Loius Bismarck’s 2004 Golf 4 2000cc was imported in 2018, at a cost of about Shs22m. He considers his car to be stylish and easy to drive. He also believes that although the Golf may be underrated, it is fast and fuel efficient.
Bismark mainly buys his parts online from England, either from eBay.co.uk or motordoctor.co.uk.
“The cost of spares varies, basically anything from Shs20,000 to Shs500,000, depending on what I need,” he says. Asked why he imports them yet there are places locally where one can buy parts, Bismarck says he finds importing spares cheaper than buying locally. “For example, I was once given a quote of Shs150,000 for each suspension bush but I managed to import all for that amount,” he says.
He adds that his car is quiet and fast as it can move from zero to 100km/h in not more than 12 seconds.
“With windows up, you hardly hear any noise. It is also good on long journeys and there is temptation of driving at 200kph.”
The four cylinder vehicle also produces horse power of 113bhp at 5200rpm and a maximum torque of 170Nm at 2400rpm hence helping it manoeuvre any road terrain with ease. However, it has a low clearance and while that ensures stability, bad roads call for careful driving.
“With defensive driving and experience under my belt, I know that quick decision making is important if I must drive on say, soggy roads, but I also know which roads to avoid,” Bismarck shares.
Besides that, he loves that the car is pocket friendly as one litre of fuel can take him for 14km.
“With fluctuating petrol prices, this kind of consumption makes my car worth keeping,” he concludes.
The VW Golf MK4 is actually the first car Brenda Anyutta has ever bought although she has driven a Toyota and Honda from her former workplace. She says the VW makes for a smooth ride and the posture it gives her is on point.
“Previously, I drove a Toyota for five days, every week, and every evening my shoulders hurt. That is unheard of lately.” Anyutta adds that she loves a car that ‘speaks’.
“The car has a computerised system that has all the information about the car. Therefore, in case of a malfunction, diagnosis is simplified because the mechanic does not have to guess where or what the problem is. Apart from saving time and money, there is barely room for error.”
She, unlike other car owners, was blessed that as she started her journey of owning a car, someone was kind enough to give her this VW Golf as a present. “In 2018, I was planning to buy a car and when I mentioned it to this friend, they told me not to. He had just bought a new car and said I could have it,” she says.
Anyutta says some parts are locally available but often times, she buys. “There are several reliable VW parts and accessory sellers online. While the cost of parts will definitely vary from seller to seller, I belong to an auto group, VAG Group, where we get good advice and guidance on who are more reliable and have the best prices,” she says.
Anyutta says that after her side mirror was damaged, getting a new one cost her Shs150,000.
“A few days ago, I spent Shs300,000 to buy a broken pipe that was causing coolant leakage in the engine. Last year, I also had to change the gearbox and it cost me Shs2m.”
Looking at what genuine parts cost her, she shares that maintaining a VW is not as expensive as people think. More to that, while some mechanics attach a high price to maintaining VWs, more so with newbies, Anyutta says her mechanic’s fees will normally vary depending on how much time and what equipment he uses for any repairs he does.
“I also appreciate his willingness to provide detailed information regarding the car. During the lockdown, he also shared some videos on detailing the car engine that I found helpful.
While I did not replicate everything as instructed in the video, I did what I could manage without the fear of causing any damage. My efforts were rewarded when I got a cleaner engine,” she says.
Really impressed by what the ride can offer, Anyutta says she will definitely buy a VW should she need to buy another car.
Kesh C. Ssekandi
When you talk about VW enthusiasts, Kesh C. Ssekandi is one that comes to mind.
“I love my car because of factors such as the design and appearance. That is not forgetting its colour because I love black. There is also the comfort, speed and safety.”
Buying his car in December 2017, Ssekandi parted with Shs23m, after taxes.
“Nonetheless, with all the modifications and extras it now has, the value has definitely gone up.”
While his car is a 1.6 FSI hence fuel efficient and pocket friendly, Ssekandi hopes that soon, he will upgrade to a 2.0T engine.
Ssekandi shares that VW spare parts can be bought at selected shops around town and at Ndeeba Garage.
“Adding to those options, I also buy online.” Looking at the cost of these parts, Ssekandi says the cost of VW spare parts may seem high compared to other cars. “For example, if I broke a side mirror, I will have to part with Shs250,000 compared to say, Shs70,000 for a Toyota Alex.”
The thrill of owning this car is undeniable as Ssekandi says the VW offers the best feeling.
“My car was modified with a GTI sports exhaust and I love the sound it makes. That is coupled with 18 inch wide rims and smoked lights that produce a beautiful glare.”