1996 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0L


A solid little car that has stood the test of time pretty well


Relay fault with the ignition. Wouldn't start in hot weather.

Small oil leak from the sump pan gasket or maybe the main seal (never been fixed).

Broken lock linkage on the driver's door.

General Comments:

Our Golf GL has been used by my wife for years, but due to short trips it has not accumulated many miles. I like driving the car because it is compact and snug. It is great on the freeway and has great stability for its size. It sits very well on the road and gets along. The automatic gearbox is a bit fuzzy sometimes and it could do with taller gearing.

Brakes are adequate for the age of the car and handling is a bit average by today's standards, with a tendency to oversteer on corners. This probably relates to the fairly wide tyres that the model runs. In short, it is heavier to turn than modern cars, but the overall experience is OK and not off-putting.

The internal setout is quite advanced for its age, and the seats fold down well and create lots of room for such a small car. The engine is bulletproof and there is no rust at all in the body, which is surprising given that our car has not been garaged.

Overall the Golf has served us well and continues to be a useful shopping trolley. Service costs are minimal and involve an oil change and filter. The interior is "as new", which is unique for a 20 year old car. There is a very high build quality overall, which is not unexpected given these cars were very expensive when they were released.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2017

1996 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0L petrol


Great to drive, but expensive for parts


A tooth came off the reverse gear and the whole gearbox had to be done at a cost of about $1,000 AUD.

The brake pads have worn the rotors which now need replacing at a cost of about $110 AUD each.

Drivers side electric window stopped working and cost about $275 AUD to fix.

The key ignition setup had to be replaced after a few months of having to jiggle it eventually it gave up all together. About $300 AUD to fix.

Some idiot smashed the driver's side wing mirror and being electric and heated cost $187 AUD for a second hand one.

Some other electrical thing cost about $250 AUD.

General Comments:

Despite all of the expenses I love this car, it's just that the parts and repairs are so expensive. The engine is very responsive and it handles beautifully. The 10 stacker CD player was a real draw card too when I was looking to buy, great for those long trips.

The cruise control works very well and the electric sunroof is a top feature. Too hot in summer in this part of the world though, the A/C is like a fridge which is great.

It is very economical to actually run with fuel and I think it looks really good. I'd buy another if I had a better paying job.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th January, 2007