1997 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback

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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 17/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 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 1997

    For 1997, the GTI VR6 gets new alloy wheels and a revised suspension that has been lowered by 10mm and includes stiffer shock absorbers, springs and stabilizer bars. Meanwhile, the 115-horsepower inline four that powers the base GTI is fitted with a new cylinder head for smoother power delivery. A cargo area light is now standard in the base model, and both models get a new high-mounted center brake light and open-door warning reflectors for all doors. Late in the 1997 model year, Volkswagen offers a limited run of the GTI VR6 Driver's Edition, which comes with a special set of seven-spoke alloys; an even lower, stiffer suspension with progressive antiroll bars; red brake calipers; chrome-tipped exhaust pipes; special cloth upholstery and floor mats; silver-faced gauges; a round aluminum/rubber shift knob; red stitching on the leather-wraps for the steering wheel, hand brake and shift boot and deluxe door sill covers embossed with the "GTI" name.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (15 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


1996 gti 5 speed -

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI

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

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI

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

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI

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

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI

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.




First car

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI

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.




Great car

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen GTI

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



Full 1997 Volkswagen GTI Review

What's New for 1997

For 1997, the GTI VR6 gets new alloy wheels and a revised suspension that has been lowered by 10mm and includes stiffer shock absorbers, springs and stabilizer bars. Meanwhile, the 115-horsepower inline four that powers the base GTI is fitted with a new cylinder head for smoother power delivery. A cargo area light is now standard in the base model, and both models get a new high-mounted center brake light and open-door warning reflectors for all doors. Late in the 1997 model year, Volkswagen offers a limited run of the GTI VR6 Driver's Edition, which comes with a special set of seven-spoke alloys; an even lower, stiffer suspension with progressive antiroll bars; red brake calipers; chrome-tipped exhaust pipes; special cloth upholstery and floor mats; silver-faced gauges; a round aluminum/rubber shift knob; red stitching on the leather-wraps for the steering wheel, hand brake and shift boot and deluxe door sill covers embossed with the "GTI" name.

Talk About The 1997 GTI

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs