Joe, I didn't find the anniversary handles well at all. Grip was phenomenal on smooth surfaces, a result of 225's worth of rubber I guess. Handling though was wooden, unpredictable to the point I didn't push it at all and the ride 'jiggly'. Not to mention very poor compliance. Not a drivers car. As for soul it's available in cars costing as little as you like, a new Panda 4x4 has more charisma than the anniversary ever will.............

I'm glad Shaq's buying your car BTW I wanted to sell him mine but I'd already promised it to someone else.

Oh and Joe, try typing the last seven letters, it isn't that difficult. [:p]
 

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Guess quality of handling is subjective. Its better handling that a normal Golf (which isnt great i know). I guess its about expectation more than anything. It might amaze one person and dissapoint another.

I had a new Mini Cooper S before the golf and no doubt the golf would have understeered into a hedge trying to keep up on bends, but as i said about compromise the mini is way to fricking small to live with and as comfortable and quiet as an open top go kart. Fun as hell though :)

Joe
 

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I can't say I've had the same comments from people as you have. People
have always really liked it and I haven't had any boy racer comments on
it despite it being lowered and having some Brembo brakes on it. The
girls that have commented on it have thought it to be classy unlike a
typical boy racer car. In standard form I'm inclined to agree with the
comments about the chassis but with a bit of tarting up its quite
capable (though by no means a drivers car). I've had mine for 3.5 years
now and have no intention of getting rid just yet. This is unusual for
me as I've never kept a car for over 15months before. I've certainly
had ups and downs with the car but by and large I still love driving it
and the kick in the back the torque gives never fails to give me a grin.
 

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I've got an E90 320D hire car at the moment as the car I was looking to buy in replacement to the 'Anni' (pass the sick bag- first,only and last time I've ever used that word[;)]) has fallen through. Even though it's not a patch on the E46's I've driven in terms of fun due to it's sheer bulk it still has that certain something that was missing from the Anniversary.
Do you find the E90 feels that much bigger? I deliberately bought another E46 earlier this year so it would give me a few more years as the E90 proces came down. For some reason it feels much more grunty than my old one.

As far as the new one is concerned what about an M3 CS?
 

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Excellent review there - although I've only had my 1.8T for a couple of months, I found myself nodding in agreement with a number of your points. I've been lucky enough to have a number of different cars over the last few years, and I'd agree that it's the ones with soul that I always remember fondly - and would go back to. In my case, I loved both of my Imprezas and my Clio Cup. They weren't without their failings, but character and competence made up for it.  
 

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Thats a fantastic review!! Jeremy Clarkson eat your heart out!!

Firstly the comments I have had are class!! beautifull! classy! Its a looker! and nice wheels mainly from the girls!

The lads said when I described it They were expecting to see a kevved up golf but when they saw it they thought it was classy and absolutly stunning but not OTT, one of the lads said sexiest car he had ever seen, everyone comments on the interior and says it looks expensive and well put together.

I can't comment on a Standard MK4 really but Having recently sold a Peugeot 306 gti-6 I can confirm that although the Golf feels heavier and steering has less feel the handling is just as sharp as the peugeot's was! and it will go around corners as quick as my pug always did , but the 306 was more fun mainly because it was lighter and more stripped out!

When I drove my Golf for the first time a 3 hr run from Reading! I couldnt believe the quality and feel of it in general it felt expensive smooth and well built the interior and lighting on dash etc is a really nice place to be! This is the first German car I have driven have always had Renault,Peugeot,Jap cars up until now! Im impressed!!

I thought id miss my gti6 and 300 bhp Nissan but since owning this Golf it has proven an absolute hoot to drive it wrenches you back in the seat and everything oozes quality and refinement, passengers always comment on how nice and plush it is and are absolutly in love when I put my foot to the boards
 

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Good review but I can't see how a 330i would feel gutless compared to 150TDI; ok it needs a few more revs to come alive but the engine is miles better imo. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for the comments about the review, I did make a little effort for once as I reckon the car and the site deserve it despite my reservations about the anniversary itself.

Matt, just to fill you in at the moment I have a 320D and my girlfriend is driving a 330i Coupe, so I'm using both as and when the mood takes me. The 3.0 petrol is an awesome engine and obviously much better (and faster) than the PD150 even when remapped but as far as instant in gear grunt goes it's second best to the 1.9 VAG unit. The PD feels more like some of the V8 yank tanks I drive when I'm over there, just utterly lazy and unstressed while pulling like a train.

Richard W, the E90 feels more like a car from a larger class than the E46, a lot less threadable down the lanes than the older car.
 

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It's just a shame that VW forgot about engine refinement; even a mate's Peugeot 206 1.4HDI has a quieter engine. Infact every other (cheaper)diesel car I've been in recently..old Focus, new Focus, Astra, Vectra, Citroen C5, Renault Laguna were all noticably more refined... 
 

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Surely that's just down to the amount of sound deadening material?
Can't say it bothers me in the slightest and mine's louder than most as
it has a powerflex dog bone mount and full milltek exhaust which does
add a lot to cabin noise. Suppose you just get used to it. My parents
have the new passat and its unbelievably quiet but I don't like it cos
I can't hear it.
 

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Matt thats absolute rubbish!! I also own a 307 hdi and the TDI sounds a gem compared to it! I think You have a bee in your bonnet with the tdi and think your talking utter tripe!!

http://www.uk-mkivs.net/forums/468650/ShowPost.aspx

Check this post also utter rubbish the tdi 150 has instant surge from 1,800 rpm and whips you back in your seat! I deffo think you had a dodgy one!

Im not just going by mine which is tuned I have also driven a standard 150 tdi and it has the same characteristics, Granted it doesnt sound great no diesel's do really but to say other cheaper deisels sound better well!!! Did you have a cracked manifold? Broken/Fragmented Turbo Gaskets? or was yours a 115? which you mistook for a 150?

I dont mean to sound harsh but the way you talk you make it sound sh*t, and I don't wish to offend the 150 gti petrol boys but I drove both before I made a decision and the 150 tdi would run rings around the 150 petrol it was just so sedate and boaring!!

I bet the 180 packs a punch and is much more fun to drive, will try one and might even move to a 180 in the near future but would never slate the 150 tdi as I think its one of the best deisels I have ever driven! Have you not seen top gear reviews? superchips reviews? they rave about the 150 tdi are we all wrong?
 

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When I bid goodbye to a car I've owned for
over a year and thousands of miles I feel a sense of regret that the
good times are over and also a bit of jealousy about what the next
owner is going to do with her. I guess it's a lot like an amicable
parting of girlfriend and boyfriend in a way- you don't like to think
of what they'll be doing once you're out of the picture even though
your time together is over, probably for the better.

Curiously though, this time, I was just glad to see the back of her, I'll try to explain why.

The Golf Anniversary, resplendant in reflex silver, done up to the
nines in 18 inchers and sporting designer mo-nickers (heh!) like
'Recaro', pushing 150bhp and more if you remap, she offers a perfect
blend of power, comfort and economy. Or does she? She doesn't in fact
and sad to say she is very firmly an 'it' in my mind.

If you were to liken the Golf Anniversary to an alcoholic drink you
might think it would be something classy, perhaps a well aged malt,
evolution and the passing of years giving it a depth of complexity hard
to find elsewhere. I'd say it's more like a bottle of Bells, it does
the job but when it comes down to it what you've got is a melange that
really isn't that good at all.

In less esoteric prose I'll try to explain what I saw as it's good
and bad points. The good we all know, an interior of such fine quality
that the feel good factor is present every time you sit in the drivers
seat. The exterior looks, although a little 'tarts boudoir' for
me, are some of the best ever seen on a hot hatch in my opinion. The
Anniversary always passed the 'look back' test when I parked it
anywhere, usually warranting an admiring glance as I abandoned it in
some dodgy place miles away from all the other cars to avoid it being
scratched.

Power and economy? The PD150 engine offered all that and made the
Anniversary feel like a much larger engined car, in fact it made the
3ltr BMW petrol I used to drive as 'my bit on the side' feel gutless.
Not only that in general driving it could top 50mpg. It also introduced
me to the fabulous world of driving economically for fun, seeing just
how high I could get the MPG to go- record 56mpg over 300 miles. Not
bad eh? Reliability, complete and total, no squeeks, no failures just
something I could rely on, like a Golf should be.

So you might think given all these good points why was I glad to see the back of it. Here's the flip side of the coin.

You'd think one of the pre-requisites for a hot hatch would be that it's fun to drive, this one isn't and here's why.

A car that rides so harshly on it's stupid wheels that it tramlines
and fidgets on anything other than an ultra smooth surface (proved by
the fact the car was miles better on a set of 17's). Where you can feel
the chassis flex as if it was made of balsa wood not to mention the
appalling body control. A front end that bottoms out on undulations,
again due to the poor chassis I suppose. Like a car that you can place
on the road 'just so'?- let me tell you this isn't the one. Understeer,
understeer, understeer and understeer- nice. Moving on to the brakes
they are pretty good, the first couple of times you use them, after
that massive fade, probably due to the obscene weight problem the car
has. It's not a car you'd like to use at night either, simply because
the headlights are so [email protected] you can't
actually see where you are going. Want Xenons- never available as an
option. Want to upgrade the bulbs? Then take off your bumper to change
them. A design fault you might think? No, a money making scheme for VW
stealers I reckon.

Moving on to the looks, it's a car that has had lots of comments.
Unfortunately most of these were from young baseball cap wearing urban
scumbag types who said things like 'wicked motor', 'love the wheels',
'we're gonna nick it later' etc etc- not good unless you feel the
approval of low lives is a positive thing.

I went to see a house and was shown round by a very pretty young
estate agent who came over to the car as I was leaving, looked inside
and said 'ooohhh a boy racer car- did you do all this yourself'. She
took one look at the interior and assumed I'd ram raided Halfrauds tack
department. Not the image I was hoping to project. Later a close friend
commented on how childish the interior of the car was with it's tin
trim and red motif everywhere, again I was not a happy bunny mostly
because I started to suspect he was right.

Moving on the VW themselves and their network of dealers.

I've owned most mainstream marques as I like to change cars as often
as funds allow, after all life's all about new experiences. I do though
have a soft spot for VW's having owned quite a few, my beloved MK2 GTi
being the shining star for me. I'd never though had to deal with VW UK
as all the others were company car. I won't bore you with the details
but needless to say their incompetancy, lies and intransigence mean
I'll never buy another car in warranty from them as long as I live. The
dealers were useless as well, although like anywhere with enough
banging together of heads you can get things done in the end.

As awful as the bad things sound and sweet as the good things
undoubtedly were I'll tell you what the real problem with the MKIV was.

It has no soul

For me that's the worst sin a car can commit and why I'm glad to see her go.................
Oh come on...

I think age plays a part in this... I'm 23 just bought a Petrol Anni...
used to own a 1.4 mk4, so no prizes for guessing what i'm gonna say..
Anni's rule. For an overall 10k package you'll be hard pushed to find
something that..

a) Is fairly rapid

b) looks nice (inside and out)

c) German: good build quality (yeah heard this one before, but remains fact)

d) It's limited edition only 900 made.. (quids in!)

I'd like to add that I've extensivly driven a wide variety of
performance cars, the likes of: BMW M3 E46s inc CSL's, Audi TT 225s, TT
Quattro Sports, MTM TTs, IHI Golf's, Anni TDI, S3s, S4's, Mini Cooper S's, R32s, AMG
55s, CLKs.. so I'd say thats a fairly good line-up to compare an Anni
to, and yes I'd have to say it stacks quite well.

Harsh ride on 18's? Hardly... My previous car (mk4 Golf) had rigid
coilovers -80mm ish' on 18's thats more like it! Ride was fine(ish)
even on the bumpy South Bucks roads round here! Oh,...and I have a
permanent compression fracture in my lower vertebrae.

Bottle of Bells? hahahaha, yeah your right it's not.. more like a
bottle of White ligtening with a twist of Lemon! (don't forget the
olive!)

No soul? What reliable, solid cars do for 10k 2nd hand?

In conclusion:

A1 Report, for an old timer! Get your pipe and slippers and move on... leave the golfs to the younger gen methinks

All the best,

Marcus Halberstam

"2 at 9? Great.... cya then!" [Y]
 
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