VW Golf – The easiest car to park in Kampala?
SEAL GROUP MOTORS KAMPALA
For these three motorists, owning a VW Golf is the best decision they ever made. They all agree that it is easy to maintain since its spare parts are easily available and its fuel consumption is friendly, writes Roland D. Nasasira.
I drove the VW Golf for three years before I bought my current car. It is one of the most stable, small and fast cars you can ever drive. Besides, it is not easy to vandalise or break into, unless you break the window.
There are a couple of places where I serviced it from. One of them was Ndeeba at a garage owned by a one Zziwa and a spare parts shop on Kabaka Anjagala Road in Rubaga. Service and maintenance depends on what you are working on. At Total or Shell fuel stations, I would spend about Shs160,000 because I would use the same engine oil that is used in Toyota brands.
At the Bosch garage that specialises in Volkswagen cars, I often changed engine oil, gearbox oil and filters but this was expensive because mechanics only used Febi oil meant for such cars. It would cost me Shs380,000 but there would be a difference with servicing at fuel stations and a garage in terms of performance.
I have driven an Audi A4, Toyota Corona (Kibina) and other Toyota brands but comparatively, the VW Golf commands better road performance. The particular Golf I had run on a 1800cc engine size, the same as a Toyota Premio.
I used to refuel with Shs15,000 and it would take me to work from Naalya and run a few errands in Kampala City. On average, I used approximately Shs100,000 a week. What is special about the VW Golf that most motorists do not know is that it is a delicate car.
It has low ground clearance and this makes it vulnerable on rough roads. Any slight mistake like hitting a pothole or driving over a hump harshly would damage the cranks and this means going to the garage. A damaged crank affects the performance and fuel consumption and it costs Shs250,000 to replace.
I have had the Golf since January 2020. I was advised to try the Golf after selling my Toyota Vitz. I was told that it is a strong and durable car and that its spare parts are readily available. After acquiring it, I do not know why it took me longer to buy it.
First, its speed and performance on the road is awesome. It picks speed on the onset of stepping on the accelerator. It also has an efficient braking system to allow you control the car before causing an accident.
I have a mechanic who services the car when there is a need. I buy its spare from a garage in Ndeeba, a Kampala suburb. A Golf is a car that a low income earner can drive because its spare parts can be also be sourced from Kisekka Market in downtown Kampala.
Every time I visit a garage, I change engine oil, oil filters and fuel filters and spend between Shs80,000 to Shs100,000. If I am changing gearbox oil, I spend Shs150,000. The common faults with the VW Golf mainly come from the gearbox if it is not well maintained.
I have been driving Japanese cars all my life but I do not regret buying a Golf. For instance, its lights can flash at a very long distance and the speakers it comes with are already amplified; no need for adding extra speakers. It looks small but it has a spacious interior.
I spend Shs20,000 on fuel to and from home. Sometimes I refuel weekly and it costs me Shs150,000. On average, I spend between Shs400,000 to Shs500,000 a month. Fuel worth Shs10,000 can cover approximately 25 to 30 kilometres, depending on how you accelerate.
The stability of the Golf is synonymous with most German brands. It is also a durable car that when you do full service, it can take you another year without servicing it again.
I have owned a number of cars such as the Toyota Premio, Toyota RunX and a Spacio but none was as responsive in terms of speed when you step on the accelerator pedal as the VW Golf. It has a small engine size but its performance makes it a car worth driving. And besides having a small engine size of 1800cc, the car is itself small in size. When I drive to town, I can fit it in a parking slot where a Toyota Mark II cannot and this is the same case at home. It is a car that can accommodate an average sized family of five people.
On average, I spend between Shs100,000 to Shs150,000 on fuel a week. If there was no traffic jam, I would spend less because it is not a car that consumes a lot of fuel when driving at high speeds.
With service and maintenance, I spend on average Shs250,000 or slightly less and this is once in four or six months. My mechanic picks it from home or work, services it and usually bills me Shs300,000, including labour.
I mostly use it for town rounds because it has a low ground clearance. It is one thing I do not like about it. I drove it upcountry when I had just bought it two years ago and when I returned, I had to visit the garage because I had manouvered through lots of potholes as the lower car scratched the rod surface.