1996 Volkswagen Golf VR6 2.8 from UK and Ireland


Fast, fun, cheap and cheerful


Failed ignition switch.

Replaced one gearbox engine mount.

General Comments:

This car was purchased as an impulse buy, as my GTI 16v mk3 was on its last legs. The engine itself was perfect, but the rest of the car needed too much money spending on it, so I decided to purchase the VR6.

It's not a Highline model, but does have Climatronic air conditioning.

Comparing the 16V to the VR6, I can safely say that the VR is an all round better car. Lots of low end gutsy torque, no flat curves and endless power. It doesn't need to be revved to get anywhere, and it is also a pleasant cruiser.

It's a lot quieter than my 16V, and after reading some reviews here, I can also say that a 16V is not a decent compromise on a 16V.

For the prices they are fetching today, they are cheap, reliable, fast fun. It is not the fastest car off the line, and I can say that my 16V was quicker in 1st and that is it. This car has endless torque right upto the high band in revs. Comparing this car to my old Prelude VTEC, I would pick the VR anyday. The in-gear pace of this car can match a lot of today's hot hatches (with the exception of some turbo'd machinery).

I have had some fun with Type R Civics, an E36 BMW 328i and a few VTI and VTI-r's. The looks on their faces were priceless.

The only downside in comparison to my 16v would be the fuel consumption. The best I have had on a combined cycle is 31.4 mpg, and the same route in my 16V gave 42.3. But who cares, it's cheap, it's cheerful, it's reliable, it's fun, and if I worried about the fuel consumption, I would have brought a diesel.

The other downside would be the handling; even with lowered springs, it's a bit of a slingshot in the bends (because of the weight up front.) It's OK, let the smaller engined hatch get the better of you, and when you are on the straights, let the torque to the talking.

The only thing I would replace the VR with would probably be a Corrado VR6.

Highly recommended.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th May, 2010

1996 Volkswagen Golf 1.8i from Sweden


Coil, because I slipped on my clutch and the car died.

Rear shock absorbers.

Right-rear brake.

General Comments:

Very good heat in the car - super good.

Always starts.

You can change things in this car yourself such as the spark plugs - but in new cars you canĀ“t do that.

Good gearbox.

Nothing more has gone wrong.

Reliable car, 5 plus +++++

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th October, 2009

14th Oct 2013, 15:05

I own a 1996 VW Golf Cabriolet. It's a first class car; tough, enduring, starts first time, cruises at seventy all day, some expected repairs, but nothing extraordinary. Manual hood, manual windows, nothing to go wrong. Passes the MOT always first time. A thoroughly reliable vehicle. Already passed the 100,000 mile mark a long time back. Not a fancy car, but a thoroughly enjoyable friend.

31st Dec 2014, 20:13

I own a 1996 cabriolet. It is all manual and very little has gone wrong. The mileage is 162800 miles.

Excellent build quality, starts in any weather, brilliant heater, comfortable ride, smooth gearbox and original clutch.

The roof could be renewed, but it's not essential.

The best car I have owned for reliability. Well done Volkswagen.

1996 Volkswagen Golf CL 1.9 diesel from Belgium


A great car. Too bad the odometer resets at 300,000 KM!


Fitted a new exhaust at 197,000 KM.

Rear shocks needed replacement at 225,000 KM.

Glow plug relay died at 225,000 KM. Replaced it with a used one, which is still working fine.

General Comments:

I bought this little gem from my grandfather-in-law, who got it new in 1996. It came with full service history and has been looked after very well, which is obvious at a glance. The body work is in excellent condition and the engine does not use a single drop of oil. The gearbox has no play and shifts very smoothly. Very occasionally I get this grinding sensation (and sound) as I shift from first to second. I don't know what it is but it happens very rarely, so I don't mind for the time being.

The car feels solid and sturdy. It sticks to the road and its soft suspension makes for a comfortable ride. The MKIII Golf is significantly heavier than the MKII, but the 1.9 diesel engine is powerful enough for me to keep up with traffic. Then again, I've got a rather easy-going driving style and opinions about performance may vary. On highways I cruise at about 2,300 RPM in fifth gear, which means at a speed of 95 KM/H. Anyhow, the car feels like it will run forever, which makes it more than adequate for long journeys.

Another beautiful thing about this car is how little fuel it needs. On average, one tank of diesel gets me as far as 1,000 kilometres. When my girlfriend and I went on a trip to Paris, one tank lasted for 1,140 KM!

When winter knocks on the door and the roads are covered in fresh snow, the fun is not over at all. The FWD Golf handles amazingly well on snowy roads and even hills won't stop it.

The layout of the dashboard is simple and the controls are intuitive. The Golf's roomy interior offers great comfort and, if you put the back seats down, plenty of space for luggage or furniture. Looking at the interior, the only complaint I can actually think of is that the seats don't offer enough support, which can be annoying if you have been driving for a few hours.

I personally don't like the look of most modern cars. Originally I intended to buy an MKII as I think it's the most beautiful of all Golfs (inside and out), but when my grandfather-in-law offered his immaculate MKIII for sale I couldn't resist.

Although I prefer the MKII from an aesthetic point of view, I still like the MKIII model and to me it's the last 'real' classic Golf. I don't regret buying it at all. The car has never ever left me stranded and always starts first time whatever the weather. It's as reliable as a car can get, and it's cheap to insure, cheap to run, and fun to drive!

It's a shame the MKIII odometers reset to 0 after 299,000 KM, which is only the break-in period if you ask me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th June, 2009

7th Mar 2011, 17:31

Update: 270,000 kms, still going strong!

I've just had a new water pump fitted because the original one was getting noisy. Now it sounds as nice and quiet as before again.