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RE: Shed Of The Week: VW Golf Mk5

RE: Shed Of The Week: VW Golf Mk5

Friday 16th June

Shed Of The Week: VW Golf Mk5

No, really, a Mk5 Golf for £1,000 - look!



The devoted Shedman has to get used to the idea of owning the oldest car in the car park. Shed's grubby old Mk 4 Golf always falls into this category. He pretends he enjoys the sight of it rubbing shoulders with the Astons and AMGs at his local country club, sometimes quite literally if he's in a hurry, but of course the sad truth is that he would quite like to upgrade to something newer.


Unfortunately, Mk 5 Golfs have so far been beyond his self-imposed £1000 budget. Well, the ones that he would tolerate owning anyway. Until now, anyway, with the appearance of this dirty 2.0 GT FSI.

The Mk 5 Golf technically came out in 2003, but it didn't reach British VW showrooms until early 2004. The FSI (stands for 'fuel stratified injection', VW's common-rail direct injection system) petrol engines were designed to offer an economically-minded petrol alternative to the diesels that were dominant back then. Eeeh, how things have changed, or are changing at least.

Even the humble 115hp 1.6 FSI - traditionally one of the two laughing stock Golf engines, along with the petrol 1.4 - was a very decent little car for its time, giving the Focus and Megane a bloody nose in a 2003 Autocar group test, despite its nasty-sounding combination of low torque and a reluctance to rev.

The 150hp 2.0 was a step above the 1.6 in power, refinement and top gear cruising ability, even if it wasn't the most exciting engine ever made. It had 8-second 0-60 potential but lacked the turbo thrust of the old 1.8T. Its thirst for petrol will help you lose whatever you've gained on the low purchase price, and it could be quite picky on fuel quality, with head and lambda probe problems cropping up if you didn't give it at least an occasional drink of 99 RON. 


Funnily enough, later 'twincharger' 1.4 TSIs were known for developing a knock and perhaps piston failure if they weren't run on the right quality of petrol. Makes you wonder what might have happened if someone important had decided to conduct an investigation of some sort back in the day.

There remains a more than sneaking suspicion that the Mk 4 was more solidly constructed than the 5. Shed's personal 4 is quietly ticking towards 200,000 miles and is showing no signs of giving up any time soon, whereas the 5s he's sampled have given an impression of being relatively insubstantial (cheaper rhino-grain cabin plastics not helping there). You see quite a few Mk 5s with rusty arches, probably more than you get with the Mk 4, which is a bit shocking. They say it starts off with wet soundproofing material rubbing on the inner arches.

The reality is that every successive new Golf has been measurably superior to its predecessor in every area, especially safety, but also in handling with the 5 over the 4 thanks to its 80 per cent stiffer body and adoption of multi-link rear suspension. It's undoubtedly also true however that VW cut a few corners with the Mk5.

Early cars had an issue with badly-fitting or badly-sealing doors. There was a big problem with ESP system failure that initially could cost upwards of £1,500 to sort. Volkswagen did put out a much cheaper repair kit to deal with it.


There were quite a few electrical issues though, including hyperactive rain and headlight sensors, malfunctioning climate and audio controls, radiator fan and coil failures, and ECU failure as a result of water ingress through the pollen filter. Trim was often rattly. Malfunctioning fuel pumps could create a scary power loss.

What about this particular car? Well, it's got leather and a towbar, which by the sounds of it might be better off on the front of the car rather than the back. Shed is taking the view that if the car has gotten this far it's probably had the full gamut of problems and they've all been sorted.

It looks like it hasn't been cleaned since the last service, which appears to have taken place in autumn 2015, around 16,000 miles ago. A few quid spent on cleaning products and a box of hoover bags could result in something you would feel less guilty about scraping down the side of a premium German motor.

Here's the ad.

Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel - Rake/Reach, Air Bag Driver, Air Bag Passenger, Air Bag Side - Front Side/Front & Rear Curtain, Alarm, Alloy Wheels - 16in, Anti-Lock Brakes, Body Coloured Bumpers, CD Autochanger/Armrest/Rear Cup Holders, Central Door Locking - Remote, Centre Rear Seat Belt, Chassis - Sport, Climate Control, Computer - Driver Information System, Computer, Cup Holder, Electric Windows - Front/Rear, Electronic Stability Programme, External Temperature Display, Extra Storage, Front Fog Lights, Gear Knob Leather, HeaHead Light Sensor, Head Restraints - Front/Rear, Immobiliser, In Car Entertainment - Radio/CD, Interior Finishes, Interior Lights, Leather Upholstery, Limited Slip Differential, Metallic Paint, Mirrors External - Electric/Heated, Mirrors Internal - Automatic Dimming Rear View, Power Socket, Power-Assisted Steering, Rain Sensor, Rear Wash/Wipe - Rear, Seat - ISOFIX Anchorage Point - Two Seats - Rear, Seat Height Adjustment - Driver/Passenger, Seat Lumbar Support - Driver/Passenger, Seating Capacity . THIS GOLF CAME TO US IN PART EX IT HAS GOT A GOOD SERVICE HISTORY AND BOTH KEY'S,THE MOT IS UNTIL 12TH AUGUST,IT HAS FULL LEATHER WITH HEATED SEATS,IT HAS 6 CD CHANGER,THE CAR HAS GOOD TYRE'S AND DRIVES VERY WELL,ANY TEST OR INSPECTION WELCOME THE CAR IS A PART EX TO CLEAR BARGAIN FIRST COME FIRST SERVE AND DOES NOT QUALIFY FOR THE WARRANTY OFFER, ESTABLISHED 27 YEARS SALES SERVICING FINANCE CAN ADD A 15 MONTH WARRANTY FOR ONLY £199 AND WE DO NOT CHARGE ANY ADMIN FEE'S THE PRICE YOU SEE IS THE PRICE YOU PAY NO HIDDEN EXTRA'S

 

Author
Discussion

MIDangerfield

Original Poster:

41 posts

26 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Didn't see that coming! Guess it's easy to forget how old some of these are now.

SidewaysSi

3,572 posts

156 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
LSD aswell. Is that a Quaife unit?

Mike335i

974 posts

24 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Does this really have a limited slip differential? A lot of car for the money though. This could be a great shed, if not an exciting one.

BeastieBoy73

153 posts

34 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
The issue of rust on the front wings goes right across the VW range of that era.

VW do have a 12 year bodywork warranty and have just replaced both front wings on my 08 Passat with no fuss at all.

daemon

19,019 posts

119 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
A £20 headlight restorer kit from the like of 3M or Autoglym would bring those headlight up like new
Advertisement

J4CKO

22,309 posts

122 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
With a weekend of elbow grease that could be quite a nice car, decent colour, the engine isnt too gutless, just needs its cartaracts sorting.

daemon

19,019 posts

119 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
With a weekend of elbow grease that could be quite a nice car, decent colour, the engine isnt too gutless, just needs its cartaracts sorting.
+1

Nice that it has the black leather.

Howard-

3,692 posts

124 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Disappointing shed. These haven't aged well, and they don't have anywhere near the same perceived quality that the mk4 did. Dull to drive, and overall extremely dull cars.


Mike335i

974 posts

24 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Howard- said:
Disappointing shed. These haven't aged well, and they don't have anywhere near the same perceived quality that the mk4 did. Dull to drive, and overall extremely dull cars.
Having owned one years ago, they aren't dull to drive and handle well, even the non gti models. Not exciting, but 'extremely dull' is a bit much.

Matt-il77s

158 posts

12 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
I had a 1.9 TDI as a company car and never got on with it, boring to look at, boring to drive, and the engine was very tractor like. I'm sure the petrols were better though.

IanCress

3,915 posts

88 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Sub £1k and from a trader, they must have paid absolutely peanuts for it. Makes you wonder what's wrong with it for the previous owner to give it away so cheaply.

Edit: As for the reference to a LSD, it will be a 'virtual' LSD of the type that applies the brakes to a spinning wheel, rather than a mechanical diff.

Edited by IanCress on Friday 16th June 08:34

Turbobanana

767 posts

123 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Mike335i said:
Howard- said:
Disappointing shed. These haven't aged well, and they don't have anywhere near the same perceived quality that the mk4 did. Dull to drive, and overall extremely dull cars.
Having owned one years ago, they aren't dull to drive and handle well, even the non gti models. Not exciting, but 'extremely dull' is a bit much.
No it's not - it's the dullest SOTW for a while. Pass.

culpz

2,098 posts

34 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Proper LSD or not, it's probably one of the most pointless engines to combine it with, surely?

I was also under the impression that this particular engine wasn't that reliable and did suffer from a few issue but i could well be wrong there. I think the main issue would be the lack of performance from such a big engine. Isn't it basically just a non-turbocharged version of the one they put in the MK5 GTI? So, you get worse fuel consumption with alot less performance.

Looking at it as a shed, it's probably very good VFM. I'd much rather a 1.8T MK4 for the same budget though.

MorganP104

1,253 posts

52 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Howard- said:
Disappointing shed. These haven't aged well, and they don't have anywhere near the same perceived quality that the mk4 did. Dull to drive, and overall extremely dull cars.
The GT-spec cars (like this week's shed) are a bit more interesting to drive, thanks to suspension and steering tweaks to bring it closer to the full-fat GTi.

I had a MkV GT TDi 2.0, which a previous owner had remapped, and it was hilariously quick. Handling was pretty tidy, too.

I'm guessing a base-model 1.9 TDi might be a bit on the dull side.

ianwayne

1,398 posts

190 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
Good shed I reckon, £1k is a trade in price for one of these with that mileage which is what it was I expect. Marks of child seat bases on the rear leather seats possibly? So not thrashed to death, you'd hope. Mot for 2 months though. frown

But even with an 'efficient' engine, the VED for it is £290 p.a. It'll be the killer of old cars unless it's sporty or interesting.

Edit I just noticed the sill / driver's door bottom damage on one of the photos. Shame.

Edited by ianwayne on Friday 16th June 09:17

J B L

4,014 posts

137 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
An 05 reg 3 door 2.0 GT TDi was my first brand new car and first company car. Main issues were warped head that leaked water on the go and oil consumption that improved as the miles piled on. Head was replaced and no susbequent problem arose.

I liked that car. Took us all over Europe and would do and indicated 120mph on empty French motorways (at night, on a week day)... at close to 125 the front would go too light for comfort.

Limpet

2,366 posts

83 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
I know these drive much better than the mk4, but I have always thought they've actually not aged anywhere near as well, and somehow just aren't as "nice" a car, dynamics aside.

Worthy enough car, but I wouldn't feel compelled to buy it.



Tufty_B

10 posts

36 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
I had a 2004 GT TDi Mk5 Golf for about 6 years and sold it a couple of years ago with over 200k miles on the original clutch and no indication that it shouldn’t continue for quite some time longer, everything worked as it should and also it had none of the issues reported here, overall the Mk5 is a significantly better car the Mk4. There was no evidence of rust anywhere on it, no issues with door seals, electrical or ESP (though our ’05 Touran had this fixed by VW for free but only after I let them know that it was a known issue and it had been on TV, etc).
I only sold it because I’d had it a long time, was working closer to home so didn’t need a diesel car and wanted a change.

DrFeelAverage

5 posts

9 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
My car is a shed! I have a 2008 MkV 1.9TDI Match as my first car. Its a great little commuter, nice to drive, plenty torquey and nippy for a first time driver, but I agree does let itself down in the interior quality. Mine was owned by a lady who only commuted a short distance in it, not exactly a hard life, and yet somehow several interior panels have come loose. Probably its only real flaw as its nearly mint otherwise! My parents took a Mexico-built '08 estate to 190k with minimal care apart from servicing, and apparently its still going strong, so the mechanical longevity of these cars is proven, if not the physical!

Edited by DrFeelAverage on Friday 16th June 10:01

alorotom

2,800 posts

109 months

Friday 16th June
quotequote all
I had a Mk5 GT TDi in 05, in full sales rep spec silver (as I was moonlighting as such at the time) and I loved that car, very nearly ended up in a field just outside Reeth when I was giving it a little too much than either the DSP or my ability could handle

Racked up some decent miles in it, definite fond memories smile