"Great engine. Ride height low enough to be sporty, high enough not to scrape every driveway in town.
Pros - Engine, Handling, Seats, Stereo, Visibility, Utility, Fun to Drive, Drives like a much more expensive car
Cons - adequate gas mileage, every plastic latch has broken and been replaced, clutch and flywheel lasted less than 50k miles"
"This car has it all....If you like Power,speed, looks and economy then this is your car. I've owned VW all my life and have no complains on none of them, but this one is a step up for VW performance. It has a unique interior design that makes you fill like in a drift/race car and once you start your trip it is so smooth. The turbo charged engine asks nothing to the power of an 8 cylinder and the 6th gear leaves everybody on the freeway with their mouth open! I think Blue Book should bump up the value....just a thought..lol"
"Wow this car is an amazing little 4 cyl very very powerful and fun. great handling. has a great monsoon sound system. People always want to race me with their little Hondas but they cant handle it haha. this is a great car i love it."
Pros: "Its a VW=Enough Said. Not convinced,then read on.!"
Cons: "CUPHOLDERS=Worst Placement.Only thing found wrong"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Car: 2003 VW GTI
APR Stage 1 Tune
17" Borbet Rims
Chrome tipped straight pipe
(Little background) This is my second car to own and I am a University Student. I attend University in a very cold (-15 F avg during the day in winter) ,snowy climate. Bought the vehicle in Texas.
ok! So this car is an absolute blast to drive! I fell in Love with it the first time I test drove it. I have never lost the feeling that I'm driving a very Spirited go-cart. It just wants to go, no matter the circumstance.
With Performance oriented all-season tires on, the snow and ice pose no threat at all to this frnt wheel driven animal. I never have to plug it in, even though I installed a pan heater just incase. Always starts.
The feel when you get when driving it is a complete and utter joy. Tight around the corners and solid at a highway speeds.
A $500 APR ECU flash is a highly recommended investment (209 hp > stock '11) resulting in a endless love of your life. You will instantly be converted to a VDub worshiper and will want to join/attend every VW cult meeting/show. Okay, that might be a little extreme but you can't criticize until you've owned one.
The exterior looks are Stunning. The stance of the car gives it a sporty look while not standing out of the crowd. Although there is very little difference between it and the base golf Although, with the addition of a nice set of aftermarket rims the whole look automatically transforms.
The Interior is great. The blue lit back lighting is beautiful and the seats just hold you like a glove. But in a comfy way. There is an endless amount of possible positions to be set at to fit and size or type of person. I've driven it on multiple 8 hours straight and never come out with a sore back. The back seat entrance is simply Brilliant. The majority (actually Every) of coupes/two cars that I have rid in, that have a back seat entrance, the seat only slides forward and can be a pain to get in and out of. In this car, the seat actually picks up, then slides forward = enough room to get my grandma in the back!
The sound system (even though it's not the higher end Monsoon) is a work of art on it's own= 8 speakers. It comes with a stock 200W amp and that is seriously all you need. aside from an aftermarket deck to hook up your iPod = Legit.
This has to be one of the most PRACTICAL cars ever. Small, Mobile, Efficient, Spacious, Sporty, Stunning (visually, Usability), Reliable, = VW
There is a reason that Volkswagen= Peoples Car. DAS AUTO"
"I love my car. It gets between 26 and 34 mpg. with a simple air intake and 3" turbo-back exhaust it really wakes up. I'm not a "street racer", i actually needed to replace the flexpipe @ 50k and decided to just go with another exhaust. The intake was extremely inexpensive...and totally worth it. My original tires lasted for almost 55k. @ 65k Ive had a coil pack go bad (about $180) and brakes."
"This vehicle is great if you want to have fun on the drive back and from work. the trunk is pretty big too can fit my golf clubs in there very easily. it handles great and i can pass with ease on the high way. the only faults i have is that i live on a dirt road and its not the most comfortable and the cabin is pretty noisy too. the interior is so/so some parts seem cheap, other parts are very nice! overall this car deserves a 4 out of 5."
"I used this car hard and love it. It's small and nimble, however, fold the seat down and you basically have a compact pick up, and I used it that way quite often.
It's quick and fun, I highly recommend this car for anyone needing a practical fun car that can sometimes push the speed limits."
"I bought my GTI August of 2000. The first problem was the clutch which I noticed the night I left the dealership. It was replaced at about 1200 miles. OK, no problem for awhile afterward. Around 25K miles, the electrical nightmare began. I replaced headlights and taillights at least a dozen times. Then the power windows failed (later this was a recall) followed by the power door locks. Then came electrical components for the engine. After the warranty was out, some of the previously repaired items broke again at which time the dealer tried to bill me. VW Headquarters covered the repairs. For 9 years, I replaced this and that thinking just one more repair and everything will be done. Not so. Each fix cost between $600 and $1200. The last to go was the instrument cluster or so I thought. To add insult to my already injured wallet, the electrical system shorted out in the dealer's parking lot December 28, 2009. I could not justify another assault to my pocketbook. Over the years, I estimate the total cost of electrical repairs to be around $13,000. Why did I continue to make the repairs? Bottom line...I loved this car, the way it handled, the comfort, the looks and it was paid for. It had 137,000 miles and was pristine in appearance. I got next to nothing for my trade and yes, I did buy another VW...a 2009 Passat. One bad experience does not cancel out the good experiences with my 1996 Golf and 2003 Jetta."
"I have owned my 2004 GTI since new, and as of this writing it has accumulated just over 95,000 miles. It has held up well with routine maintenance, and continues to be a very enjoyable car to drive and own.
Unscheduled maintenance to date have been coolant temp sensor replacement (cheap DIY, ~65K miles) water pump and timing belt replacement (at ~75K miles), and a crank position sensor replacement (~80K miles). Not too bad in my opinion."
"I've only had one problem with my GTI VR6 which cost around $300 to fix (master cylinder for clutch). It is zippy fast and extremely fun to drive!
Note that there are two types of coolant for VW's. The GTI VR6 takes the red colored G12 coolant (not the yellow G11 coolant). Beware of service centers placing the wrong coolant in the radiator, this can cause coagulation if the two are mixed (red + yellow = orange) and corrosion to the engine. I had this happen to me at a "tire merchant" in Virginia. My engine overheated and caused the fuse box to melt which cost $1200 to fix.
If this happens to you, don't blame the car, check to see that the proper coolant has been placed in your radiator"
"I own one of these cars and it's been an absolute nightmare mechanically. It was nice when it was new but now it's simply falling apart. Do not buy one unless you can do your own mechanical work and even then understand VW parts are not cheap."
"I have owned this car for a year and a half now and love it. I have put lots of miles on it and it has held up above my expectations. The reason it only got for stars on quality is because of minor cosmetic flaws on the interior of the car. As for the comfort, on longer drives the car seat tends to become to stiff as the seats are made to have a stiffer feel to them which is great when you are pushing the cars engine and suspension but not great when you need comfort on long drives."
"side headlight I am writing a follow up on my initial review.
It’s been a fun reliable car. The car is so smooth and you often feel connected to the drive train via the 6-spd manual, sharp steering a responsive engine. The big tires hold the car well, yet it not exempt form under steer, so be care full when pushing the car at top speed. Highway gas mileage can reach 30mpg if driving really mildly
The stock radio sounds good, yet is easy to shut of while adjusting the volume
The knobs on the stereo are flimsy.
The belt tensioner chirps, and squeaks on occasion, which was replaced once already.
Simple maintenance is a pain! I.e. you need to remove the battery to replace the driver’s side headlight
its a great car which i feel is nicer than the new ones"
"I have owned this vehicle for one year and have made a lot of mods such as chip, intake, exhaust and performance shocks/springs. Luckily, I purchased the VW CPO extended warranty. The coolant sensor WILL fail ($275 repair), coolant fan went bad, stranding me on the tollway. VW Roadside assistance told me it would take 3 hours to get a tow! With the mods I've done to it, I had hoped for more power than I've gotten, but I was wary of the reliability record of the 1.8t, so I bought the VR6. I also own a 2006 GLI which has given me no problems after 40,000 miles. This car is a screamer when modified and is proving to be a much more reliable car."
"This is the first vehicle I have ever owned and I am very happy with my decision to purchase this car. It holds up really well, Mine has just about 110,000 miles on it and it runs just fine. I have never had any trouble with it. Looking back on things, i wish i would have put a little more money into the purchase in order to get the 1.8L Turbo, but either way, this car is so much fun to drive. Don't be fooled by the low horsepower. This thing packs a punch and is very peppy due to its light weight. A bit tight in the back seat, but there's a lot of room in the trunk. Get this in a 5spd and you'll have happy driving for years. I LOVE MY GTI!!!"
"Volkswagon has out done themselves here. I absolutley love the GTI. Comfort, options, power, nimble. I will buy nothing else but Volkswagon. These cars come with driver options and comforts like no other. Heated seats, mirrors, wiper fluid nozzles, great sound, great looks. Awesome. Simply awesome."
"This car is indeed, one of the best vehicles i have ever driven. Very smooth ride, tight steering & powerful. But be aware, when driving a 4 cylinder/turbo engine, it is imperative to have consistant oil changes with synthetic oil. Oil sludges are known to build up in these engines & will eventually blow out on you... like it did to me at only 82k miles :).. no worries.. 4grand later i had it on the road again with a replaced used engine. So may my lesson help you to avoid making the same mistake."
"I have owned this vehicle from 6/03 and it is a great car,it has never left me stranded and gets close to 30mpg on the highway...handling and performance are very good from the 1.8t and you can fit a whole lot in this vehicle with the back seat down.I can say in the past 5 years i have only put apprx $200 in this car.."
"What a wonderful car! I had an Acura Integra GS-R before this and the GTI beats it in every catagory! Interior material quality is second to none. It really feels like an A4's little brother, without the price. Interior of the mk5 is fine but the mk4 is better, and much better than the BMW 3. Overall quality is great! The engine was the same as the A4, but with 10 more hp. If you are in the market for a sporty little coupe/hatchback, try it, you will probably buy it! Oh, and gas mileage is good as well!"
"Overall, a very good car. I liked it better than I expected to based on the magazine reviews. I believe that VW made a few changes which made it a much better car than the first years of this model. For instance, initially it was labeled as too soft, but mine definiitely is not. I've had it for 2 1/2 years, and reliability has been exceptional. The ony thing I would change is getting the manual instead of the Tiptronic. I especially like the R32 look-alike multi-spoke wheels."
"I bought my 2002 VW GTI 1.8T from VW with 34k miles on it, it now has 58k miles on it and have been in and out of VW for repairs the whole time. Alternator, coolant lines, A/C climate control failure, rear speaker failure, door panels not staying on, oil leaks you name it. I bought it from VW with the certification thinking I was buying quality, boy was I wrong. Stay away from VW's!!"
"I've had 2003 VR6 6-spd for 2+ yrs., paid under $18K; love it- only problem is clutch repair at 30000+ miles; otherwise only routine maintenance. Love fast, smooth performance, great brakes! Solid feel, luxury interior, excellent sound system, practical and fun- lots of room in back w/ back seat lowered; 30+ mpg highway at 70+ mph- beats most V6's and some V8's- I would probably buy only VW or Audi."