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1996 Volkswagen Golf

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 129 Ratings for the 1993 - 1999 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10
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Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25
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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."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Awesome

By on Saturday, May 8, 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."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Safe car, fun to drive -- but expensive to fix

By on Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I bought the 1997 VW Golf GI 4-door hatchback used from first owner in 2011. Within 4 months, it began a regular pattern of breaking down. Clutch and fly wheel were biggest repairs. It has never gone more than 6 months without a major repair. Parts are getting expensive, but the unique arrangement of the transmission.motor means mechanics often have to lift transmission out to fix. Parts -- $200. Labor -- $400. I don't recommend buying this car unless you have a good mechanic thoroughly check it out. However, it's probably well known that as VW's age, parts & repair will be more than the average car. Buyer beware."

17 people out of 25 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 9 found this review helpful

Not a bad little car

By on Friday, July 23, 2010

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"First off I would not recommend it simply because of its age. Buying a car thats 15 years old is just asking for trouble. Ive had my car for about 5 years now. Bought it at 87,000 miles and shes up to 123,000 now. The exhaust has fallen off completely, cat and all. The radiator mount has rusted out and is now held up by wires, the floorboard behind drivers seat is rusting out, ABS light has been on for years, leaked oil and coolant, and the trunk wont open anymore. All dealable problems and to be expected for a car this old but I love my car. Its comfortable, sporty, great gas mileage (drive 60mi round trip 3-4 days a week and olny put $20 in) and just all around fun. I wish I could have gotten it new. Oh yeah the speedometer stopped working too lol"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Mechaically a great car. Rusted fast.

By on Saturday, October 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 189,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Very good car mechanically."

Cons: "Very bad and pre mature body rot."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"This car was and is still running great for a car with high mileage. This car rusted out in places I've never had cars rust. The back hatch, floor, radiator mount, rear brake assemblies, etc. rotted out in under 10 years. Absolutely the worst sheet metal and overall metal I've ever seen on a car. The car will have to be junked, because it's body has rusted away. All 4 jacking points on the body are rotted out. The rear brake systems have rusted like I've never seen. The fact that the car was built in Mexico and probably built out of poor sheet metal is why it rotted. I've been a VW owner for many years. After this car, I'm passing on another Mexican built VW."

2 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 3 found this review helpful

By on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"I've driven my Golf A LOT, with only a couple of minor problems. The timing belt broke. And I've noticed that sometimes the airbag light comes on randomly. Any problems were/are expected considering the car was 13 years old when I got it. I love my Golf, and plan on driving it until it drives no more."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

great car

By on Friday, June 5, 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 3 found this review helpful

This has been a great, safe reliable vehicle for m

By on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

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: "fast, safe,smooth,tight, handling,great stereo"

Cons: "paint is ionized after 12 years"

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

"Loved this car from the start. Always felt safe. Size was deceiving. Moved a ton of items. 2 queen size headboards one time. For many years had another vehicle and husband had a work truck. This just sat. After 2 years thought we'd better do something with it and it just started right up. Never broke down and it just won't die. We just had to keep it.Its been a 3rd vehicle untill now and it just keeps going. Best feature to me is that I love that style has not changed. It does not look like a 20 year old car. I have had no major problems with this car. From consumer reports etc I would not have bought another one from what I have read..until now. I went the other day to kill time and sat in the 2015. Wow. Will research further and just possible be another golf owner."

12 people out of 21 found this review helpful

COOL CAR!

By on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

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

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

"BEST 6CYL ENGINE EVER PRODUCED IN MY OPINION. THE SHIFTING IS SILKY SMOOTH AND VERY RELIABLE OVERALL. THE INTERIOR DESIGN IS TIMELESS AS WITH THE EXTERIOR STYLING."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Excellent, reliable, fun to drive car.

By on Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 208,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "peppy, good handling, fun to drive, roomy interior"

Cons: "rear cupholder broke; gas mileage fair"

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

"I bought my Golf GL in March 1998 and still have it as of October 2013. I thought I would buy a Japanese car but test drove the Golf as part of thorough research and was instantly converted. It is very peppy and maneuverable and fun to drive (I have a manual transmission--don't know about the automatic version). It has been very reliable, the clutch has had to be replaced but after 208,000 miles I expect to wear that out. Other than that it did develop an oil leak last year. I have heard VW cars have electrical problems and this one did have the Service Engine light come on twice for no reason when it was fairly new but I took it into the dealership and they figured out nothing was wrong and got it to turn off. I love the handling and it has headroom for my six-foot tall husband and plenty of room for two kids in the backseat. My only wish is that it got better gas mileage (I am able to get about 30 mpg which is not bad, but not as good as some other small cars). I would highly recommend this car and have been very happy with it."

14 people out of 25 found this review helpful

i love my little car..

By on Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

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: "dependable, fun and economical.."

Cons: "expensive parts..."

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

"My little vw golf is the best car I have ever owned, the parts are expensive but it's so easy to work on yourself that a child can repair anything that ever goes wrong with it. If you keep up regular maintenance , this little car will stay as dependable as if it were new.... best car ever"

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

horrible car

By on Friday, April 19, 2013

I owned and sold this car
Reason: stopped working

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "good gas milage, comftable, and big space inside"

Cons: "parts expensive, breaks down easily"

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

"I fell in love with the car when I saw it but after 6 months of nothing but problems I hated that car. The parts are expensive, its very hard to find a good mechanic for it and once it has a problem it will break down every chance it gets. Horrible horrible car"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Terrible Car

By on Wednesday, September 12, 2007

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

"I have owned 4 VW Golf's and you would think I would have learned. This is like driving a 1979 Chevy. All I do is order very very expensive parts. Just replaced a $600 window regulator and motor!. OH YEAH this was the 5TH one!!! Just to give you and idea what kind of build quality we are talking here. Every week it is something. Now the coolant sensor is bad and blinks at me constantly. So unless you are a person who works on cars yourself don't ever buy one. You can't afford to own it. And that goes for Audi too. It's the same company same build quality. They are the best looking cars on the road but that is only skin deep."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

By on Thursday, July 15, 2010

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

This customer did not provide a text review.

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

yes

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2009

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"This a really nice car i have it and put lambo doors on it. it is faster than my Honda Civic"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

By on Saturday, August 23, 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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

This customer did not provide a text review.

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

By on Wednesday, July 23, 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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

This customer did not provide a text review.

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

By on Friday, October 26, 2007

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

This customer did not provide a text review.

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Poor vehicle

By on Thursday, August 30, 2007

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

"Mechanically unsafe. Poor engineering. Keeps falling apart"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle

By on Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 318,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very reliable, Fun to drive"

Cons: "Parts can get expensive."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have owned this car going on 6 years now. When I first purchased the vehicle it already had 203,000 miles on it and the previous owner had severely neglected it. But if you fix them up right it goes to show you how reliable these vehicles are. Just hit 318000 miles on it last week and she's still kicking."

11 people out of 24 found this review helpful

best vehicle I've owned

By on Saturday, March 31, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,300

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "there's no cup holders"

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

"i think the car is fun to drive and i like the way it handles and the performance of the car. it looks sharp when you look at it i told my self for years i'm never going to buy one of those cars. I bought one and i love the car."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Keep going like a hungry goat

By on Friday, September 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great value & Fun to drive"

Cons: "None"

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

"Bought the car second hand. There is rust because of the last owner were careless and failed to appreciate the beauty of this car. I think the head gasket is leaking...OH WELL. This car is in pretty good cosmetic shape inside and I have repaired things as needed like the peeling seat backs or the trunk latch that sticks sometimes. No major leaks, Easy to work on and do basic maintenance. Gas mileage sucks because of the short trips I make. I run high octane fuel and use Royal Purple motor oil to offset the age and wear this vehicle has endured. The interior overall gets a 8 for being user friendly and well designed, the Exterior must have spent time in Philly with salt trucks. The Glass is good the Plastic parts are in great shape. Light rust in most places, But overall she starts up, runs and does a great service as a Beater, Paint has seen better days. Cheap to repair and maintain. Worth the money I spent in every aspect. Easy to get parts for. Great second car."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

By on Tuesday, September 2, 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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

This customer did not provide a text review.

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

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