2008 Volkswagen GTI consumer reviews

$22,800–$24,375 MSRP range
side view of 2008 GTI Volkswagen
89% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior design 4.7
  • Performance 4.9
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.4
Explore the 2008 Volkswagen GTI

The Only Car You'll Ever Need

The car does it all. It's subtle and decently comfortable when you just need to get around, but will liven up when you're ready to carve the twisties and add some caffeine to your commute. I have the 2 door version which makes it a tad difficult for back passengers but that's their problem. Fits 5 and luggage with ease, sips fuel like a miser and does everything I've asked of it 365 days a year. I've owned the car since new and can't think of anything that could replace it.


What a car!

Every time I drive this car, I just can't help thinking any car of this price range should have no right to be this good. In some ways, it's more amazing than the best supercars. PZEV engine is epic, steering is sublime, chassis absolutely competent, and build quality?, it's been absolutely impeccable! And the best thing about this car is nothing from outside or inside, or even the driving experience that scream how good it really is. Everything Is just so sublime that you almost forget how good everything is in this car. Thought engine has been praised many many times, it is an absolute gem. It's powerful, responsive, torquey, smooth, quite, too, while it makes great noise. The steering is odd thing of beauty. It's light, almost overly so at the beginning, and somewhat feel free, or so one may think. But drive just so, it weights up nicely, and becomes quite chatty. It usually is quiet because it has not much to tell, that's the level of sophistication of its chassis. When needed, it does communicate all you need to know, nothing more and nothing less. Okay, it's not a Porsche 911 sharp, of course, but I must say, it's probably the best in the class. And speaking of chassis...it's so understated, like everything about this car. It's incredibly stiff without feeling harsh, ride is again, more comfortable than the car like this has any right to be. Build quality is absolutely impeccable, which is surprising considering the reputations of VW. Over 70k miles and absolutely no issue whatsoever, and everything feels as solid as the day it has left the dealership. It's pretty darn useful, too, I often haul lumbers and tools in it as well. It's almost so perfect that it almost hurts! If you just have to live with one car, I'm hard pressed to think any other cars that's as good. Which brings me to my slight problem...because it's so good and all-rounded, I found myself sometimes craving for something that's a bit nuttier - don't mean a bit more character or anything, just a bit nuttier, that's all.


The best car I've ever owned

This is a beautiful car. It drives like a dream and has power. Fun! You can't go wrong with a GTI. I've owned this car in the past and currently drive one. If it's a fun and reliable car you're looking for this is it.


Love it.

"For those poeple who complain on the power: Take it to the freeway or somewhere safe and PRESS on the pedal!!! then come back and talk to me! When utilized Turbo adds 1/3 of your listed HP which means that you can smoke a 2012 Porche Boxter with your GTI (first hand experience). I have 49k on the DSG transmission with no issues and the car flies. Change the oil on time. 5k for me (including transmission oil every 40k or less). You can fit anything and everything in the back. I brought home a Queen size bed (in pieces but still). Love the lights because when you hit the turbo people need to know you're coming! Not that the engine won't let them know!! The car is a perfect combination of fun and convinient. I am not planning on selling this baby ever. Hopefully will never have to."


All Around Best Sport/Practical Car

I've owned a number of VW Golf's and I keep going back to them. I'm partial to the GTI due to the performance and interior design, although a TDI would also be attractive. For the price you are driving a true high performance car, the car that repeatedly sets the standard for fun and looks. If you're fairly conservative and don't need rear airfoils and scoops, but want to lay low and out drive most sports cars, this is the car to own. I have always followed the VW manual for service and rarely had a problem. Most issues are covered by VW. Keep your eye on it and you should have few if any issues. Too many buy these cars and don't realize that cost of ownership is higher as it's a VW and these cars are far m ore complex that an econobox.


Love This Car!

I have owned two '08 GTI's. The first fell victim to a winter car accident. The second I purchased late last year. I love this car! I believe the manual transmission is a must! The driving experience is like no other. The handling is superb. If you drive smart and don't push the limits all the time you can achieve excellent fuel mileage. I have a family of four and there is plenty of room for us. Kids fit no problem and adult passengers always marvel at the unexpected headroom in the back seats. I do have the 4-door version. This car is my primary car and is great for the daily commute. I average 28-30mpg every day. It is also comfortable enough for any long drive. The '08 GTI is great on the straightaways, but I must say that the most fun is in finding a curvy stretch of open road!


A real fun car

This car begs you to kick it around a bit. Excellent handling, plenty of power,one of the nicest engines I've experienced. Six speed manual is very smooth.


Get a warranty with this car!

I owned this car for a year and a half now. I bought it with 22K on the odometer and it still had the remainder of the factory 4 year 50k warranty, plus I bought an extended warranty for an extra $650. At about 24k, the mechatronic unit in the transmission failed and had to be replaced. Took a week to get it back from the dealer. At about 35K miles, one HID headlamp blew. Covered under warranty, but it would have cost $170 for ONE BULB! Then I was getting a Service Engine light, which turned out to be some PCV valve thing or something. Now at 55k miles, the left rear wheel bearing has failed (was making a heck of a whining noise). So in a year and a half I've had the car in the shop to be repaired 4 times. The car I had before the GTI (Japanese) never needed any type of major service other than routine maintenance in 10 years. I sold it with 214k miles on the odometer and it still ran great. My last car with snow tires was actually better (even as a rear wheel drive) in the snow than the GTI with snow tires as well. I would spin quite a bit going up hills in the PA snow, whereas my old one would cruise right up. Other things I didn't like were the fact that it used full synthetic oil ($8/qt) and the paper oil filter is a pain to change. Does not just screw on and off like a normal one and the filter costs $28 from the dealer. It also uses Premium fuel only, which gets expensive when it only gets 28mpg highway, 24mpg in the city. The GTI is a fun car to drive, it looks great and it has nice interior features, especially the leather seats, but the reliability is just not there in VWs. Save yourself a lot of frustration and repair bills by buying something more reliable like a Japanese car. If you do buy a VW, buy an extended warranty with it and dump the car before the warranty runs out.


more fun than anything I've ever driven

5 stars in every category. I've owned it for 3 1/2 years and it still amazes me every time I climb in the cockpit.


GTI way to go!

Just short and sweet: I'm getting over 30mpg in city, when driving nicely...and when I'm not so nice, I've got 200HP