VW Golf GTI Mk3

Used car buying guide: VW Golf GTI Mk3

Used car buying guide: VW Golf GTI Mk3

VW Golf GTI MK3 is the third generation of the Golf, which debuted in August 1991. Ushered in a new era of safety. From 1992, the Mk3 Golf was the first model in the series to be equipped with front airbags and considerable advancements in body construction resulted in vastly enhanced crash properties. Volkswagen democratized passive safety with the Golf Mk3, as the better protection it provided benefited a large number of individuals.

The 2.0-liter engine of the VW Golf GTI MK3 produced 165bhp, compared to 148bhp in the Golf 2.0 GTI 16v. THe MK3 has a 6 speed gearbox but the Golf has just 5 speed gearbox in it. We will be discussing the buying guide of VW Golf GTI MK3.

Engine Options of Golf MK3 

One of the features of the Mk3 Golf was that it offered a wider range of engine options than either of the previous generations. There was a 1. 4-liter base model, a slightly more capable 1.6-liter, and numerous 1. The GTI was available in 8v and 16v versions, this time with the block up to 2.0 liters. The VR6, which was powered by a 2.8-liter V6, is arguably the best of the lot. The Mk3 received a naturally aspirated and turbocharged version of VW’s 1.9-litre diesel engine for people who were looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Check under the bonnet of Golf MK3

The four-pot petrol engines are powerful and dependable of VW Golf GTI MK. If properly maintained.4-liter engine is the most powerful of all the Mk3 engines. Thus previous owners must have kept up with repairs. Check when the Golf Mk3’s timing belt was the last replaced on all models, then recheck with a visual inspection if possible. Check to see if the GTI idle is smooth and if it is. The Mk3 Golf idle stabilization valve is most likely to blame. The 8v component is quite cheap, however, the 16v is a much more expensive original replacement.

Check Engine of Golf MK3

The VR6 engine uses two timing chains rather than a cambelt, any rattle should be taken seriously. When accelerated, listen for tiny sounds coming from the driver’s side. This usually signifies a tensioner is on its way out. And it’s a sign to replace both the tensioners and chains. Coil packs for the Golf Mk3 are notorious for generating flat spots and misfires. The oil level and the filler neck for emulsified oil and water should be check. Check to see if the exhaust is blowing or not of the Golf MK3.

Check Gearboxes of Golf MK3

Manual gearboxes are generally dependable, although, on high-milers, worn bearings might be an issue. The 16v GTI and VR6 gearboxes are much more durable than the others; However, keep an eye out for unusual noises, moans, or sync failure. If the clutch pedal has no bite or slips when pulling away on a slope, as with all manual gearbox cars, you could be in for a hefty expense in contrast to the car’s purchase price.  Listen for squeaky synchro and worn bearings.On the contrary, which, if left unattended, can produce a grating squeak. Because a malfunctioning self-adjusting cable might cause premature wear, check the clutch bite point and make sure it isn’t slipping.

Check Suspension of the Golf MK3

Check the service book of Golf GTI MK3 and give the front end a couple of pushes to see how they react. Find out about the process and the choice of the previous owner of the Golf Mk3 suspension package. If the car has lowered. Cheap Mk3 Golf coilovers will improve the appearance. But they won’t improve the handling much if they’ve wound down and thrown on without any geometric alignment. The Mk3 Golf rear axle bushings could be to blame if the rear feels a bit too forceful in the corners. It is better to examine all the bushes anyway because replacing deteriorated ones would greatly enhance handling.

Check Brakes of Golf MK3

For normal models of Golf MK3, the tried-and-true front discs and rear drums layout is adequate, but the more performance-oriented Mk3s feature all-round disc brakes and are even easier to service.  The Mk3 Golf brake callipers are used on the earlier VR6 and 16v GTI versions with rear discs, and they don’t perform better in cold weather or being left standing for lengthy periods of time since the handbrake can seize.  ABS was standard on the GTI and VR6 Mk3s, although it was also available as an option throughout the full range.

Cost of used Golf GTI MK3

Prices start at a few hundred pounds but are cautious when buying at this end of the market. The twin-cam GTIs are in higher demand than the 8-valve GTIs, but spending between £1000 and £1500 for a roadworthy GTI seems acceptable at the present. The 20th Anniversary GTI, however, is an exception because only 750 of these were produced. In reality, a good example that has been well-maintained inside and out will set you back upwards of £3000. If you want the top-of-the-line black and mulberry VR6 Highline, you’ll have to pay a lot more than other models.


We’ve discussed the used VW Golf GTI MK3 buying guide. Check the engine for signs of oil leakage and other problems by looking under the bonnet. After that, the engine, which is the most important component of the vehicle, works in tandem with the transmission to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Also inspect the suspension and brakes, as failing to do so prior to purchasing might result in a severe problem in the future, costing much more than you spent for the Golf MK3.

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