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Mk3 Golf 1.4

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Alu_ATC, 12 Dec 2005.

  1. Alu_ATC

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 1,097

    Hi all,

    Looking to buy a second hand Mk3 Golf, around about '96 model, will be 3 doors and CL trim. Now, im not too worried about the reserved looks or the build quality, im part of the VW Bus scene, so know enough about the cars weak spots and troubles so far what I want to know is;

    How is it to drive???

    Thing is, I know the Mk3 is not the best of the golfs, infact, its the slowest, most sluggish out of them all, but its got alot better safety features over the Mk2, and also doesnt have too much age behind it. Mk4 is out of my price range, and I'm not really interested in the old Polo's.

    Cant go for anything but a 1.4 due to insurance too, so is it as underpowered as im guessing it will be? Heavy sterring that bad? Fuel economy? Wear and tear? Or am I being too negative?

    Any replys appriciated
    :)
     
  2. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,925

    Yes, the 1.4 is underpowered. It's too small for the car its fitted in, it develops just 60bhp. The Mk3 is also getting on a bit now - parts will need replacing, and VW parts are not reknowned as being the cheapest although the chaps at http://www.gsfcarparts.co.uk will be your new best friends, some great prices there.

    Why have you decided to get a CL? That doesn't seem all that clever to me - it's near bottom of the range has little in the way of equipment.

    Insurance groupings are not based purely on engine size. Seriously look at a 1.6 if not a completely different car, as the 1.4 CL really would be... not that great a car to own with little if any redeeming features. A higher spec version with a bigger engine would be a far better choice.

    Even the 1.8 is hardly what can be described as a 'nippy' car, taking almost 12 seconds to haul itself to 60mph.
     
  3. Alu_ATC

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 1,097

    Thanks for the reply.

    I know engine size isnt the only thing that affects the insurance group, but on the Mk3 Golf, unfortuantly it is true. The lowest spec 1.6 is insurance group 7, and the lowest spec 1.8 is 8!

    The only trims that dont push the car up in insurance cost is the CL, L or Ryder. So to be honest, there isnt alot of option.
     
  4. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,925

    Group 8 is hardly an expensive insurance group :)

    To be honest you'd be better off with a different car, but if you must spend a fortune on a old Golf please get a decent one, assuming such a thing exists
     
  5. PeterNem

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Feb 2003

    Posts: 8,320

    Location: NJ/NY, USA

    A jump of one insurance group will have a negligable affect on insurance premiums... the area in which you live, your age, any no claims etc have a much bigger difference.

    For instance, I've just sorted insurance for myself on a group 15 car (Age 22, 2 yrs NCB) for £720 a year.

    My previous car was a group 12 and cost around £650.

    That's a £70 difference for 3 insurance groups, something I'm more than willing to pay to get a better car.
     
  6. energy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,293

    Location: Chingford

    I will only talk about the engine for the time being -

    I would really steer clear of that Golf if you cannot afford insurance on a bigger engine. I had a 1.4 59bhp mk3 Astra and it was not even funny, slowest car I've driven along with a 1.2 Corsa.

    It was really that bad that I cannot imagine anybody being content with its performance!
     
  7. Alu_ATC

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 1,097

    Hmmm, ok, now its starting to worry me - but thats why I asked, so thanks for the posts.

    Right, an alternative then? I'd rather have a VW, and I am a car fan, so I know what I do and dont like! :p

    Thanks again for any help, and the lower the insurance the better. Price range is about £1000 - £1500 :)
     
  8. One More Solo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Dec 2004

    Posts: 15,739

    Location: Manchester

    60bhp from a 1.4 is shocking isn't it?
     
  9. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,925

    Yes, almost as shocking as the 90bhp the 1.8 develops or the awesome 115bhp from the 2.0..

    Gotta love VW's.
     
  10. One More Solo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Dec 2004

    Posts: 15,739

    Location: Manchester

    So their speed (if they have any) is down to the turbo?
     
  11. energy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,293

    Location: Chingford

    The 2.0 in question does not have a turbo - but most modern 2.0 engines develop at the least 130hp, more typically ~150. Quite a bit more if they are turbocharged.

    The Golf GTi with the 2.0 115hp engine was not fast, despite what one would expect from a car bearing that badge. I could probably keep up with one in my rattly mk1 1.8 Mondeo!

    Engines on the non-prestige German makes in the 90's (i.e. Opel/Vauxhall and VW) were abysmal in their specific power outputs.
     
    Last edited: 12 Dec 2005
  12. Alu_ATC

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 1,097

    Lol - you really dont like them do you? I know Mk3's are heavy, slow and boring to drive cars, but not all VW's are that bad. Although admittedly, the Mk3 was a bad patch.
     
  13. danza

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Mar 2005

    Posts: 13,647

    Location: Drunken badger punching

    It is rather. But my '98 Astra 1.4 8 valve produces 45bhp iirc. It weighs exactly 1500kg. The thing is I was never able to find out as the exact engine number isn't in the manual, and the closest match I found was from a website in Germanland which quoted 45bhp...

    I know what! Buy the Golf and we can race!!!
     
  14. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,925

    I hate rubbish VW's and over-rated VW's.

    VW engines need to be either 6 cylinder or turbocharged or they suck, in my humble opinion :)

    1.8T? Great engine.
    1.8 20v no T? Don't bother.

    1.9 TDI PD 130/150? Great engine. Anything less? Don't bother, etc etc.

    danza there is no way on earth your Astra weighs 1500kg, that's BMW 5 Series weight - my 'lardy boat barge whatever' Mondeo is 1280kg. You've probably found the maximum permitted gross weight, the Astra probably weighs about 1100kg.
     
  15. Moeks

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 24 Feb 2003

    Posts: 8,252

    Really? ...that's a surprise, I'd have thought the Mondeo would be heavier than that, my Leon is over 1300kg if I recall correctly.

    And the Mk3 1.4 Golf is heap of overpriced stodge if you ask me. Slow too.
     
  16. Barry Smalley

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,247

    Location: Tinternet

    The 2.0 16V Mondeo is slow, when you compare it to the 2.0 16V Mark 3 Golf. ;) And its a N/A 4 pot. :eek:
     
    Last edited: 13 Dec 2005
  17. Bill101

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,550

    Location: Liverpool

    to the OP, don't get the ryder, it was THE most basic car ever made(the early ones only had 4 speed manual gearboxes) it was only brought out when people noticed that Golfs were overpriced. If you do go for a 1.4 make sure it has power steering as some did not
     
  18. 172gus

    Gangster

    Joined: 26 Nov 2004

    Posts: 333

    I really would steer clear of the 1.4 Mk3, I had a 1.8 "driver" Mk3 golf and that wasnt exactly quick. The 1.6 is the better model to go for as the engine gives just as much power as the 1.8 but lower insurance group. I would go for 95/96 onwards, check the indicator repeaters on the sides are oval and not square.

    My Mk3 was really easy to maintain and it never broke down once in the 6 years i had it. If you see one, have a look at the driver model, they are essentially the GTI but with the 1.8 engine.
     
  19. MNuTz

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Mar 2004

    Posts: 4,935

    Location: Market Drayton, Salop

    Ive a Mk3 3dr in red that is currently up for sale. Problem is that the gearbox has gone and i cant find a cheap 2nd hand one.

    Ive had a lot of interest in the car as it still looks good even though its 10 years old.

    As for power, mine will hit 115 mph, its not the quickest but it is comfortable and spacious. I wouldnt get rid of mine if i didnt have to as its a great A to B car. Doesnt eat petrol either. Me and the g/f have often gone been on the motorway cruising at 80-90mph for a good 4-5 hours, its not a car you get tired driving or get uncomfortable sitting in for several hours.

    Steering is not heavy if you get one with powersteering, mines really easy to turn.

    Im sure the original poster said that he couldnt afford anything above a 1.4 so why are you all suggesting he goes for a bigger one?

    Ive a more powerful VW now so i cant afford to keep them both on the road.

    Fox, 6 cylinder or torbo'd? What about superchargers? We always get into this arguement but personally id rather have a VW than a Ford!
     
    Last edited: 13 Dec 2005
  20. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 155,925

    Becuase it isn't really any more expensive to get one that doesn't utterly suck.

    Forgot about the superchargers :)