1996 Volkswagen GTI Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1996 Volkswagen Gti - Consumer Reviews

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1996 GTI Consumer Reviews

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1996 GTI 5 speed - awesome car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jennP
on

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback


Review

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).


Favorite Features

Smoothness of changing gears. Sunroof.


Suggested Improvements

Only thing I would chg are the wacky fabrics used on the seats... but then again, it's part of it's charm :o)


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mpg commuter
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By modern commuter
on

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback


Review

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!


Favorite Features

comfort, build quality, interior space, fun to drive, MPG


Suggested Improvements

finicky speedo/tach works intermittently


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Electrical and other problems
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By nomorevws
on

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Size, looks, cargo room, maneuverability.


Suggested Improvements

Everything that makes a car reliable.


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First Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Court24
on

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback


Review

I bought this car in 2002. I absolutely love VWs, always wanted one.I have had a continuing throttle problem, and transmission proble. Ceiling upholstery is falling. Very recently spent $500 to replace ignition - the key would not turn at all in the ignition, I actully had to have it towed twice to a car repair shop for this problem. Car is very fast for a 4 cylinder. Nice sporty European car - get many looks. I actually love this car. I considered buying a new GTI - but I am now too old for the youthful sports car. The problems that I have with this car have nothing to do with design - but age. FYI - my car only has 82000 miles on a 11 year old car.


Favorite Features

Speed and acceleration.


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Great Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By poepoe
on

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback


Review

It is a awsome little car, fun to drive and with a sound system it is amazing!!!!!


Favorite Features

Moonroof, power locks, roomy for a little car


Suggested Improvements

SOUND SYSTEM, super injection


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GREAT CAR
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Cpages2
on

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback


Review

I have owned about 5 cars since I was 16 and this is the best so far. It is very reliable and has never let me down. I bought with with 82,000 miles and I am now at 93,000 and I have had no mechanical problems whats so ever. The car is a blast in the rain and in dry conditions. The only complaint I have is the stereo goes into lock mode if you un hook the battery. Then it took me forever to get teh code from the dealer and it ended up not working. I just went aftermarket but it was still a pain.


Favorite Features

INTERIOR DESIGN, VERY OPEN FEEL FOR A 2 DOOR HATCH. LOVE THE CARGO SPACE.


Suggested Improvements

Seats should be a little softer. And the rear wiper is a little odd in teh fact that it only wipes 1/2 the rear window.


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vws are money pits
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mdgiff1
on

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback


Review

i have owned my gti 4cyl for about 3 years. I have slowly watched it detereorate. ABS suddenly stopped working dash accessory lights blink or short out. Coolant and power steering won't stop leaking despite repairs. Can't drive 30 miles in the rain without it breaking down at least twice, despite repairs. Repairs are COSTLY! I can't even change my own spark plugs or wires due to design. It has about 113,000 mi and I can't wait to get rid of it. Consider this a warning to anyone considering buying one of these.


Favorite Features

It is fun to drive in dry weather. Surprising passenger room front and back.


Suggested Improvements

plan for rain when designing a car! Make simple repairs possible for owner. Eliminate that turning knob that reclines the seat back.


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speed racer
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jimmythecalf
on

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Working wipers (a novelty for me). The GTI's design. It's fun to drive. Even the smaller engine is a blast on the highway.


Suggested Improvements

Better customer service for bad or poorly designed parts. More convience features -- like cup holders that actually can fit something in them, a light in the hatch, and a glove compartment.


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