1997 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

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Volkswagen Golf Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 115 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 Volkswagen Golf

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent road manners, roomy interior, fun to drive, availability of upscale features.

  • Cons

    Some controls difficult to decipher, staid styling, weak four-cylinder engine, can't get ABS on K2 model.

  • What's New for 1997

    The Golf's 2.0-liter inline four engine is fitted with a redesigned cylinder head, resulting in smoother power delivery. Other changes include the addition of a cargo area light, a new high-mounted brake light and open-door warning reflectors for all doors. Memory Red is a new exterior paint choice. Later in the model year, Volkswagen releases special-interest K2, Trek and Jazz versions of the Golf. The K2 targets winter enthusiasts, and as such comes with the buyer's choice of skis or a snowboard; a roof rack to carry said gear; heated front seats, windshield washer nozzles and exterior mirrors; special cloth upholstery; silver-faced gauges; and an eight-speaker cassette stereo. The Golf Trek targets mountain bikers, and it comes with a 21-speed mountain bike and a bike rack for the roof; alloy wheels; sport seats; special cloth and carpeting; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; silver-faced gauges; and foglights. Finally, the Jazz is solely for those who fancy a Golf with a sound system, six-CD changer, velour upholstery and alloy wheels baked right in. Curiously, none of these special models are eligible for the basic GL model's optional antilock brakes.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (9 total reviews)


96 golf

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Golf

I purchased her online through E-Bay. The selling price was $3500, which at the time, was about $800 under book value. I flew out to Logan Intnl, picked her up and drove her back to Michigan all in a 26 hour period. Even with the flight, I was under book price, and she managed 39 mpg on the trip across New York state, and Canada. I have had 5 years of trouble free ownership, this past year she had some electrical difficulties, but I will get that repaired. The 2 liter, four door, manual transmission was what I wanted and needed for a 3 person family car. I have driven her to New Jersey once, and the UP of Michigan about 5 times. She waxes my wifes Taurus on the road, and is comfortable.




Bad experience.

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Golf

This is the first car I bought and, while it doesn't look bad from the outside, I have had an extensive list of mechanical problems with this piece of junk. In two years I have brought this thing to the shop for repair at least once every three months, with about an average bill of $80 per visit. Wheel bearings a few times a year, two water pumps, chronic bulb burn-outs, busted AC and cruise are too expensive to have fixed, airbag light is on, rapid rust corrosion, replaced trail arm bushing (almost killed us), NO GLOVE COMPARTMENT, 3 hour wheel alignment, chronic off-center steering, almost no heat in winter, broken window assembly, the list goes on... Good on fuel though.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Vw golf

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Golf

I bought this car earlier this year, and I drive it extremely hard. I've had no problems with it as far as repairs and such, which for me is unusual. The car has a decent top speed, although the acceleration is really bad. Its handling is pretty good for FWD. It's good on gas, looks good, is very sturdy, and is a well made automobile for sure.




No complaints; love it

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Golf

I bought this baby new in '96, have 105,000 miles on it. No major, unexpected repairs, except mufflers (3 times); and the usual tune-ups, tires. The paint still looks great, I waxed yearly for first few years. It's built solidly, the interior is spartan but very functional (ingenious use of texturized plastics). It has never had a squeak or rattle, and still looks great in and out. I'll drive it until it dies, which might be a long time - as I see other reviews with much more than 100,000 miles. This is an uncomplicated, reliable - (Knock on Wood) - fun to drive, solid car, and I love it.




Great overall car!

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Golf

Bought it w/ 120k on it and now has 202k.. Very reliable car, fun to drive and quick enough for me. Only had to replace the normal wear/tear parts.. Struts, rotors, plugs/wires, ext.. Gets excellent gas mileage 26-28 city and 28-34 highway. Hoping it will last me another 100k which it's on the right track for.. Keep up w/ your oil changes and the engine should last you forever.




Reliable build to last good

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Golf

Excellent vehicle. Drives and handles like a sports car (topped at 125mph), is very reliable and durable. I didn’t expect any different from VW. I own a passat as well and the Golf does not under perform to the Passat. Put more than 160k miles on it and it still looks and drives like new.



Full 1997 Volkswagen Golf Review

What's New for 1997

The Golf's 2.0-liter inline four engine is fitted with a redesigned cylinder head, resulting in smoother power delivery. Other changes include the addition of a cargo area light, a new high-mounted brake light and open-door warning reflectors for all doors. Memory Red is a new exterior paint choice. Later in the model year, Volkswagen releases special-interest K2, Trek and Jazz versions of the Golf. The K2 targets winter enthusiasts, and as such comes with the buyer's choice of skis or a snowboard; a roof rack to carry said gear; heated front seats, windshield washer nozzles and exterior mirrors; special cloth upholstery; silver-faced gauges; and an eight-speaker cassette stereo. The Golf Trek targets mountain bikers, and it comes with a 21-speed mountain bike and a bike rack for the roof; alloy wheels; sport seats; special cloth and carpeting; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; silver-faced gauges; and foglights. Finally, the Jazz is solely for those who fancy a Golf with a sound system, six-CD changer, velour upholstery and alloy wheels baked right in. Curiously, none of these special models are eligible for the basic GL model's optional antilock brakes.

Talk About The 1997 Golf

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs