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Thread: Golf Mk V 2.0 TDi is rubbish! What about Golf IV 1.8T v Alfa 147 2.0 Lusso?

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    Golf Mk V 2.0 TDi is rubbish! What about Golf IV 1.8T v Alfa 147 2.0 Lusso?

    I was fortunate enough to have a practically brand new Golf Mk V 2.0 TDi (140PS) on rental over the weekend, not least because I am considering buying a Mk IV GTi (1.8T version).

    So I did long drive from Leeds to Birmingham and a couple of other places. All in all, I probably covered about 400 miles. The one thing that I absolutely hated was the abysmal ride quality on the Golf. Minor surface imperfections on smoothish tarmac it absorbed reasonably well but anything other that such as the potholes, ridges and patchy uneven tarmac repairs that you get on British roads (motorways, As and Bs) transmitted itself into the cabin. After 400 miles, I felt as if I had been put through a tumble dryer. My SatNav PDA which is stuck onto the windscreen with a suction mount actually fell off twice during the journey because the ride was so jarringly bad, and on other numerous other occasions, the PDA jiggled about so much that it was difficult to even read the screen.

    I'm pretty sure that it was do with the suspension, because although it comes with default factory alloys and low profile tyres, the fact that it copes with minor imperfections well but not major bumps / ridges suggests to me that the suspension / dampers simply aren't setup for comfort. Either than or they've changed the damping for the heavier diesel engine.

    So there's my first gripe - a modern car that rides hideously and 100 times worse than a 10 year old Citroen Xantia (which incidentally had fabulous ride quality). So much for progress.

    So here's the conundrum.

    I was thinking about buying a Mk IV Golf GTI 1.8T or Alfa 147 2.0 Lusso. The Mk IV would have been the easy choice had it not been for the hideous ride quality of the car that I had over the weekend, and although I like the looks/build/image of the Mk IV, I can't believe that the ride quality can be any better over the Mk V. The Alfa 147 is just fabulous to drive, very good fun and with better ride quality, which although slightly bouncy is much better than the Golf I drove. Problem with the Alfa though is its build quality and reliability - from the reports on www.carsurvey.org it seems to spend most of its time in the garage having replacement parts fitted. The Top Gear/What Car survey also score Alfa Romeo very poorly for reliability and warranty claims.

    So wadya reckon? A boring but safe bet Golf with rubbish ride quality or a fun to drive Alfa 147 that has to go in for repairs every 3 months? (Incidentally, my alternatives were the latest Mondeo 2.0 and the Volvo S60 but had to rule them out as they were a bit too big for nipping around town).
    Last edited by davidstone28; 27-02-2006 at 09:47 PM.

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    'ave it. Skii's Avatar
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    Thats the first ever Mk 4 GTi that I've heard of with abysmal ride quality - was this the stock suspension ?

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    Yup, everything is factory stock / standard. I have to say I didn't really notice the poor ride driving around the block. But definitely noticed it after a long drive.

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    Beard hat ftw! steve threlfall's Avatar
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    Its the mark 5 that was tested wasnt it?

    Im sure i read a rant in evo about the new gof being 'set up' on the Nurburgring. The writer was saying that VW havent tailored the suspension setup for our roads and spent too much time perfecting it for racing around the nurburgring (a trend many manufacturers are following ie Ford with the ST). This seems to tally with Davidstones experience.

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    sounds like a problem with big wheels, skinny tyres to me.. but anyways

    i'd go for the alfa out of those 2, however if you wanted a volvo or ford why not go a size down (s40 or focust respectively)?

    i dont think you can realy know until you test drive the actual cars you're wanting to try...
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve threlfall
    Its the mark 5 that was tested wasnt it?

    Im sure i read a rant in evo about the new gof being 'set up' on the Nurburgring. The writer was saying that VW havent tailored the suspension setup for our roads and spent too much time perfecting it for racing around the nurburgring (a trend many manufacturers are following ie Ford with the ST). This seems to tally with Davidstones experience.
    I think you need to take a lap round the old nurburgring which is where most car manufacturers and most tyre manufacturers do most of their testing. it was built 80 years ago, and as you would expect from a 80 year old road, it is no Silverstone. Infact, its as near as your going to come to old normal, often repaired roads like ours which is why everyone and their dog uses it for testing.

    Butuz
    Last edited by Butuz; 28-02-2006 at 02:34 PM.

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    Go for the Alfa... If you like looking at the car instead of driving it.

    I've driven quite a range of Golf IV's, Including an R32, and I never found any of them to be nasty. Saying that I am used to Audi suspension, which my Ford owning chums all seem to think is as solid as a steel rod. I find it gives a good steering balance.

    I'd say the 1.8T Golf, I loved my A3 Quattro with that Engine, it was a stunning little bottle rocket.
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    I had a look on the VW specs page. The 2.0 Tdi actually has the same 15mm lowered suspension as the Golf GTI (though the GTi has 17" wheels compared to the Tdi's 16" ones).

    Maybe the lowered suspension is what's causing the poor ride? Couple that with stiffer damping rates to cater for the heavier diesel engine and you have a recipe for disatser (the front end crashes over bumps more than the back end). Would 15mm of suspension travel really make that much difference?

    As for the Nurgburgring, I also remember reading something about that in Evo. They woudn't be using it to test ride quality though - it just for testing handling and suspension settings. The new Aston Martin V8 was also tested there.
    Last edited by davidstone28; 28-02-2006 at 08:53 PM.

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    The french have roads that rival ours for crappiness and so have much experience for making cars that handle well but dont knock your teeth out after a few miles (remembewr people that the french roads us english generally go on are their provately maintained motorways and much better quality than the rest)
    Audi have only very recently admitted that British roads exist and they will be tailoring their suspension on british cars to our raods soon.
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    If you go alfa it HAS to be new or ex demo and you should get rid of it after the warranty if concerned.

    Its a shame, Alfa make cars that look beautiful, its just a shame they are built buy a bunch of monkehs
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    I don't think you can compare the mark V to the mark IV - they are really very different rides. The mark IV is much softer - most would say it's basically too soft which is why it got tightened up for the mark V.

    Try out the mark IV, it's a very smooth ride. Personally I don't like them because they are too smooth - kind of misses the point of a GTI if it's just like being in an astra

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt D
    If you go alfa it HAS to be new or ex demo and you should get rid of it after the warranty if concerned.

    Its a shame, Alfa make cars that look beautiful, its just a shame they are built buy a bunch of monkehs
    can always get a 3rd party warentee - warenteedirect.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5lab
    can always get a 3rd party warentee - warenteedirect.com
    Or, failing that, perhaps warrantydirect.co.uk

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