2004 Volkswagen GTI

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$19,250

starting MSRP

2004 Volkswagen GTI

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Performance
  • Handling
  • Fun to drive
  • Construction quality

The bad:

  • Ride comfort with sport suspension
  • Difficult backseat entry and exit

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2004 Volkswagen GTI trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder or V-6
  • Manual or automatic
  • Available Electronic Stabilization Program
  • Side-impact and side-curtain airbags

2004 Volkswagen GTI review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Volkswagen’s energetic GTI hatchback got a sporty, three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a leather-covered handbrake lever and gearshift knob for 2003. Premium CD radios added backlit buttons, and an enhanced windshield-wiper system was also installed. Volkswagen’s Electronic Stabilization Program, which uses yaw and position sensors, was made standard on the VR6 model and optional on the 1.8T.

Except for restyled wheels and a new underhood engine cover design, little has changed for 2004. A high-performance R32 model has joined the Volkswagen lineup.

The performance-oriented GTI comes only as a hatchback coupe, while the related Golf hatchback is available with two or four doors. The GTI is a charter member of the group of small cars dubbed “pocket rockets.”

Exterior
The GTI coupe and Golf hatchbacks all measure 164.9 inches long overall, which is more than 7 inches shorter than the company’s Jetta sedan. The GTI is equipped with a sport suspension, fog lights, darkened taillight lenses and dual tailpipes. Alloy wheels hold 16-inch tires on the 1.8T. The VR6 edition gets 17-inchers, which are offered as an option on the 1.8T.

Interior
The upright styling of the GTI allows occupants to sit more vertically than in most small cars. Space is adequate for four adults, though five can fit inside. Height-adjustable rear headrests are standard. The area behind the rear seat holds 18 cubic feet of cargo, and 60/40-split, rear seatbacks fold for additional storage space; folding the seats creates 41.8 cubic feet of cargo area.

The instruments are backlit in a vibrant blue hue. The OnStar communication system is optional.

Under the Hood
GTI buyers have two engine choices. A turbocharged, intercooled, 1.8-liter four-cylinder in the 1.8T produces 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 173 pounds-feet of torque from 1,950 to 5,000 rpm. The GTI VR6 holds Volkswagen’s narrow-angle 2.8-liter V-6 engine, which generates 200 hp at 6,200 rpm and 195 pounds-feet of torque at 3,200 rpm.

A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard in the 1.8T, and a five-speed-automatic transmission with Tiptronic operation for manually selected gear changes is optional. Only a six-speed-manual gearbox is offered with the VR6.

Safety
Standard side curtain-type airbags protect the heads of passengers in side collisions. Side-impact airbags, all-disc antilock brakes and daytime running lights are also standard.

Driving Impressions
Performance is most notable in the 1.8T because of its 180-hp engine and Tiptronic transmission. Having so much energy at hand raises the fun quotient even higher, and this hatchback’s confident handling talents are even more appealing.

But be a little wary of the 17-inch tires and sport suspension. Even though the 1.8T’s ride doesn’t qualify as punishing, occupants do get tossed around more when the going gets rougher. The ride remains pleasant on smooth pavement, but small imperfections in the road can produce a jolt.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.4
  • Reliability 4.4

Most recent consumer reviews

4.9

Best car I've ever owned

This car was perfect for short trips commuting, or long trips going for vacation. It's a hatch so it fits everything I needed and was easy to drive.

5.0

Very nice and real good car

Yes I like it very nice and more room in side Nice ride and very smooth well build and very good lights and very nice colour

4.7

Longest car I?ve owned

I got the car used at 160000 miles and it lasted well into 190000 and is still going strong. It?s never left me stranded and I?ve never felt worried it wouldn?t start in the morning. I recently purchased a Chrysler 200 and notice features that I wish it had from my gti.

See all 11 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volkswagen
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
MY 2015-MY 2017 vehicles/75,000 miles; MY 2018- MY 2019 vehicles/72,000 miles; MY 2020 and newer vehicles/75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Vehicles purchased on or after 1/5/21: MY 2017 & older, 2 yrs/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2018-19, 1 yr/12,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2020 & newer, 2 years/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty
Dealer certification required
100-plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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