"After you read my review you are all going to think VW paid me to say this: Nothing could be farther from the truth. I bought my 2010 GTI 2 dr in Candy White w/DSG paddle shifter-equipped Automatic. This car is sleek, stealthy and a head-turner when freshly washed. I make up excuses daily to drive it as frequently as possible. This little hot hatch is truly fun to drive. The turbo is responsive & the shifting is absolutely spot on when using the manual mode. It handles superbly, reminiscent of a souped up go-kart. The exhaust note is just perfect as is the sound eminating from the resonated airbox under the hood. I can't get good gas mileage w/this pocket rocket. It's impossible to drive conservatively in this bundle of german engineering. Fantastic job VW!!!!"
"For the $ this car can't be beat. (I am over 40 by the way)The interior looks and feels like an Audi, it's one of the best handling front-wheel drive cars in the world, and it is actually pretty fast (~6.1 0-60 w/DSG). I have always been a standard trans guy, but the DSG is unbelievable. It's nice to let the car shift in traffic, but be able to take control when necessary. This is NOT a Tiptronic transmission, it is a true automated manual, like Formula one cars possess (and Bugatti Veyron, which VW makes). The brakes are fantastic, although eventually I will upgrade to stainless steel lines. I have the 18" wheels with summer tires and they grip magically (I put on 16" alloys w/dunlop winter sports for the winter, drives great in snow, it is a golf, although a bit low for deep snow).
The seats and steering wheel are superb. I have the leather sport seats, which some people apparently don't like, but I love them, great for my herniated disc. On top of that, 32 mpg on the highway consistently, 26-ish when beating on it and it can fit 5 people, 4 comfortably. And it is reliable. Plus it doesn't look like a 14 year-old boy on acid made it in art class like its main competitors. It is essentially a front-wheel drive Audi/Porsche for under $30,000. $20,000 if you buy a year-old cert. preowned one as I did. There's more, but you get the idea.
I would say drive it if you can."
Cons: "Expensive when loaded, Minor interior details"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"First of all never ever buy a dark coloured auto. All the minute scratches will show no matter how well you care for it. Acceleration is good but there is always the slight tip in when the throttle is applied but I attribute that to the turbo lag. Acceleration is very good but a little squirrely since it is a front wheel drive car. Once underway its a comfortable long distance cruiser and I have seen as high as 38mpg because I keep the tires inflated 5 lbs over what the door jamb says. The original equipment Dunlop tires are garbage being very noisy and they detract from the driving experience. I changed them out at 1K miles because I spend a lot of time behind the wheel. The 10K service intervals are too long and dont quote me that the VW engineers know what they are doing. I deal in automotive service and have seen too many problems regarding these extended service intervals in european cars. 5-7K is more appropriate but I truly believe this was done so that VW could offer this service as an added value although the car suffers. The car would benefit from a larger intercooler and perhaps an oil cooler as well if they plan on keeping the 10K service interval. Synthetic oil breaks down at a much slower rate but, with the amount of driving I do which is 12K miles in 3 months is higher than "severe" use. Overall the build quality is very good with consistent gaps between the doors and hood and trunk lid. My only issue is that anytime the car is washed I have to wipe down the door sills since there is no seal there. Its a mild annoyance and hopefully VW addresses it soon. Cargo space is very good compared to other cars that I looked at in its class (volvo C30, Focus SV, Mustang V6 Premium). Depreciation is a bit steep unless you order every single option available as I did (Autobahn DSG) Seats are very comfortable and somewhat snug for larger people but very supportive for spirited driving. What surprises me is the quality of leather used for the interior seating surfaces because it seems subpar to what I have seen in other German cars. The Nav/Sirius/Bluetooth Dynaudio system does not disappoint but at higher levels makes one of the rear door panels rattle. The bluetooth operation works well but the other parties complain about road noise so perhaps a noise cancellation system would be in order. This is not an inexpensive car and I would gladly pay more for it if they can resolve the small niggling detais. I was going to purchase an Audi A3 but the electrical issues that seem to plague that brand brought me to VW which is their parent company. Will I buy another one? Yes. I am also planning on purchasing a second one(TDI or hopefully a GTD) for my wife as she drives great distances as well."
"I have 12,000 miles on my 4 door GTI and I can honestly say this is my favorite car I've ever owned. The car is fast (not blazingly fast) but it's strength comes from the handling which is an amazing blend of comfort and excellent corning, design - everything is laid out well and so attractive, and economy as I'm averaging 30 mpg in city driving. My biggest cncern is that I love driving it so much I'll likely rack up tons of miles! My advice is buy one, as the reviews you have likely read in Automobile Magazine, Car and Driver, etc are not wrong!"
Cons: "It doesn't do my laundry nor iron my clothes"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have rented almost all kinds of cars (from a day to a weekend)in the past 15 years and I must say that the Volkswagen GTI (I have the 2012 DSG with sunroof) is simply one of the best albeit not the fastest. The handling is superb when tearing up through the mountains. Torque is available at 1500 rpm, all the way to 3500 rpm (wish it's higher but I can't complaint. It has enough torque for every drivers like me). The interior quality is superb and the exterior is built well. For a sporty car, the GTI is pretty smooth, and you can comfortably take it on a long drive. The best thing I like about the GTI is its power is just right - it is there when you need it without being too aggressive. The Mazdaspeed 3 is faster but ride quality suffers and there is significant torque steer.. but it is indeed a beast. I chose the GTI over the Speed3 because of its refinement. The interiro quality of the GTI is equal to the A3 and any car above the $28k price range. This is an extremely refined and balanced car. If you want more HP, just get an APR stage 1 and a cold air intake (which will cost you an additional $900) which would boost the HP up to 255, and torque to 277.. however, there will be noticeable torque steer as it is a FWD. Overall, I love this car, and this is indeed one of the very best cars I have ever driven - not the best.. just one of the best :-)"