"This is hands down the best car I have ever owned. My car itself has many problems. Bad TPS sensor, O2 sensor, speedo sensor, broken exhaust and needs a timing belt. As is I get 38mpg and the thing still hauls. I'm a little over 6ft and I fit very comfortably. The heated seats kick, as does the radio. I have ran the car completely out of oil 2 times (pinned 5.9K rpm for 4 hours in the snow) and it sill runs. Most reliable car I have ever owned. Can fit all of my stuff and 4 others comfortably. The 2.0 isn't much of a powerhouse(93wHP), but it gets up and goes. The suspension provides an excellent ride quality, and does well in the corners. Only con: Cupholders are useless."
"obviously all cars have their little problems you must look out for, i would say if you are to buy a higher millage one 110k plus make sure the timing chain and thermostat housing have been replaced, and the trans differential has a bolt kit in it, because if not you may blow your trans slamming gears like i did! but other than that i really love mine, i have a 98 gti vr6, now she just reached 120k miles, and still is running wonderful, and to the VW haters, why do you think we like our cars so much? well there must be something different about VW's, you always hear about how much a vw owner loves their car, and i can say its because gti's are a kick to drive!"
"Bought new in 1998 and kept it until 2005. I put 105K on it before I sold it. Good solid vehicle and do not regret buying it. Good power, handling and good gas mileage. You can easily get 28-30 MPG on highway if you shift early and are easy on the gas. The problems I encountered with the GTI were not major but Volkswagen needs to improve before I buy another VW. I had both of my electric window motors replaced after about 6 years with the car. After about 80K I was burning about 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles. I took it into the dealership and they told me this was within Volkswagen's standards. Not very happy with that. A quick fix to the problem, I started to use High mileage oil and this cut the oil burning to about 1 quart every 2000 miles. Other than that, I had fun driving the GTI for 8 years and would recommend this vehicle to anyone."
"Bought this car for my son as his first car, and it's been dependable. Few little issues ie: clips on the carberator broke, ignition coil.
But there are so many of them being junked finding parts has been easy and cheap.Since my son likes to tinker, he does his own repairs."
"Overall, Volkswagen GTI's sold to the U.S. market since 1991 have been built in Mexico (or Brazil from 1999 - 2005) and thus quality control has been an issue. Hence why current GTI models as of 2006 and newer are built in Germany. 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.
I understand that as any car gets older and and has more mileage, normal wear and tear is normal. Still, compared to contemporary domestic, Japanese and other European models, most Volkswagen models have lagged behind in quality and reliability when you take into consideration the same mileage and years of ownership.
My first car was a 1973 VW Superbeetle and it took me through high school, college and medical school. Superb quality and Superb reliability. It's unfortunate that Volkswagen which wrote the book on quality has now lost that winning formula."
"Bought a '96 with 80k on the clock and 8 years later its turning 200k next tank. Did all the regular maintenance a car would need along the way and its been a great ride. The engine isn't that great in stock form, but very economical. With basic chip, intake, exhaust and lightened flywheel the car really comes alive and achieves a classic peppy hatchback. I recently had the transmission rebuilt and expect to push close to 300k miles before I need another daily driver. Engine is starting to blow a little smoke pulling out of the driveway on some mornings, I'm told new valve stem seals will fix this (easy to reach if you're having a sport cam shaft installed).
Makes a great snow car if you get dedicated winter tires, I've never had a problem driving to the local mountain. Average 35mpg on long distance drives and mid 20s mixed driving. Super easy to work on if you want to DIY. The 4cyl GTI is basic car, with little frills or things to go wrong. Great upright driving position, in supportive comfortable seats, life is great in a GTI!
In the last year I've replaced ignition switch, shifter bushings, e-brake cable, hoses, heater core. Was the first expensive year, everything else has been scheduled maintenance."
"I got this car with a little under 40K on it and at 48K I had to do some basic repairs because it as is per the norm. Other than that this car has been outstanding. Have only had to do your basic repairs without any major issues. I had to replace the clutch cable about 3 years ago and at 10 years old it needs a new gear shifter and bushings, but that has been the only issue in the 6 years I have owned it. Repairs would be expensive, but going to VW ONLY shops helps a lot. They aren't the cheapest for parts, but since they don't need many repairs it isn't an issue.
This car handles like it was glued to the ground (believe me, I have run it like a rally car and it takes whatever I give it). While I would like a little more power out of it, for what it does have it is a little bullet! I love this car and will drive it until I have to push it and then I will buy a new one!"