2002 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T Hatchback Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2002 Volkswagen Gti - Consumer Reviews

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2002 GTI Consumer Reviews

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2002 GTI
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jane
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

The 2002 GTI was my first new vehicle that wasn't American made. I drove a Suburban for years for business and finally got the opportunity to retire the "gas guzzler". I chose the VW GTI based on safety first of all, knowing I wanted a more efficient vehicle...little did I know it would develop into a total passionate love for the little car. The thing fits me like a glove, handles like a dream, and is SO much fun to drive. I got it all paid off a few months ago. I have my eyes on a new one should I ever decide I could bear to part with this one. My 27 year old son says HE MUST buy this one from me when and if I ever do.


Favorite Features

I LOVE the indiglo dash lights, "clicky" turn signal, super turn ratio, great mpg for the oopmph, super headlights, seat height adjusts (perfect for tall drivers), excellent control on curvy roads, great AC / heat controls, cool sunroof, easy to use hatchback, and the logical placement of dials and switches.


Suggested Improvements

It needs a better cup holder, better tires, to change the location of the plug for cell phone so it isn't in the ash tray, an added clip on the windshield at lower left to hold permits etc like Volvo has, a hill holder on the clutch like Subaru has, and an upgraded interior such as door handles made of a more durable material so they won't peel.


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I hate it that I love it!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By C. Putnam
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback VR6 2dr Hatchback (2.8L 6cyl 5M)


Review

From the day I drove this car off the lot, I have been in love with it. Every time I walk up to it, I get a sense of excitement that I am about to drive it. When I get in and flip out my laser-cut switchblade key and turn on the engine the adrenaline really starts to pump...then the engine light comes on for the third time in six months. Okay...no big deal. I hit the road and feel like lowering the windows to feel the wind blow through my hair. The auto down/up feature is really cool. I push the button and the window drops off the lowering arm with a crash. That IS a big deal. These are just two examples of the nitpicky things that torment VW Golfs, Jettas and GTIs. It is now for sale.


Favorite Features

Looks great...inside and out. A lot of pep. Handles great. High quality interior. Not flashy but not cheap. Very likeable design. Auto up and down windows for both driver and passenger. Standard ABS works like a charm. Love the key/alarm/flip-out feature.


Suggested Improvements

Silly rubberized coating on plastic parts scratches off and looks crappy. Engine light really likes to come on a lot. Window have fallen down off the clips twice for each window. All work was covered under the warranty...what happens when the warranty runs out? $$$$$


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VW makes fun cars
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By pat
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

My 2002 Volkswagen GTI is my second VW, my first being a 2000 Jetta... The progress between these vehicles is impressive to say the least. And going turbo is a lot of fun as well. My only beef with the car is that I had to make some modifications to get it where I wanted it to be. The European versions of this car are not restricted by strange safety and emission laws. So once I had this car chipped and tuned, changed the piping and suspension, I was extremely pleased. It rides wonderfully and I've never had to take her in for fixing, just slight improvements. If VW could find a way to lighten the vehicle and put better piping and supsension it from the factory, I think they'd sell more of these cars.


Favorite Features

Turbo, heated seats, power sunroof, convenient hatch, blue gauges, red dash lights and accents, 17" factory rims, good head rooom/leg room, beautiful design, nice body.


Suggested Improvements

Lower the ride and suspension, give it bigger piping and a non-restrictive ECU... all of these things are easy and affordable mods though.


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So Disappointing - No Joke
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Michael
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

Bought June 2002. Yes, it's refined inside, build quality above average & overall car is fun to drive. But reliability is worst I've experienced. My 4th car. 1. 3 separate power window probs that left me with window sunk in door. Fun in winter. NOT 2. 2 separate seat probs. 1st was when the seat actually moved beneath me with each turn. 2nd occurred when lever to raise/lower broke 3. Ignition Coils *UGH* 4. 4 separate coolant probs. 1 prob left me stranded on road (2 year old car at the time) 5. 1 dashboard lighting prob, many MIL engine light probs 6. Car *almost* failed start in 50 deg. weather. VW found no prob. Inexplicable. Just waiting for more... I'll never buy VW again...


Favorite Features

Nicely refined inside. Very fun to drive.


Suggested Improvements

Horrible reliability. Premium monsoon isn't all that premium sounding. Too bright, too muddy sounding. Did I say horrible reliability? Do not buy.


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Quirky but a blast to drive
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By morndew
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

This car is VERY fun to drive. There are a couple spots in the power curve in which it accelerates like it has a nitrous tank. Floor it while doing 20 mph or 60 mph and you'll feel the giddyup. I have had to take the car back to the dealership twice, once to replace the window lifts, which left the window open on a cold November night miles from home. Not fun! There was also a recall on the ignition coil. On cold wet mornings I occasionally experience a reluctance from the motor to get going. This may be more ignition coil problems or something else, I don't know. But when you can drive twisty roads like you're in a go-kart, it's easy to forget the periodic trips to the shop.


Favorite Features

Acceleration, handling, and passing trucks on the interstate like they're standing still.


Suggested Improvements

I wish I could trust my GTI not to break down in the future, but I'm not so sure. If you want reliability, get a Honda or Toyota.


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Fun Car But.....
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Mike's GTI
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

This is a very fun car to drive. The interior is well laid out and posh. With the 5-speed it's zippy and nimble. There is plenty of room for friends or a trip to local home improvement store. VW needs to improve the electronics in this car. Numerous sensor failures, all of the bulbs in the car have been replaced at least once and the Monsoon head unit shorted out. When the car is in the shop, it's not much fun.


Favorite Features

Leaving the SUVs behind when they're trying to bully their way in front of me. Just because it's small, doesn't mean it's slow.


Suggested Improvements

Improve the service. I'm tired of hearing 'I don't know' as an explanation for everything that has failed: brakes @ 14000 miles, oxygen sensor, turbo sensor, Monsoon head unit, battery @ 25 months, etc. I really like this car but it's going to be hard for me to convince my partner to buy another.


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Great, But Not Perfect
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Lenny
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback VR6 2dr Hatchback (2.8L 6cyl 5M)


Review

Love this car. Sporty, but versatile; I can just throw my mountain bike inside. I have the 24V version with 200 HP and it's SWEET! Very torquey yet smooth; feels like a much bigger motor. ESP is great and has saved me many times as has the ABS. Stock suspension was way too mushy for me so I lowered the car with Eibach springs, and Koni Sport shocks. Now, handling is a match for the motor at the expense of ride comfort. Only complaints I have are interior squeaks and rattles, and the soft wheels. Already had to replace 2 because of potholes. My Monsoon has been great, but could use better bass.


Favorite Features

Motor, styling, hatchback, interior finish, fun to drive.


Suggested Improvements

Better bass response on Monsoon, suspension that matches the motor. Needs better mileage or more power for the given mileage.


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The car that breaks down weekly
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By felix11111
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback VR6 2dr Hatchback (2.8L 6cyl 5M)


Review

It spends more time at the dealer than actually runs ;-(


Suggested Improvements

Stay away from VW


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Should have bought another BMW
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jennmc3
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback VR6 2dr Hatchback (2.8L 6cyl 5M)


Review

My husband has always loved Volkswagen, until I bought him his first american version. Major problems began at 3K miles and have continued ever since. Replaced all ignition coils (some of them twice) all before the recall, replaced secondary air pump 5 times in the last two years with intervals of 11, 9, 6, and 3 months apart, window clip recall, monsoon CD broken, seat handles break off, turn signal indicator continually falls out. $28,000 for a true lemon.


Favorite Features

Horsepower, when car is functioning.


Suggested Improvements

Volkswagen has taken too many shortcuts, plastic parts, cheap labor, buying parts from so many manufacturers without accountability and not trying to compensate with service, not standing behind product.


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Vonderful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By canacsgti
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

(17in wheels, moonroof, sports cloth) Always wanted one, not disappointed. Excellent performance and handling. Makes for enjoyable commute and desire to take the back (mountain) roads to/from the office.


Favorite Features

T.U.R.B.O. Solid stance. Fun (really fun) to drive. Quality components. Styling.


Suggested Improvements

Build Quality - too many times in the shop for known issues (windows, coils). Squeeks & Rattles - had dash pulled w/in first few weeks to fix rattle. Chassis not rigid enough - Apparently 2005 model will be considerably stiffer.


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