1996 Volkswagen Golf from North America


If your thinking of getting a VW, or let's be more specific, a Golf... RUN AWAY FAST!!!


OK, it's more like what didn't go wrong with this car.

Transmission went.


Underneath the car had all kinds of work done.

Car stereo went.

General Comments:

Let's put it this way. I bought the car for $4000 a year ago, and I have put another $3000 - $4000 in repairs. At best I can now sell the car for $3000 - $3500. I understand there are lemons, but from everyone I talk to about this, they all say they know someone or themselves have had horror stories about this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th March, 2007

9th Mar 2007, 14:33

VWs have always had poor (generally, not specifically) automatic transmissions. I also had a mk3 Golf that had reliability issues that I figured came from my car being a Friday afternoon build under the influence of Tequila... Lemons exist, be wary. The Jettas are typically better cuz they were built in Germany rather than Mexico.

19th Aug 2007, 19:57

The above comment ("The Jettas are typically better cuz they were built in Germany rather than Mexico.") is un-true. The unless the Jetta is a Wolfsburg or Carat, it wasn't made in Germany... just like the Golfs.

1996 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0L petrol from Australia and New Zealand


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

1996 Volkswagen Golf SE 1.4 from UK and Ireland


My first car and I don't need or want another one!


Front lower arms needed replacement after 1st year (due to harsh use when first purchased).


Brake vacuum hose split at joint Aug '06.

General Comments:

Brilliant First Car! Cheap, pretty quick and looks good.


Fuel Economy Good. Full tank does 400+ miles


No rust and perfect bodywork even after a year by the sea.


Good quality interior. Comfortable, bright and easy to clean.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2007

1996 Volkswagen Golf GTi 8v 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Good solid car


ABS warning light intermittently flashing. Needed new ABS pump which is over £300 from VW dealer. Is better value to get one second hand for about £100.

Gearbox making hissing sounds. Reconditioned gearbox fitted for £600.

Brakes screeching. Needed lubricating.

Central locking stopped functioning. New fuse needed.

On board computer kept presetting after turning ignition off. Again needed a new fuse.

Cigarette lighter not working. Replaced with new unit.

Rear axle bushes perished. New bushes fitted.

General Comments:

Having driven some performance hot hatchbacks I was fully aware that the Mark 3 Golf GTi was not of a similar type of car. It has enough power to overtake when needed although it is not to be compared with hot hatches such as the Clio 172 Cup. The 8v GTi is nothing spectacular but is more than sufficient for most drivers.

The car is very comfortable to be in and this is complemented by having heated leather seats.

There have been numerous electrical faults with the car although I think I have rectified most of these. Replacement parts are expensive and dealer servicing costs are extremely high so it is best using a reputable specialist.

My car has covered over 126k miles, but apart from a lot of stone chips to the front end you would not think it had covered this mileage. The interior has worn extremely well and there are very few rattles from the cabin. It appears to have been built properly!

Fuel economy is acceptable and I get around 35mpg with normal driving.

Overall this is a good solid car although be prepared to spend money on keeping it running as there are bound to be minor niggles that need rectifiying. I hope to keep it running for a substantial amount of time now I have spent a lot of money getting it fully fixed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2006