2002 Volkswagen GTI Consumer Review: Exceeded nearly all my expecta

2002 Volkswagen GTI - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

150 Total Reviews

1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4-cyl. Turbo 5-speed Manual)

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Build Quality
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Exceeded nearly all my expectations
By Joe Freeman on


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


The Golf (including GTI) was the only car available in the US in early 2002 that was of interest to me. I chose the GTI mainly because of the 1.8T engine, since the Golf's 2.0 was mundane. I was very concerned about reliability and quality in general, as production of the Golf/GTI had just been moved to Brazil, but the GTI exceeded nearly all my expectations, including excellent build quality, fit and finish, and in 1.5 years and 18,000 miles, no significant defects had surfaced. The car's performance is excellent, as is comfort, but the 5-speed gearbox is rather crunchy and the car's handling is good though not quite what I had hoped for.

Best Features

- engineering and aesthetic design - performance - comfort, ergonomics, smoothness - exterior and interior fit and finish - reliability - braking - Monsoon AM/FM/CD/cassette system

Worst Features

- gearbox could shift much more smoothly - handling could be sharpened - 16" Continental tires squeal too much - style of alloy wheels could be better - prefer another wheel-locking system - key/remote should be made less bulky
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