Used 1996 Volkswagen GTI Consumer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.