Used 1996 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback Consumer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
I love my car. It's small enough to go anywhere, has enough oomph to drive under any condition, and is a comfortable ride. The only think I could recommend is that if you do buy one of these bad boys, is change the air-filter for an aftermarket one. It will give you a big boost in performance.
I've had two VWs - one a '91 Jetta diesel and the '96 Golf. The Jetta was one of the best cars I've ever owned, and the Golf by far the worst. We'e had major, expensive failures of practically every system - transmission, engine, air conditioning, etc etc etc. Latest repair it needs significantly exceeds the resale value of the car.