Looking for something nice and sporty
I just got out of the Navy and am looking for a nice all around car with good performance so I test drove the GTI the other day. The 6 speed is very smooth, but the GTI's underpowered 2.0T looses what little power it has in 4th gear. I can't even begin to understand why they put a sixth gear in this car. The interior is very dark and I found the lumberjack plaid seats just plain dorky. When I asked for optional leather seats, the price jumped to 27 grand. Of course this car is quick when you compare it to silly European cars like Renault, Peugeot, and Fiat that get 0-60 in about 15 seconds, but this GTI just doesn't compete here in the U.S. VW failed in the American Car market once before, and with overpriced, underwhelming cars like the GTI, VW will likely fail again. I'm glad I wasn't foolish enough to buy one.
It's all about getting the most for your money
I read somewhere in a MotorTrend magzine that the 2010 GTI was the CAR of the YEAR. Since I was in the market for a new sporty car, I decided to shop around. I out the GTI up against cars like the Mazda Speed3, Subaru WRX, Camaro V6 and even a Chevy Cobalt SS. All of these cars are very similar in price from 24k-27k. Out of all of them, the GTI is easily DEAD LAST. The reason is, that for almost 30k, the GTI has no outstanding qualities, whether it be interior roominess, power, handling, and reliability. The GTI is well balanced from the aspect that it does everything with mediocrity and fails to impress in any category. A car like this should be no more than 22k. If you want fast and practical, get a Mazda Speed3 or WRX. If you want a head turner, get the Camaro. I also won't be picking up any MotorTrend Magazines anymore after that ridiculous GTI comparison!
There's nothing GT about the GTI
Let's start off by saying that Volkswagen already has a reputation for making unreliable vehicles, but I bought the GTI over cars like the Civic or Speed3 because of the great interior design. It's hands down, one of the best interiors on the market. I soon found out, however that mechanically, this car is mostly a dud. No excitement whatsoever! The GTI is small, low on power (0-60 in 6.3 sec), and has a host of annoying rattles over the smallest bumps. The 28k pricetag was also a shame. Don't fall for the "GERMAN ENGINEERING" that the salesman pitches at the dealer! For the price of the GTI there are numerous better cars on the road with better performance. Since I'm expecting my first child in a few months, my wife and I decided to trade our GOOFY GTI for a V6 Mazda 6 for 29k. More room, more practical, more reliable, and about the same money as the GTI! Oh, Our Mazda's also faster than the GTI with its 272 hp. The GTI is a car for geeks that want to feel mature. Bottom Line--If you want mature, buy a Buick. If you want to play poseur, buy the GTI.
I've read all the bad reviews on this post and can't for the life of me figure out what these kids are talking about .... yes the 'Speed3 and Subbies are faster ... but that's it .. I've had my GTI for six months and live and work in the DC area with its horrible roads and this car is rock solid with a great ride/handling balance. You cannot say that about the other two which are livable only on the smoothest of road. As for price, you don't know how to negotiate! I have every option save for NAVI and paid roughly $26k for mine ... no mechanical or other issues whatsover ...kids want cars that wow them in one way ... instant speed when you press on the pedal .. this car is not for kids .... period end.
Good Valued German Hatchback
I came from an 2002 Audi A4, and when deciding to purchase my next car, I still wanted the "German" handling but didn't want to deal with the high maintenance costs of Audi parts. So the GTI seemed like a good fit. In general the car has sporty handling and a very good power band for acceleration. And while my Audi had better fit and finish, it's cousin doesn't do half bad. The exterior and interior exudes cool and trendy but not over the top flashy. Overall, I would say if you're interested in a car that has good German handling but do not want to overpay (both in MSRP or maintenance) for a luxury car, you should consider the GTI. Also as for EPA I get about 26 mpg for mixed mostly highway driving.
Another blunder from VW
I'm sad to say that even though I wanted a car with performance that was different from all of the Japanese cars in it's class, I made a mistake purchasing the GTI. I do like the exterior and interior look but the GTI is just very frustrating to own. VW must have used some sort of cheap plastic because after 7 months of ownership, the car rattles and squeaks after hitting the smallest bumps. Perhaps the most dishartening thing is when I tried to pass a Honda Accord coupe on the street. The Honda didn't want to let me merge and the GTI's 200 hp wasn't enough to get ahead of him. Mind you that my GTI has the DSG shifter. After doing some research, I found out that there are many cars in the same price range that are bigger, faster, and more reliable than the GTI.
Just not a well made car
I'll keep this short... After four month's the following went wrong with my GTI. 1. Bad Oxygen sensor 2. Defective automatic climate control 3. Burnt out headlight 4. Strange rattling noise inside the cabin 5. Faulty PCV Valve 6. Fuel door would not open Refined Automobile? I'll refine my judgement. For almost 30k this is totally unacceptable!
Little Car. Lots of Money
I thought I was buying a German performace machine! At least thats what it sounded like from the salesman. Truth is, the GTI is sadly underpowered, but feels like you're driving faster than it really is. The fact that VW needs a turbo to achieve only 200hp is even more disheartening. Some car makers can make 200 hp from a non-turbo four cylinder engine. The other thing is the rediculous price of basic maintenance. $30 for an oil filter! what a rip-off! You also need turbocharger specific engine oil and premium gasoline! Did I mention that the GTI only has 200 hp! That's just too little power considering the expensive maintenance that the GTI requires. I also had an issue with the auto-manual transmission not shifting correctly! The dealer did fix the car but it was never quite the same. I'm glad I sold this car before the warranty expired. What a MONEY-PIT!!!
Way behind the times
I'll start off by saying that the interior of my GTI is very nice and it handles reasonably. This about sums up the good side of the GTI. When I purchased my GTI it cost near 30k and came with everything except GPS. During the winter I tried out the heated seats which were a nice feature. Unfortunately, the heat did not want to shut off. The seat eventually got hot enough to where I had to stop the car on the side of the road. The problem was fixed under warranty. The plastic materials look nice but they make annoying squeeking sounds whenever I hit a bump. The worst of it came when my DSG transmission kept throwing me out of gear! I later found out that VW recalled all cars for faulty wiring in the DSG system. To top things off, the GTI requires premium fuel since it's turbocharged, but the GTI is not even close to being a performance car. In fact, for the money, the GTI falls way behind just about every competitor on the market. I would've given it three stars but the GTI's lack of reliability force me to rate it as a poor car.
Great Car for Money
If you're looking for a car around $25,000 it doesn't get more stylish, and finished with quality than the GTI.