"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 :-)"
"great all around car, very nice interior quality (espcially with the autobahn package). Loads of technology for the price range (love the cornering xenon headlights). Dynaudio sound system is very nice for the pricerange of the car. This car is very fun to drive and has amazing handling and has a good amount of power as well. The GTI is in its element on twisting country roads where its power and handling really shine through. This car is not designed to make you a "stoplight hero," its main purpose is to deliver a smooth ride with superb handling combined with the practicality of a hatchback. Also it does what ANY good German car does which is to make 90mph feel like 55mph. 6spd manual is incredibly smooth and loads of fun to drive. VW has done an excellant job with the mk6 (my first GTI) however one styling element that NEEDS to be incorporated into the US spec models are the LED tailights (Cherry Reds) available at ECS tuning) which are only found on the Euro spec GTI's (Which made me have to spend $700 to get a part that should be standard on ALL GTI's). As I said though this is a very nice car all around and of course delivers the sought after German car quality and performance for a very low price. If you have not gone German before and this is your first German car I highly recommend it to you due to its superior build and ride quality."
"I can honestly say that the VW GTI is the best car ever. Before I owned this one I had a 2007 MK5 GTI that had over 100K miles and the only reason I got rid of it was to get a 2010 MK6 GTI. I have driven this car from PA to TX, with my wife and 4 dogs, multiple times. I have also driven from TX to FL when we moved again. The power, comfort and quality alone make this a great car for the price it is. The only thing that I will give this car up for is a 2015 MK7 GTI and nothing else. One thing that I would recommend is to go with the 4 door version. It just makes everything easier from transporting friends and family to surf boards and kayaks."
Pros: "A blast to drive, great MPG, excellent interior"
Cons: "Smallish nav screen, leaky rear washer nozzle"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my GTI Autobahn new in 2011 and I've been very pleased with the car. First of all, the interior quality and attention to detail is top-notch. It drives wonderfully, and the smooth power delivery of the 2.0L turbo engine is nothing short of addicting. I opted for the six-speed manual and have not regretted it. The clutch is easy to operate with smooth engagement, and the shifting is precise and has a great feel. On top of the incredible handling and smooth, powerful engine, it is quite economical. I usually see 32-34 mpg on highway trips and about 25 mpg in town, and I have a heavy right foot! Another feature I love is how much space it has for what seems like a small car on the outside. The back seat can comfortably accomodate two average-sized adults, and it can swallow a surprising amount of cargo. Fold the rear seats down, and it is down right cavernous back there. My only real criticisms are that the navigation screen is a bit small (but it DOES allow you to program a destination while the car is in motion), the accessory rubber floor mats did not wear well, and the rear washer nozzle leaks fluid onto the glass occasionally (multiple trips to the dealer have not rectified the problem). My next car will almost certainly be another GTI, but perhaps the 5-door model (easier access to the rear seats)."
"I've had my GTI for about a year and I couldn't be happier. If I baby it I can get 30+ mpg. The only issue I've had is the interior center vent "broke" while someone else was driving her. It's covered under the warranty. I've wanted a GTI since I was a teenager. It's every bit as good as I'd hoped. The build quality is solid and it's so freaking comfortable. The seats fit like a glove, Tons of space, enough for my dogs or bike with seats down. I wish it had 300hp but as it is she purrs and scoots. I love it! My partner has a Nissan Juke SV AWD and I cant think of a single category that it even comes close to matching my VW except reliability and that is to be determined."
Cons: "Premium gas, occasional obscure control logic"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I was looking for a smaller car with better gas mileage, without giving up the fun and sportiness that I have grown to enjoy in a car.
Having owned a 312HP car for a while, I was concerned that the GTI might lack the performance I had become accustomed to. But thankfully I was completely wrong.
From the first test drive I fell in love with the spirited performance, tight handling, good feedback in the cabin. The pick up was very instant without hesitation or turbo lag at most speeds. And if you engage the sport mode on the DSG, the car is incredibly responsive and fun.
Even the base model (which I purchased) is generously equipped. Great Bluetooth experience, good iPhone hook up, and the fit and finish is unmistakably German and in a good way.
There are more flashy hot hatches on the market, faster ones, more economical ones, but you'd have a hard time finding one in this price range that checks all the boxes so well.
This car isn't about being the best at one thing (speed, handling, ride, economy etc). It's about providing a wonderful compromise in so many areas that what you are left with is a brilliant all round excellent vehicle.
As for the downside, while the fuel economy is good, it requires premium gas, so at least some of that nice fuel efficiency is going to be lost to the more expensive gas.
German cars sometimes have a few little quirks in the controls that are not immediately obvious. For example the trip computer does not easily offer up its available options unless one holds the trip computer rocker switch for three seconds. I mean did they really need to design it so I had to Google that answer? Probably not.
In conclusion this is a fun yet sensible all around great car. VW have had decades to get the mix right on this vehicle, and that finesse certainly pays off in the driving experience. If someone told me that it was a $35K Audi, I would find it easy to believe.
This car represents an excellent value and is certainly worth a drive if you are shopping in this segment. I am so far thrilled with it. So unless it starts to have some major problems later on, I suspect I'll be very pleased."