"I've had this car for about 10 years and in just about every one of those years, something goes wrong with it. It's my understanding that the first 2 years of the MK IV models are especially problematic, although most VW cars are anyway. Admittedly, I may have been stuck with a lemon; I've sunk more than the car's current value in misc. repairs over the years and am just about to head to the shop yet again. I love the way the car drives and handles, and it's just new enough to offer all the convenience features one would want. The build is solid (unlike the MK V models, which feel flimsy), the engine is torquey and somewhat quick and it's fun to drive, but the constant problems are a major downer. The only real complaint I have about the interior is that the seat gets uncomfortable on long trips. Problems are never anything major; the drivetrain is fine-it's generally what's tacked onto it: the water pump, power steering pump, clutch, etc. It also has random electrical gremlins, ie the engine light comes on, then goes off just as mysteriously. Sometimes opening the door or turning the dome light on causes a "boot lid open" warning to appear on the LCD dash readout. I don't mind normal maintenance, but when a car is this prone to problems, it basically makes me never want to buy another VW again, and I likely won't."
"Love my gti 1.8t. Its quick and handled great even when it was stock and is even better after i've modified it. It has been reliable as far as normal wear and tear on a car with 176k on the odometer and very little rust. Love the interior design. Vw deffenitly over engineered this car and it shows.
Cons- hard to work on for DIY and parts can be expensive if you dont know were to look. Small back seat. Also there are alot of comon problems with this year so check the forums to know what to look for when buying.
Pros- good looking, great ride and handling. The most fun car ive ever owned and even after i have modified it i still get great gas milage and use it to comute to work and college. Also there is alot of trunk space once you fold down the rear seats.
This car is worth buying if it is in good condition and has been maintained, but if its in bad condtion id say keep looking for a different one. And if you are planning on buying id recomend one with the cloth recaro seat."