Pros: "Fun to drive, but upgrade the ECU for more power!"
Cons: "Heavy for a small car, expensive, turbo issues."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I leased this car new in 2003 and have loved every mile I've driven it. I made sure it had all of the extras (leather, moon roof, premium sound, cold weather package, etc.) and it was worth every penny. My only serious gripe has been about the turbo. The stock turbo gives the car 180 HP, but is a bit laggy. And actually, mine failed at around 75K miles. Ironically, this was also just after I paid it off, having purchased it off the original lease. Fortunately, I bought an extended warrantee and had it fixed for under a $700. Another minor gripe is the interior. Many parts are PVC plastic, coated with a rubbery finish. After 7-8 years mine started peeling in several places and I've had to buy replacements. Since 2010 I've made some long-overdue upgrades that make the car SO much better: iPod integration, ECU chip upgrade (now pushing 210 HP), much better tires. I also made some easy cosmetic tweaks such as swapping the rear wiper for the sleeker Mark 5 version, getting a shorter antenna mast and swapping the front parking light lenses from amber to crystal. If I would have had the money I would have done all of the above sooner. I love the Long Beach style wheels it came with but would like to get them refurbished and powder coated. I've also purchased glass headlight replacement lenses, but I'm waiting for summer (and a trip to the detail shop) before installing them. I will probably keep this car for another 100K if I can. It's been garaged since new, and I just can't justify a car payment for anything that would compare to it. A 2013 GTI R, or BMW M3 is tempting, but why spend the money? My car is still fun, practical and paid for."
"I have mixed feeling about this car. I love to drive it (very fun), parking is easy, this car is fast yet efficient and good on gas, you get all the German perks without the German price. But when it comes to repairs, the cost to repair is on the pricy side; I don't own a Audi, why do I have to pay the Audi repair costs.? One thing to think of with this car is that, in my opinion, the rubber is cheap and become brittle over time. Parts from a dealer and labor to fix this can pricy. I would recommend this car as it has been reliable and it is safe, for a small car (I put my 3-year old in it without thinking twice) - only thing I don't like is the repairs can be pricy. I have owned this 2002 GTI since 2004 (purchased private party), 7-years, and overall, its good car."
"I bought this car used. It is an absolute joy to drive and I have a big smile on my face everytime I get in. It handles great and when you need a little extra power...it's there. The interior is very comfortable and attractive. I have had problems starting it on very cold mornings and had one (very minor) interior light issue that was easy to fix. Other than that it's been terrific. Would definitely reccomend this car to anyone who wants a sporty, fun-to-drive hatchback with great gas mileage."
"I loved the car for its style and performance. It really is a fun car to drive. You can see and feel the difference in quality versus other brands. However, it continually breaks down on me. 4 days after driving it off the lot, it was a problem. I have owned it for almost 4 years now and only put about 30k on it. It was in the shop twice in the last 4 months, costing me over $2k in shop fees. I love the car, but the maintenance to keep it on the road are no longer worth it."