1996 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

1996 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Volkswagen GTI Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 172 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1996 Volkswagen GTI

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent road manners, roomy interior, fun to drive, speedy VR6.

  • Cons

    Some controls and symbols difficult to decipher, staid styling, underpowered four-cylinder engine.

  • What's New for 1996

    Last year's two-door Golf Sport and GTI VR6 models become a separate nameplate called simply the GTI, with respective base and VR6 trim levels. Like the Golf Sport, the base GTI will continue on with VW's 115-hp inline four but will get some additional content, including alloy wheels, bolstered sport seats, whip antenna and smoke-tinted taillights. Meanwhile, the GTI VR6 gets a black leather seating option. Both models will benefit from new cloth upholstery, the addition of a glovebox, retractor locking seatbelts (for more secure child-seat installation), easier-to-use height adjustment for the front belts, a central locking switch on the dash and a warning tone to remind you that you've left the headlights on. New exterior colors include Catalina Blue for the base GTI and Windsor Blue, Bright Surf Green and Sequoia Green for the GTI VR6.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


1996 gti 5 speed -

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback

I bought my 1996 GTI (5 speed)last year (2008)with approx 95k miles on it. I love this car! She won't quit! Had one problem with her where she died on the road: turns out with the ac on full blast (soon after starting) in high heat of South FL, blew the coil circuit. VWs are notorious for electrical problems as they age, but they are usual suspects as with any car: coil/coil circuit (ie...wiring), ignition switch, spark plugs (do not use platinum 4 prongs-they don't last). If you do a little research to pinpoint the usual problems - you'll be able to get her in prime shape inexpensively (VW Depot in FL are the best).




Lower your expectations

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI VR6 2dr Hatchback

As much fun as my car is to drive, I've had ongoing problems since purchasing it as a 2nd owner initially with 95,000 miles. I have invested $$ to keep the car up to par, but to no avail as minor and major issues keep cropping up. Repairs as well as parts can be expensive so beware if you are financially strapped. It's unfortunate that Volkswagen which wrote the book on quality has now lost that winning formula.




Mpg commuter

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback

I needed a good commuter for my new job which requires I commute 100 miles per day round trip. I decided on a 96 GTI 2.0 because MPG is as important as being fun to drive. It turns out I am averaging 30-32 MPG. I was lucky to find an unmodified, well maintained w/ an almost new interior for it's 13 year/123,000 age. I love this little car, I find myself not wanting to drive my 06' SS/SC. The 2.0 engine mated to the 5 speed is wonderful, the car is as tight (structurally) as a new car. I cruise at 70-80 mph without any drama. I more pleased than I expected I would be and parts are cheap. I high recommend 2.0 GTI's for anyone looking good MPGs, excellent hauling space and a fun daily driver!




Electrical and other problems

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback

I love this car and think it is fun to drive. It looks so cute and gets a lot of comments, even now that it has 100,000 miles on it. Unfortunately, it has taken a lot of money to keep it running. The brakes needed replaced entirely, costing over $1000, at 60,000 miles. The license surround broke the day I bought it. The exhaust needed replaced twice in 4 years. It had a persistant oil pressure problem that couldn't be figured out by numerous shops. Warning lights come on when it gets wet and shops can't seem to fix it. The car nearly caught fire when the electrical system melted, costing about $2000 to fix. The water pump, thermostat, and harmonic balancer just quit. I won't buy another VW.




Gti vr6 is great car

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI VR6 2dr Hatchback

Bought my VR6 new. It is an absolute blast to drive. Never had a single problem with it except a stubborn electric passenger window. 50,000 miles now. Would buy another Volkswagen in a heart




Speed racer

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback

This is my second VW. I have owned it for it's entire life and have only had minor problems with it, most of which were covered under the warranty. The one disappointment was the radio. I liked the security feature it had, but I had to have it replaced three times. Several VW dealerships I spoke to knew this radio was a lemon, but could offer me only expensive alternatives. I finally replaced it with an aftermarket in dash CD player which is not so great, but it works and it's loud. On the whole, I am happy with my car and I highly recommend VWs.



Full 1996 Volkswagen GTI Review

What's New for 1996

Last year's two-door Golf Sport and GTI VR6 models become a separate nameplate called simply the GTI, with respective base and VR6 trim levels. Like the Golf Sport, the base GTI will continue on with VW's 115-hp inline four but will get some additional content, including alloy wheels, bolstered sport seats, whip antenna and smoke-tinted taillights. Meanwhile, the GTI VR6 gets a black leather seating option. Both models will benefit from new cloth upholstery, the addition of a glovebox, retractor locking seatbelts (for more secure child-seat installation), easier-to-use height adjustment for the front belts, a central locking switch on the dash and a warning tone to remind you that you've left the headlights on. New exterior colors include Catalina Blue for the base GTI and Windsor Blue, Bright Surf Green and Sequoia Green for the GTI VR6.

Talk About The 1996 GTI

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs