1996 Volkswagen Golf GTD 1.9 TDi turbo diesel from Lithuania


Cheap, reliable, and good performance daily drive!


I had to change the clutch at 230 000km, but no wonder, the clutch was changed the first time here, so it will last until the car dies from rust now.

Had several problems with engine control vacuums, but no wonder, they tear in a row of years and daily use in various conditions e.g. cold, hot, dry, etc.

Overall the car had no problems or any illness. Not many things can go wrong on this car.

General Comments:

This Golf is cheap to run, economical, and has good performance; 81kw for this lightweight car is really more than enough.

My car has no rust, as it had good care before.

The seats are pretty comfortable and adjustable; really good.

So for daily use, the Golf is just the right choice for me, however, for longer distances it is not so comfortable, but drivable.

This car is so reliable, that I am always SURE that I will reach my destination :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2012

1996 Volkswagen Golf GTi 8v 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Performance legend with minor niggles


Things went wrong with this car at quite a high rate, which is not what I was expecting from VW.

ABS warning light would come on. Cleaning the sensors made it go away for a while, then it came back on again. Not sure what the root of this was.

Driver's side window stopped working.

Boot lock stopped working.

Various electrical systems were temperamental, and added up to an overall feeling of unreliability.

General Comments:

The GTi is a performance legend, and I was very keen to experience it for myself. Sure enough, right from the first drive, I was hooked by the car's instant throttle response, grip on the road, ability to be chucked into corners, and overall driver involvement.

The engine is torquey and a good performer. At 3,000 RPM the fun really starts. This car will turn you into a hooligan around town fairly quickly. Be aware though, that once you reach 80 MPH, the car is out of ideas.

The brakes were also something of a disappointment. They felt rather weak and spongy, and consequentially I never felt confident in pushing the car to the limits that the engine and chassis suggested it was capable of.

The cabin, trim etc. were about exactly what you would expect of a VW; in other words perfectly functional, but fairly boring.

Reliability was not a strong point for this car. I get the feeling that every component was designed to do 100,000 miles and not much more. This is the point when I bought the car, and sure enough, I ended spending a lot of time replacing and fixing things. My girlfriend's 1996 VW Passat seems to have a lot of the same problems as well. I think my overall advice is to buy Japanese if you want a minimum of mechanical hassle.

Fuel economy was not great either, probably 30-35 mpg depending on how I drove. This is roughly what you would expect of a 2.0, but I was hoping for a little more given how light the car is. Still, you get plenty of performance.

My ownership of this car ended abruptly with a spectacular accident at 110,000 miles. I was driving along country lanes at about 50 mph, and another car came around the corner about a foot over on my side of the road. I swerved to avoid it, clipped the bank, and that was enough to flip the car. It rolled two and a half times and I exited the car by crawling out upside down through the shattered windscreen. Credit where credit is due; the car took the accident very well and the cabin was not crushed at all. Well done VW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2010