i bought my 2004 VW GTI with some hesitation, I was concerned about the reliability. It has had some minor issues with reliability in the electrical department. I knew going in too that this car takes premium gas. This is not a great thing with a car that averages 19-24 mpg and the current cost of gas. Having said this, I do declare, that this car is wonderful. It is not a hot rod, but it is very fun. if I need the horses or torque, they are there. It is very solid, and the most comfortable car that I have ever owned. The hatchback is great, easy access and roomy. I don't see myself coming and going on the highways and byways of this town. I strongly recommend this funky little car.
The engine is smooth and quiet. The comfort of the front seats over long distances is great. The GTI has a very solid ride.
VW needs to continue to improve its electrical reliability. Also, the standard transmission is nowhere near as slick as the ones that are available in Japanese cars.