1997 Volkswagen Golf GTi 2.0 OCH from Lithuania


Cool for amateurs


ABS failed.

Fog lights and indicators leak water inside.

Rear shock absorbers worn out.

Gearbox broke three times!!!

Rear brake pads worn out.

General Comments:

The car is very easy to handle. The steering is very light, as if you were driving on air. However, as it is front wheel drive, it tends to understeer pretty badly on fast corners.

Quite predictable. ABS works just fine.

The 2.0 115HP engine is of course more than traditional 1.6, but it is a joke of the GTI. Compared to 2.0 DOCH 150HP or the VR6, it is really hard to understand, why Volkswagen had put it in the GTI version. It's a laugh. A sad one. Though you can do over 115mph, there's no thrill at all. Recently some maybe 20 year old Honda Civic outran me at the traffic light. Pathetic!.. It also can't do any more than 25mpg in a city.

The most astonishing part is the gearbox. The rear gear pinion broke twice!.. (the third time I replaced the whole gearbox, because it had worn out during the previous breakdowns) You have to be very gentle when driving rearwards and not to rev up! It's probably the Achilles heel of this car.

The details for the Golf are probably the most cheapest in the market. So if you crash or just need a replacement, it can't hurt you less.

The cheap interior plastics tend to annoy, especially when going on gravel roads. It's just impossible to understand what exactly is rattling. However, the Recaro seats are build quite well, they give a decent support in various situations.

The full electricity package, climatronic, nice audio system make it a car you may like, if you're not too sophisticated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2007

1997 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0L from North America


Great car for daily commuting, but make sure it passes inspection from a reliable company


Car was in bad shape mechanically when I bought it, but the VW dealership told me it was in good condition.

At 96k:

Passenger airbag needed to be replaced.

Trunk leaked due to worn out tail-light seals

Tail-lights malfunctioning due to rusted out bulb housings caused by the leak

Slight coolant leak

CV joints were in very bad shape

Wheel bearings were worn out

Two huge cracks in the windshield

Catalytic converter blew up, destroying the exhaust system

The lights around the climate controls only work every once in a while.

General Comments:

It's a great car for daily commuting.

It gets great gas mileage (28-30+, with hard city driving)

Engine is solid; it's small, but it's all you need for a small car.

The back seat folds flat, giving tons of storage space.

Engine isn't too powerful, but it is reliable,

Seats are a little stiff, but not noticeable except on long drives.

This model is known for weird electrical problems.

With as much stuff as I've had go wrong with it, I can't see myself getting rid of it anytime soon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th December, 2006

1997 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0 from North America


I will never break up with my baby!!!


She's had her ups and downs like any other car.

The engine light came on and off.

Compressor was gone at 65,000miles

Cat replaced at 95,000 miles

Door trim fell off and glued back.

General Comments:

My Golf is my baby for life. I bought it new and since little I have always been in love with these hatchbacks. When the engine light went on the first time I thought it was over. But then I found out it was the cat that needed to be replaced. I always loved the way it handled, but after lowering it about 2.5 inches, added a front strut tower bar and a rear bar too, the car performance was amazing. I upgraded the brakes to slotted and drilled rotors and I get excellent stopping. I installed an under-crank pulley and I felt the extra ponies kicking in at high revs. I also changed the air intake and muffler and it sounds divine.

I just did some basic modifications to spice it up a bit, but my Golf so far with over 124,000 miles still performs like a Golf.

About electrical problems I have none.

Interior is in excellent condition (no cracks).

Overall Golfs are great cars for daily driving or as a small project car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2006