2004 Volkswagen Golf

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2004 Volkswagen Golf. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    27-42 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    115-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Refinement
  • Performance
  • Euro-style handling
  • Resale value
  • Construction quality

The Bad

  • Seat adjustments
  • Difficult entry and exit in two-door model

Notable Features of the 2004 Volkswagen Golf

  • Two- or four-door hatchback
  • Gasoline and diesel engines
  • Manual or automatic
  • Related to sporty GTI model
  • European heritage

2004 Volkswagen Golf Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Structurally related to the four-door Jetta, Volkswagen’s front-wheel-drive Golf hatchback comes with two or four doors. The automaker also produces a performance-oriented companion called the GTI coupe. Both were last redesigned for the 1999 model year.

A new version of Volkswagen’s 1.9-liter TDI (turbo-diesel) engine makes 100 horsepower and is available for 2004 in the GL and GLS models. A Monsoon sound system is standard in the GLS, and a Telematics system is optional for all models.

The Golf’s 2.0-liter gasoline engine is classified as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV). An Electronic Stability Program is optional for the GL and GLS.

Volkswagen’s warranty offers bumper-to-bumper coverage for four years/50,000 miles. Wear-and-tear items and adjustments are covered for one year/12,000 miles. Fully transferable powertrain coverage is for five years/60,000 miles, and roadside assistance is for four years/50,000 miles. Volkswagen sells far more Jetta sedans than Golf hatchbacks.

Exterior
The Golf stands just below 57 inches tall, and its 98.9-inch wheelbase is identical to the Jetta’s. It measures 164.9 inches long overall, which is more than 7 inches shorter than the Jetta sedan. The styling features are essentially the same in both vehicles, but the Jetta has a longer rear end and a regular trunk. The GLS version comes with a power sunroof.

Interior
The Golf’s upright hatchback styling allows the driver and passengers to si...
Vehicle Overview
Structurally related to the four-door Jetta, Volkswagen’s front-wheel-drive Golf hatchback comes with two or four doors. The automaker also produces a performance-oriented companion called the GTI coupe. Both were last redesigned for the 1999 model year.

A new version of Volkswagen’s 1.9-liter TDI (turbo-diesel) engine makes 100 horsepower and is available for 2004 in the GL and GLS models. A Monsoon sound system is standard in the GLS, and a Telematics system is optional for all models.

The Golf’s 2.0-liter gasoline engine is classified as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV). An Electronic Stability Program is optional for the GL and GLS.

Volkswagen’s warranty offers bumper-to-bumper coverage for four years/50,000 miles. Wear-and-tear items and adjustments are covered for one year/12,000 miles. Fully transferable powertrain coverage is for five years/60,000 miles, and roadside assistance is for four years/50,000 miles. Volkswagen sells far more Jetta sedans than Golf hatchbacks.

Exterior
The Golf stands just below 57 inches tall, and its 98.9-inch wheelbase is identical to the Jetta’s. It measures 164.9 inches long overall, which is more than 7 inches shorter than the Jetta sedan. The styling features are essentially the same in both vehicles, but the Jetta has a longer rear end and a regular trunk. The GLS version comes with a power sunroof.

Interior
The Golf’s upright hatchback styling allows the driver and passengers to sit more vertically than in most small cars. Space is adequate for four adults, even though the interior is intended for five. The area behind the split rear seat holds 18 cubic feet of cargo. Split rear seatbacks fold for additional storage space, which creates a total of 41.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power locks, a cassette player and a manual tilt/telescoping steering column.

Power windows and mirrors, cruise control and a premium CD stereo are standard on the GL model. A Cold Weather Package, which is optional for all models, includes heated front seats and heated windshield washer nozzles.

Under the Hood
A 115-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in the GL and GLS. Fans of diesel engines may choose a 100-hp, turbocharged 1.9-liter direct-injection diesel. The gasoline engine teams with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission, while the diesel engine comes standard with the five-speed manual or an optional five-speed automatic with a Tiptronic manual-shifting provision.

Safety
Side-impact airbags, side curtain-type airbags and antilock brakes are standard.

Driving Impressions
The Golf hatchback is fun to drive in any form, and it is versatile enough to be the only automobile for a couple or small family. Its functional design mixes with the car’s European heritage to create a vehicle that’s been luring young buyers into VW showrooms, even though Jetta sedans vastly outsell Golf hatchbacks. The available diesel engine delivers impressive fuel economy, and it’s also surprisingly quiet and brisk.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 11/5/03

Latest 2004 Golf Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.1)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(3.9)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Best car I ever had.

by Viola from Princeton,NJ on October 28, 2017

‘‘Volkswagen Golf is a great car.It is small and economic works great for one person. I like to bike-ride, my bike fits in the trunk perfectly. I love it. Very reliable and well made vehicle. Love my ... Read full review

(5.0)

Used for commuting to work.

by Dolfan0118 from Burlington, Wisconsin on June 23, 2017

I drive 70 miles around trip a day for work. The Golf gets around 35 miles a gallon so it is perfect for me as a work vehicle. I know if something happens to the Golf I would definitely look for ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2004 Volkswagen Golf currently has 6 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Volkswagen Golf has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Golf received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker