"This has been a great car but there were some hidden costs of owning it. Tires are more expensive than, say, for a Nissan Sentra, and replacing headlights and the air filter (you have to pop the top off the engine compartment, easier said than done) is more complicated and expensive. That said, VW's warranty and recalls (there have been two) have served me very well, the car is absolutely dependable and handles well. I would buy it again."
Pros: "Zippy, responsive engine and wonderful handling"
Cons: "Suspension is a bit tight making bumpy roads rough"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Out of all the smaller cars I've driven, I love this the most. I love the sporty feel I get driving down the road. Granted, the suspension could be a little smoother when it comes to bumps on the highway, but I'm ok at where it's at. The turning radius and how easy it is to parallel park this car make it great for everything from weekend drives, to a daily driver, to getting groceries. Yes, the hatchback can hold a ton, even with the seats still up."
"This car from test drive throughout purchase and 66k miles remains to be the single most FUN stock car I have ever driven. It begs to be driven aggressively. It just seems to want to be pushed and pushed. On the track it has no apparent flaws short of the annoying TC system."
"This car has 90% of the practicality of an SUV, 90% of the performance of a sports car, and 90% of the joys of a luxury vehicle. I love it and I doubt that I'll ever buy anything much different in the future. The concept has amazing value and I love the car."
"I've had 4 GTI's since 2000. Two VR-6 six cylinder models and two 2.0 Turbo models. I currently drive a 2009 GTI.
I had problems with the 2000 model as it was built in Brazil (so was the 2003). However, VW fixed all issues under warranty.
The 2007 and my current 2009 have been and are trouble free. They get great gas mileage and are a blast to drive. I'm single with no kids and the hatchback is all the utility I need for most jobs.
I just finished a 2700 mile trip from Texas to Arizona and back to Texas with no problems whatsoever. My cumulative gas mileage was: 29.1. And I drive it hard in west Texas close to 100 mph.
The only negative is depreciation. The car looses value rapidly in the first two years. And even VW doesn't give much of a trade allowance for them as used cars. So, don't pay MSRP or you will not be happy. Otherwise, drive 'em like you stole 'em; they are fun to drive!"
"I am writing for the 09 gti, manual trasnmission. The car is amazing, it handles better than higher end cars, it pulls like a beast on the freeway as long as I'm in the right gear. The engine purs, and it is just plain funny to see some honda civic SI go by making about 3 times more noise doing speeds around 60-70 mph. I do plan on adding a chip to this vehicle, to get the extra 50 hp. I've pushed this car stock up to 120 mph a couple of times and it was smooth sailing both times. With a manual you can down shift, and with the sporty brakes, i can stop on a dime. Even if I do feel like gunning it every now and then, I still average around 30+ mpg, from short destinations to long ones. It has a built in ipod connector, with a 6 disc mp3 cd player. Anyone who complains about the sounds system because it doesn't get loud enough needs to research something called an amp...You have to pay to get the systems that bumb, and this system is more than capable of it with some woofers and an amp installed. Otherwise the sounds system is great and won't blow out your ear drums.
On a final note, I took this thing up to big bear the other weekend up some mountain roads, and I'd say the drive up was almost as fun as snowboarding :)."
"I've had my GTI through summer and winter here in Cincinnati. It hugs corners like it's on rails. In the winter, the snow gives me few worries. The traction control works like a dream and I pass everyone that's stuck off the side of the road. Gas mileage is great. I can get in the high 30's when I drive sensibly. That makes me not feel so guilty when I open it up and take it on some windy back roads. The curves are where the GTI shows its true colors! It's great fun AND it's practical! I have two kids and the 4-door GTI is great."