I love my 2001 VW GTI 1.8T GLS.
I bought this car brand new and now I have about 171k miles. This car has been a phenomenal experience for me the past 11 years.
In spite of what people say about 'electrical problems, etc.' with VWs, this car had none whatsoever.
The only things i had to replace since i bought this car were a new alternator (at 125k miles) and a new a/c compressor (at 168k miles). I regularly took this car in for an oil change and check up to VW. I am sad to let this car go and sell it so i can buy an suv since my family is growing into 4! Im thinking about getting VS again!
Great turning radius; Steering wheel is comfortable to hold for hours of driving; 1 press up/down pwr windows. Ability to open and close windows and moonroof from driver side door outside (using key in door); comfortable seats that hold you in place when you are 'hugging turns'; moon roof functions smoothly, and quietly after 11 years; Front wheel drive works great in snow and rain with the ASC (AntiSkidControl); power and heated mirrors work great during the icy weather; fog lights work great in the rainy & foggy season; all the seats fold down in the rear; rear window wiper. air bags on side of both front passenger seats,
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)
No mods and I'm terrible at maintenance. I pay about $1000 every other year on maintenance, usually get get rid of the check engine light. Love the car. I'm going to keep it as long as it keeps going. I can't find another car with all the features this has. Manual is the way to go. Even as a used car I would recommend. Quite reliable.
Speed. Heated seats. Cargo space. Sound system. Dash lights. Sunroof. Heater and A/C are great. Reliable.
i have owned vw most on my post high school life. from an 02 5 spd vr6 gti to a 03 vr6 6 spd jetta. great cars when taken care of and modded properly. stay away from the automatics, and enjoy on a back road once in awhile. currently own a 2001 gti 1.8t. great gas mileage. bit of a hit on power from the vr6 cars i'm used to but can be made up in parts and the 1.8 definitely handles better. my current car has 160k on it and runs like new. interior is showing signs of wear around the ac controls, console, and ignition. shall be replaced soon. rolled my 02 gti 2.5 times at highway speed and 3 ppl walked away unharmed. (perrelli tire went flat and came off the rim). so i don't buy perrelli's anymore.
wheel spacers, 15-20 mm front 25-30 mm back with stock rims. effectively eliminates bump steer and provides a wider stance for better handling. wish vw had just put them on from the factory or changed the suspension geometry and saved me the expense. all other problems have been recalled by vw.
I bought the car in desperate need of a way to get to work, didn't really research it. The performance is good and bad. The turbo is great, very fun, but the engine sometimes jumps when I try to give it gas at lower speeds. Interior is cheap, I've already had broken lights, switches, and compartment handles. Its also too easy to leave scratch marks on interior parts, just rub your fingernail and bits of black dust come right off. I only average at about 23 mpg which is pathetic. Note to all buyers, solve these performance problems with a manual, not automatic. Alternator keeps giving out at 40000 miles too, not sure about that..
Turbo.. not much else.
More horsepower, better mpg, better quality of interior components. Buy a newer GTI please.