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1997 Volkswagen Golf

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 126 Ratings for the 1993 - 1999 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.6/10
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best car ive ever had

By on Monday, September 28, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"This car is so much fun to drive, the VR6 pulls really hard for just a stock 6 cylinder. The inside is very spacious, I put 4 people, 4 bmx bikes, and luggage and took a 12 hour drive to canada, and never once did anyone complain about feeling cramped. It gets awesome gas mileage for what it has for a motor. It handles better than any other car I've driven. My only complaint, I wish VW made the mk3's like they did the mk2's, as soon as they hit salt, they just rust. But, it's always in the same place, and if you just take some precautionary measures, such as spray the underside of the floors with truck bed liner, good bye rotted floor boards, and wash the thing a couple times a month in the winter, as you should with any car, and no more rear hatch rust."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

1995 VWGOLFIII

By on Saturday, May 30, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I am the original owner of this vehicle and can't tell you how great the past 15 years have been. It's awesome in the snow, great for city driving as well as out of the city. I've hit gas mileage of up to 34mpg (and recently too). If it didn't live with me in the northeast, it could've gone on forever. Rust will be its demise as was my father's '74 bug after 20 years. We can't all be lucky enough to have a garage for the entire lifespan of the car. Highly recommend the mid-90's golfs!!!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Awesome

By on Saturday, May 08, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"This is hands down the best car I have ever owned. My car itself has many problems. Bad TPS sensor, O2 sensor, speedo sensor, broken exhaust and needs a timing belt. As is I get 38mpg and the thing still hauls. I'm a little over 6ft and I fit very comfortably. The heated seats kick, as does the radio. I have ran the car completely out of oil 2 times (pinned 5.9K rpm for 4 hours in the snow) and it sill runs. Most reliable car I have ever owned. Can fit all of my stuff and 4 others comfortably. The 2.0 isn't much of a powerhouse(93wHP), but it gets up and goes. The suspension provides an excellent ride quality, and does well in the corners. Only con: Cupholders are useless."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

what can i say

By on Thursday, April 09, 2009

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"obviously all cars have their little problems you must look out for, i would say if you are to buy a higher millage one 110k plus make sure the timing chain and thermostat housing have been replaced, and the trans differential has a bolt kit in it, because if not you may blow your trans slamming gears like i did! but other than that i really love mine, i have a 98 gti vr6, now she just reached 120k miles, and still is running wonderful, and to the VW haters, why do you think we like our cars so much? well there must be something different about VW's, you always hear about how much a vw owner loves their car, and i can say its because gti's are a kick to drive!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Good Solid Vehicle

By on Monday, October 15, 2007

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought new in 1998 and kept it until 2005. I put 105K on it before I sold it. Good solid vehicle and do not regret buying it. Good power, handling and good gas mileage. You can easily get 28-30 MPG on highway if you shift early and are easy on the gas. The problems I encountered with the GTI were not major but Volkswagen needs to improve before I buy another VW. I had both of my electric window motors replaced after about 6 years with the car. After about 80K I was burning about 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles. I took it into the dealership and they told me this was within Volkswagen's standards. Not very happy with that. A quick fix to the problem, I started to use High mileage oil and this cut the oil burning to about 1 quart every 2000 miles. Other than that, I had fun driving the GTI for 8 years and would recommend this vehicle to anyone."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

most reliable old car

By on Thursday, February 16, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "gas milage, relability, comfort"

Cons: "no cup holders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car over a year ago just to get around. I haven't had any problems. The diesel engine is the best part. I only fuel up every 3 weeks!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great little first car!

By on Monday, April 26, 2010

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

"Bought this car for my son as his first car, and it's been dependable. Few little issues ie: clips on the carberator broke, ignition coil. But there are so many of them being junked finding parts has been easy and cheap.Since my son likes to tinker, he does his own repairs."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

great car

By on Friday, June 05, 2009

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"I just sold my beautiful 95 vw golf city. Well worth what I paid. Highly recommend to anyone looking for reliable transportation with lots of room & fuel economy."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

1996 Golf GTI VR6 - 5 Speed

By on Thursday, October 23, 2008

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

"Overall, Volkswagen GTI's sold to the U.S. market since 1991 have been built in Mexico (or Brazil from 1999 - 2005) and thus quality control has been an issue. Hence why current GTI models as of 2006 and newer are built in Germany. As much fun as my car is to drive, I've had ongoing problems since purchasing it as a 2nd owner initially with 95,000 miles. I have invested $$ to keep the car up to par, but to no avail as minor and major issues keep cropping up. Repairs as well as parts can be expensive so beware if you are financially strapped. I understand that as any car gets older and and has more mileage, normal wear and tear is normal. Still, compared to contemporary domestic, Japanese and other European models, most Volkswagen models have lagged behind in quality and reliability when you take into consideration the same mileage and years of ownership. My first car was a 1973 VW Superbeetle and it took me through high school, college and medical school. Superb quality and Superb reliability. It's unfortunate that Volkswagen which wrote the book on quality has now lost that winning formula."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Classic Hatchback Design

By on Friday, September 19, 2008

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought a '96 with 80k on the clock and 8 years later its turning 200k next tank. Did all the regular maintenance a car would need along the way and its been a great ride. The engine isn't that great in stock form, but very economical. With basic chip, intake, exhaust and lightened flywheel the car really comes alive and achieves a classic peppy hatchback. I recently had the transmission rebuilt and expect to push close to 300k miles before I need another daily driver. Engine is starting to blow a little smoke pulling out of the driveway on some mornings, I'm told new valve stem seals will fix this (easy to reach if you're having a sport cam shaft installed). Makes a great snow car if you get dedicated winter tires, I've never had a problem driving to the local mountain. Average 35mpg on long distance drives and mid 20s mixed driving. Super easy to work on if you want to DIY. The 4cyl GTI is basic car, with little frills or things to go wrong. Great upright driving position, in supportive comfortable seats, life is great in a GTI! In the last year I've replaced ignition switch, shifter bushings, e-brake cable, hoses, heater core. Was the first expensive year, everything else has been scheduled maintenance."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Would buy again without a second thought

By on Friday, September 05, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"I got this car with a little under 40K on it and at 48K I had to do some basic repairs because it as is per the norm. Other than that this car has been outstanding. Have only had to do your basic repairs without any major issues. I had to replace the clutch cable about 3 years ago and at 10 years old it needs a new gear shifter and bushings, but that has been the only issue in the 6 years I have owned it. Repairs would be expensive, but going to VW ONLY shops helps a lot. They aren't the cheapest for parts, but since they don't need many repairs it isn't an issue. This car handles like it was glued to the ground (believe me, I have run it like a rally car and it takes whatever I give it). While I would like a little more power out of it, for what it does have it is a little bullet! I love this car and will drive it until I have to push it and then I will buy a new one!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great value - fun to drive

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"I've driven this car 100K fun miles in past 8 years. Needed typical wear & tear repairs (muffler, struts, brakes, etc.) but nothing major and car never stranded me. Parts & repairs generally cheap compared to other vehicles. Zippy car to drive. I average 30mpg and have amazed people with what can fit in the back when seats are down. Would buy again in a heartbeat!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

By on Saturday, December 08, 2007

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"eh, a 93 and it still runs. That was good enough for me when i got it four years ago. Mine has manual windows, so i never experienced the problems typically accociated with the window regulator. Every now and again, it hiccups down the expressway, but hey... 191,300 and counting. What more can you ask from an automobile that was engineered to go 70k? I love my car, would not trade it in my life. Besides, it's got character. The contemporary styling is STILL better looking than the new cars and it's fifteen years old. My suggestions? change the oil every 3000 with synth (i now use high milage) keep it clean. Treat it well and it will return the favor."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

It's nice.

By on Tuesday, September 18, 2007

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"This is about as fun as it gets driving a car. Little rattles and squeaks are bothersome. Had 50,000 miles on it when I got it. I've driven it hard for about 5 years and have not had one problem with it. It's a blast to drive and you can beat on it as hard as you want and not worry about it. 9,000 miles in between oil changes with non synthetic oil. If you do have any mechanical problems, be prepared to pay top dollar to get it fixed. If you want a fun, quick, car that you just put gas in when you need it and don't worry about anything else....then this is your car."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

zippy car

By on Monday, July 16, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"This car is zippy even when hauling around three friends and gear. Always gets 30+ mpg, and almost never have problems. I will definitely be getting another."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Fantastic Car!

By on Thursday, July 12, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"I have owned mine since 1997 and it has run flawlessly. Great gas mileage and totally reliable. I would highly recommend this car to anyone."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

my kids car, ran rough til new plugs, runs great!

By on Saturday, January 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "engineering"

Cons: "small, quirky german engineering"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"car has 109k, ran very rough, replaced original plugs, cap, rotor, now runs great. Had my doubts, but now am very impressed. Plugs were all worn down to nubs-evenly!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

really reliable

By on Monday, September 20, 2010

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"motor is tough car will run forever with regualar matinece and gets great gas milage 30+"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

if loved will run great for a long time

By on Wednesday, July 07, 2010

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"In the past, I've owned not so sporty cars ('67 Mustang-'72 Granada-'81 Olds wagon) but this 1996 Golf has been the most pleasing, purchsing it BRAND NEW w/ 61 miles on it, great gas mileage, and of course its reliability (early in its life). As "MCKevROCK from Springfield, IL" (2/5/09) said about the repairs...ignition coil, power steering pump, belts, 1 set of brakes, tie rods, wires, door latch, dipstick stalk, etc. --DEALERS repairs are pricy!! Can't set alarm from outside of Drivers Door--$700+ fix from Dealer (don't understand that cost?) The clutch is slowly going out after 178,000 miles...BUT it still has original Tranny. AND can't forget to mention...the car hasn't pass emissions for the past 4 times (every other year) since 2000. I loved that car, but since it was one of the years VWs were assembled in Mexico, I can forsee more cost, having more than $25K invested in this VW (Leasing for 7 years then opting to purchase it after) it gave me a great run... NOW I own a '93 delSol... which I do recommend, even more than the VW..."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Friday, June 18, 2010

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"I've loved my experiences with my GTI. It's not the fastest thing on the road, but it's quick enough to have fun with. It's been extremely reliable, and has had no real mechanical issues to speak of in the time that I've owned it. It looks great, it sounds great, it works when I need it to and it's a ton of fun. What more can you ask from a car?"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

a dud

By on Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

"this car is fun and sporty. problem is that is likes to shut off because of problems with the car security system controller. i have replaced it twice, and have continued to have problems off and on for the past 2 years. if you luck out and get a good golf III, then other than this issue this car has had almost NO mechanical problems. let's just say that going 65mph on the highway and having the car shut off randomly is a major safety issue that i have had multiple dealerships in my area check out and they still have not been able to resolve it permanently. good luck and happy driving"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

DON'T BUY!!!

By on Wednesday, April 07, 2010

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

"i bought this car used. only put about 10k on it before the tranny threw a gear (spider gear or something like that) out the back of the housing. it was going to cost as much to fix it as the car was worth. Apparently this was an issue for multiple models for this time period (according to the VW mechanic). Also, it is really "squirrelly" on the freeway and plenty of road noise. for how small this vehicle is, it should have gotten WAY better gas mileage. the best i ever got was 25mpg. oh yeah, since i don't wanna fix it, and i can't really sell it, the junk yard will only give me $150..."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2009

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

"The car is a decent car. Pros: reliable engine, comfortable car, roomy, decent trunk space, smooth ride, good mileage. Cons: body parts falling off, poor paint that wears from heat, sub-par brakes. Overall, a good car for beginning driver."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Fun, but watch for rust

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"Definitely a fun car to have, and also very practical with its hatchback. Performance is excellent from the VR6, with reasonable economy (25 to 30MPG). reliability is OK, no major problems. But, 'genuine' VW parts can be very expensive. Rust is the main problem here in the northeast; salt & VWs don't mix well."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

270,000 miles so far.....

By on Thursday, February 05, 2009

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"1995 Golf Sport 2.0L: I bought mine with 50k miles on it in '99 and drive it for work every day. The only way you can tell its age is by the many rust spots on the rear hatch. Common problem with the Mexican 95 and 96 cars. Sure, I've had my share of repairs (ignition coil, power steering pump, belts, valve cover and oil pan seals, 4 mufflers, 3 sets of brakes, water pump, shocks, tie rods, wires, shifter fork, door latch, dipstick stalk, etc.) and some options are too expensive to repair (Moonroof, dealer installed cruise) but it still goes!!! Gonna sell this to a friend for $500. I got my money's worth out of it!! I put a Neuspeed strut brace on and it is STILL fun to whip around corners. ANd it still has the ORIGINAL CLUTCH!!! wow."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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