"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."
"This is by-far the greatest vehicle i have ever owned. it's quick, great on gas, and easy to modify. Not only do you get a great car, but you should also know that you get to be a part of a VW community who is always willing to help and better your vehicle and driving capabilities."
"My 2005 GTI has been a good vehicle. It is comfortable and fun to drive. It is quite fast and handles well. I would be more enthusiastic if I had not owned a Honda CRX Si previously. The GTI is both faster and more comfortable but the Honda due to its lighter weight was much more fun. And it got 30 MPG. The GTI regularly turns in 20 MPG which is not bad for a performance car but again I was spoiled by the Honda. I bought it used with 35,000 miles on it and it now is close to 100,000. I have replaced the tires, battery and brakes but I consider that to be routine maintenance. I also had to replace the catalytic converter not long ago. I have never had to do that on any other car but I figure once you are over 90,000 miles pretty much anything can and will break. I will be doing the timing chain when I bring it in for servicing again. But although this is an expensive repair it is part of routine maintenance. All in all it is a very good budget sports car that is well disguised. The earlier models do not have any flashy red badges so they look like a regular car (unless you pay attention to the larger wide tires.) I have gotten out of a ticket once or twice by incredulously looking at the policeman who had clocked me and saying "In a Volkswagen Golf? Are you sure that thing is working properly?" If I did not miss my CRX (hands down the greatest most fun car I have ever driven) my ratings would be much higher"