I have wanted an MKIV since they came out. I bought a 2000 in 2012 and was in a total collision 3 weeks later. The other girl went to the hospital I walked away without a scratch. As a former mechanic and mobile electronic technician I can tell you the build quality on this car is amazing. It is extremely safe. The only drawback to the car can be the cost of parts. This is one place where is does not pay to cut corners. There are a huge number of aftermarket companies out there that make replacement parts but when they charge $35 for a part that VW charges $350 there is a reason. With this car you basically get an AUDI in a VW wrapper. Most of the parts are interchangeable.
Definitely the powertrain on the car. The car is very peppy and handles wonderfully however you can still get 30 mpg with careful driving. It is also very safe. While it may not have many of the safety features that a new car does, the performance of the car will keep you out of a lot of accidents (If you know how to properly drive). If you are in an accident it is extremely safe. Most cars have the outer door skin and then an interior door panel. The VW has a metal panel between the outside and inside panel. VERY SAFE.
There are some items that VW should have recalled and never did. For example the coil pack on this car is prone to failure. VW never issued a recall and to get a decent replacement product it is going to set you back $350+ just in parts. Also the car electronics are temperature sensitive. I have noticed that my trip computer does not like to work when it is extremely cold and then when it gets really warm the LED display becomes hard to read. Also there are some minor things such as the gear for the sunroof is prone to stripping (which makes closing it even manually impossible). the electric window regulator is a nightmare and an expensive fix because it is overly complicated.
Honestly I can say owning the VW GTI VR6 was nothing short of a nightmare.
I had purchased the top of the line 2001 in 2011 GLX with less then 140,000 kilometers and was the third owner. Over the span of one year it coast me half its value in repairs for parts that are literally prone to failure. Volkswagen knows this but makes no attempt to fix it, simply Google coil-pack failures for the mk4.
As a car it is fun to drive its fun. However its heavy slow and antiquated. The whole VR6 thing is overrated till you hit the highway and the bulk of my driving was city so its a pig on gas, changing the oil is at least a 100 dollar job if you do it right and go full synthetic.
Ill start with the positives the car is fun looks good and is made from quality materials. Mine was even assembled in Germany so the whole Mexican/Brazil assembly argument is moot.
Cargo space is phenomenal this thing hauls a massive amount of stuff. I was also T-boned by a Jeep and the first thing I said upon looking at the damage was strong car, in other words it is safe.
I am sorry if something isnt reliable it is not a good car it is a piece of crap, if it cant hold its own for 3-4 months out of the year without going into the shop its waste of space time and your money no matter how you look at it.
Anyone who is telling you VW is reliable is misleading Google Toyota or Honda in the bulk of reviews from legit to average consumers these companies gain top marks for reliability. Volkswagen doesnt have the same reputation.
If you have the money to spare and are not a 20 something college student paying his own way in life and dont mind sinking some serious cash to spruce up this car then this cars for you.
I owned an '84 GTi (the original) for 12 years, then a Jetta GLi for 8 more years. After a quick stint with another vehicle, I went back to VW. I bought this car used, with 60k miles already on it. I am now very close to 100k and I absolutely love this car. Only problems I have had is: replacing the water pump (normal) and a bad coil pack (normal?). I maintain it religiously, running only synthetic oil. I honestly never have to open the hood between changes - it uses absolutely no oil, and the old oil is only moderately dirty after 5k miles. One odd issue - I have to top off the power steering fluid every 5k-6k miles and I see none of it leaking out(?)
Acceleration in 3rd gear Comfy (heated) seats Sunroof
Better cup holders (big deal) Body seems to flex a bit around tight turns - maybe a sway bar or a ROLL CAGE :) Turning radius is a bit wide Tinted windows (a must with a black leather interior)
Very fun to drive. Wish they upped the HP in 2001 instead of 2002, but 175 is still pretty peppy. I regularly get 30pmg at highway speeds.
Torque on the V6
Transmission melted at 80,000 miles. Fuel injectors died and cost $700 each to replace. This is a cheap car to drive but an expensive car to repair. Very expensive. Tires run about $200 per piece and wear out quickly. I have 108,000 miles now. Body is perfect and so is interior.
I had a 2001 GTI vr6 and man do i miss it.. the only reason why i sold it its because financially i was having problems at that time... But as of right now I'm looking to Buy another one... Throw a nice short ram or cold air intake, a nice greddy exhaust and your driving a beast, sounds and drives like a champ... not to mention if you throw in a turbo in it.. forget it awesome car.
New rims, performance tires, Intake and a nice greddy exhaust. Sounds amazing.