1986 Volkswagen Golf Overview


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2 Dr Hatchback
4 Dr Hatchback
1 national listing

Volkswagen Golf Experts

#1 Jon Kempson
Jon Kempson
Reputation 170
#2 TransAm77
Reputation 160
#3 LouB
Reputation 140
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Average User Score

4.35 stars

Based on 19 reviews

Odd Obsession by dieharddmb
 — Although I loved this little German car, I must say that the '86 has an overheating problem. This isn't limited to just me, had a friend with an '86 Jetta and the same thing. I rebuilt the head, had... Read More
1986 Diesel Golf Is The Stuborn Little German by Michael
 — This car has been the best car I have owned. My first used car and I have never had a problem. Starts up all year long and delivers a fun quality drive granted there are no mountains in your way. Le... Read More
Golf Mark Two - Classic All Around by Jarmo
 — Awesome Classic. Great for youngster's 1st car. Easy to handle, good views all around, cheap parts. Lots of aftermarket-parts to tune and style your own looks. Old, so rust is nearly always found. Car... Read More

1986 Volkswagen Golf Overview

Overall User Score

4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.35

Based on 19 reviews

1986 Volkswagen Golf

It's not particularly fast, and without its doors and windows, this boxy sports hatch might resemble a golf cart, but the 1986 Volkswagen Golf is not named for the Scottish-born pasttime.  Rather, it's an abbreviated version of Golf-Strom, or Gulf Stream, meant to conjure up images of exotic European sophistication and not necessarily overweight businessmen in plaid pants and sweater vests.

Why the lengthy and seemingly irrelevant intro?  Because there were few changes to the 1986 Volkswagen Golf hatchback, aside from the addition of a high rear brake light.  Roomy and comfortable for four, this 2-door or 4-door hatchback was labeled a compact car, rather than a subcompact, and the extra legroom was well appreciated, whether transporting friends or family (or golf clubs).  Both hatchbacks sported a 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder, 85-hp engine standard or 1.6-liter, 52-hp diesel engine, coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission.  If not the fastest car or the most beautiful car on the block, it was certainly the most practical and budget-conscious, boasting fuel economy of at least 27/34 mpg.  And it lasted forever, with some drivers reporting they've owned their Golf for up to 20 years.  Few options on the inside make it a Spartan personal car, but those buying the Golf are probably looking more for reliability and affordability, and the 1986 Golf delivers on these criteria.

Other favorite features that owners enjoy are the crisp handling and tight cornering.  The 1986 Golf gives a lot of pleasure behind the wheel and offers easy maneuverability.  Some drivers wish it  had a bit better acceleration and horsepower.


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Looking for a Used Golf in your area?
CarGurus has 4,808 nationwide Golf listings starting at $1,990.

Volkswagen Golf Questions

Diana Schmidt

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I started my driving and I shifted and it felt like the drive and the shift seperated from each other.

85 views with 2 answers (last answer about a year ago)