"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..."
"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?"
"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"
"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..."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"I am reluctantly offering my 1997 Golf for sale. I am the original owner and it has been the most reliable car I've owned. It has never broken down. It has been very economical to maintain. Seats are comfortable. There is ample room in the back seat. Visibility is excellent compared to other cars I've driven."