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…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (37 total reviews)

Great first car

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Vehicle: 1997 Volkswagen Golf K2 4dr Hatchback

I bought this car with 63,000 miles on it in May of 2011 and I had never driven a manual car before then. This car is easy to leave how to drive manual, and is very fun to drive because it hugs corners. Although it does lack power, it is still a great car and if you can find one with low miles I would highly recommend buying one for yourself.


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Vehicle: 1997 Volkswagen Golf GL 2dr Hatchback

While this is not the most appealing car it has been incredibly reliable. 15 years old and the only thing I've had to fix since acquiring it 6 years ago was a oil pressure sending unit for $60! My 2001 Jetta was a disaster of a car...constantly breaking down. The VW's of the 1990's are amazingly reliable vehicles.

First car

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Vehicle: 1997 Volkswagen Golf GL 2dr Hatchback

This was (and still is) my first car that I got in high school. I got it with 68,000 miles in 07 and have put on about 30,000 since then. Even with only 4 cylinders I have no problems getting up to speed on the highway and passing people. The gas mileage is ok around town but between 50-75 it really rocks. The interior was cheaply made, and there are a lot of cheap plastic pieces, but at 15 years old I'm not surprised that most of it is deteriorating. The biggest problem I had was with an intermittent speedometer, but I plan on running this car into the ground. If you can find one, you will not be disappointed.

Efficient transportation

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Vehicle: 1997 Volkswagen Golf GL 4dr Hatchback

I inherited this car with 31,000 miles on it, in practically mint condition. Aside from precautionary maintenance,new belts,replace brake fluid,etc , the car has performed perfectly. I now have 41,000 miles on it.The car gets about 30-35 mpg, has good acceleration on the highway, and cruises easily at 70 mph. Plenty of space inside.

The long history of it

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Vehicle: 1997 Volkswagen Golf GL 4dr Hatchback

I bought my Golf new in May '97. Kept it simple by NOT having power door locks, air conditioning or auto trans. I now have 203,125 miles on the odometer, and everything is working great. I have had some minor trim problems years ago, but resolved by non-vw bodyshop. I've had the front and rear brakes done once each (wear and tear) and I'm now on my second complete muffler replacement. I have not experienced any of the wiper/door lock failures, though locks freeze up easy. driving is manageable in snow but not great. I'm still on the same clutch. I regularly have VW maintenance @ 5000mi to take care of it and performs better on 91 octane gas. Is is fun? Got caught doing 113mi/hr in a 50 zone.

Rubber moldings and then all

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Vehicle: 1997 Volkswagen Golf Jazz 4dr Hatchback

Good little car. Excellent mileage an easy 32 mpg with no effort, comfy, saucy. Only needs regular upkeep, but then there's those disappearing rubber moldings, get some good glue. Sound system is really nice. A/C, when working, is good. All kinds of space for carrying things. Suspension excellent. A tight little car with very few squeaks but a paucity of quality when it comes to interior plastic (knobs i.e. seat, radio, cup holder is laughable) I'll keep it for a few more years.

Gas Mileage


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

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