Volkswagen GTI Reviews & Ratings

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Volkswagen GTI (20 Reviews)
I recently purchased a 2008 GTI and could not be any happier with its performance. Decent fuel effeciency is not sacrificed by having a turbocharged engine. I can get where I need to go both quickly and economically. Of course, it is also a good-looking car, with many standard features lacking on comparable vehicles. Anyone who wants a smooth, sexy ride that is fast and fun, yet still quite utilitarian should consider acquiring a GTI.
I bought this car when it was three years old. The first two years it was low maintenance but then things started go wrong. I'm not sure if dumping $5000 into a car in 5 years would be considered excessive but it is likely more than all the other cars I've owned in 36 years put together. The brakes had to be done at 35,000 miles, which might be quite early. They also scared me that year when they said the turbo needed to be replaced but in the end it was sticky linkage. Although, that might me consider selling it. I have had nagging emissions control issues, which I've spent over $2000 on and some other leaks. The car is also rusting quite a bit now, although large parts of that are due to accidents the previous owner had with it (and, hence, Volkswagen won't cover). I am considering undergoing some sort of rust sealant to hold the thing together longer. The leather interior is holding up well.

On the hand, other than the turbo scare, nothing major has cropped up and it has never left me stranded. The DSG has been reliable but I'm told that it will soon be time for a scheduled maintenance on that. As notorious as Volkswagen is for electronics, nothing has failed so far. The heating/airconditioning is marginal–two things that are significant to me living in the extreme weather of the prairies–but have not required any maintenance.

I am at 50,000 miles now. Should I keep it? It has been my favourite car to own so far as fun factor and versatility. I also have invested in aluminum winter wheels and tires for it and the rooftop bike carrier for my bike fleet. I am crap-shooting that I spent so much on it already that I might have fixed the lemon issues by now. I can't afford a new GTI/R to get a warranty and would have to buy some boring, reliable car to replace it :(
Interior: Front seat (drivers) bolsters to high (causing wear), back seat ash tray from center console came out, many plastic switch parts had paint chip off (even though car is not parked in sun). At base of front buckets seats, electric access panels have never stayed in place.

Brakes - excellent - original at 60K

Electric and lights - Fair - brake bulks don't last long and a pain to get out. Inside, front door (open/close) replaced, as over head console light replaced - electrical issues.

Engine - Good, but thermostat failed - $1300 replace really?

Exhaust/Emissions - only fair - Catalytic converter failed at 50K thankfully under warranty.

Heating/AC - other than thermostat issue mentioned above okay.

Suspension/Steering - while I love handling of car, in winter, even when car was a few years old - a lot of creaks and groans in cold weather. Really?
This car has been amazing to have. I feel like its super sexy and makes me stand out from my friends lame looking, no power car. However, its getting fairly old and I'm having lots of issues with it in the cold. Last summer I paid around 700 to fix the a/c and now my heat isn't getting very warm this winter. I had to fix vacuum leaks the only day and a broken glove box for 400 dollars. the oil changes are super high but I only change it every 4k. Recently its had a rough idle when I start it and sometime its rough when I idle even at a stop light, almost as if it wants to shut off. I'd be super pissed if I had to get rid of this car. I love how it looks and how fast it can go, but I'm unemployed right now and this car makes me want to cry lately.
I drive a 2003 GTI V6, and am very happy with this car, which is very fun to drive. It has a lot of power, and very responsive handling. My only recurring problem has been the thermostat, which has gone 3 times (twice under warrantee.) My car has only 60,000 miles on it and I expect to keep it another 60,000. Lately have been less happy with the suspension, which has gotten rough, but it's worth replacing the struts to keep it longer.
My girlfriend has a 2008 GTI 4 door automatic. After 2 years we noticed the car would always have a little trouble starting almost like the battery was drained. Also at idle the car acted like it would shut off it was very rough. Then a noise from the front passenger side wheel began to happen. It sounded like a loud coffee maker. Today she took it in for her regular oil change and the mechanic explained the turbo is damaged and needs to be replaced. She only has 59,600 miles!!! She always changes her oil every 3k miles. I knew to stay away from VW's after visiting but now I know for sure to stay away. My 2003 Acura CL w/108k miles has never had 1 problem.
I have mixed feelings on this car.. I love how it drives, handles and responds to the road. I HATE fixing them-parts are expensive, seem made to break and it's laborious to do even the simplest jobs. I've sunk over $5k into this piece of sh*t, and it only has 66k miles on it. I think I got stuck with a lemon, but considering how unreliable VWs seem to be I won't ever buy another one.
After reading all the reveiws about the GTI's mentioned here, I honestly cannot believe all the negative remarks & complaints. I LOVE MY GTI, & would definately purchase one again. I live in the suburbs of N.Y.C. & this car gets me all over the 5 boroughs, at a quick, responsive, thrill-to-drive rate.Let's face it people, ALL vehicles are an expense to own, but this car is an all around winner...Chrystofur
this 1996 gti is great i had no really problem,maintance is key
@Dough in La... I dont see how youve had all those problems and u cant seem to fix them! I have a 2001 gti has 137,000 miles on it and its in GREAT condition.. maybe it was just taken care of really well i got when it had 122,000 on it... so far its just been regular maintenance, oil changes etc.. and the engine runs fine.. i recently need to replace the thermostat housing (common to leak on volkswagens) and the drive belt that was worn.. but thats it for major concerns.. I think as long as u take care of them they will run forever!
Great car. Just got 60k mile service cost a little over $500 everything included. Thanks Lindsay!!! - 2007 GTI
great car
My husband bought this car because everyone ranked it as a best buy...but we have been really disappointed with this car. From poor VW dealership/parts shops. To the VW policy that they are okay with the GTI burning a quart of oil every 1000 miles!? VW has also been delaying the release of a new diagonostic reader to tell if the engine is running properly. (We've been asking our local dealership for months- and they didn't even have an idea when the would be receiving it) We are never buying VW again and we advice anyone interested in buying a new car not to buy VW.
I chose the GTI over a Mini of the same year when looking for a good used car. I wanted something small and sporty that wouldn't have kids trying to race me all the time since I just got rid of a Eclipse and Avenger. Mine has everything premium except the 6 disc changer for some reason. My interior is more luxurious than my nephews 05 Caddy. The car is 6 years old now and it still smells brand new when you get into it. My exterior looks almost just like the picture here. Same color with a hatch spoiler and some aftermarket rims that are just sportier and more dynamic than the stock- which aren't bad at all. The drive is great. Quiet and comfortable. When you want the power it's there and sounds cool when the turbo kicks in.
Now- the bad: I've had this car since February of 07 and have had goofy little problems with lights burning out and such. Nothing I couldn't just fix myself in 5 minutes. But one day I got a temp light and have had problems since. I replaced thermostat and temp sensor. Bypassed the heatercore. Got the cooling system flushed. Got the system diagnosed. Noone could see a problem. Had my water distribution valve replaced after it blew up on me. All kinds of problems just in my cooling system. I've worked on all my cars from Nissans to Fords but this one I just need to hand over to the dealership and suffer the ridiculously high prices. The car is great but expect the problems typical for it's year and expect to pay ALOT to get them fixed. I have babied mine but you can't prevent everything.
This car has had zero problems in the 21 month of ownership. I love the the overall performance. It is a real joy to drive. It gets very good mileage (average: 26 mpg), sound great when you goose it, ride quality is smooth & quiet, and it looks good.
This is one terrific vehicle and an absolute joy to drive. I've had only maintenance work done in 3 years. It's low maintenanance but parts can be expensive, especially tires. We'll see how it does in year 4.
I love it! Everything is perfect from the back windshield wiper going on when it detects water when you back up to everything! lol
I love to say I drive a GTI VR6 but the reality sucks. I have had so many problems with this vehicle. I've replaced the clutch twice. The serpentine belt broke. The headlights and blinkers are constantly not working. No repair shop has been able to figure it out. Agh! I hear the 2008's are much improved but the 2001 really sucks. (When it's working though....I love the big engine.)
I like driving the Volkswagen GTI, the Tiptronic Automatic Transmission is fun to drive. Nice interior, great response, good brakes. Something to be careful of is that you better replace the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles to keep the engine in good condition. Easy to park in San Francisco. The 4-Cyl. 1.8L Turbo is a gas saver 24-31 MPG.