I've had my '04 GTI since it was new and I've just ticked over the 80k mark (this is my second GTI, after a '02 Tiptronic). It has never once had a mechanical or electrical problem. I've done just about everything in it...5 people and their stuff, track days, commuting, long road trips, backroad drives, snow, rain, sun, traffic, moving...short of towing or off-roading there's nothing it doesn't do competently or better. It's such a delightfully well-built car, it's no surprise that VW didn't actually profit from the MkIV Golf. Yes maintenance is important, but isn't it with every car? Do it on schedule and it's unbeatable!
Great space inside and compact outside, styling is aging well inside and out, interior ergonomics are great, headroom and legroom are great (rear legroom is good for a small car, fits real adults!), gutsy power from pretty much anywhere on the tach, grippy chassis, hugely knowledgeable and well-developed aftermarket and enthusiast base (no question unanswered, no part unmodifiable :) ), great paint quality, good stereo. I'm glad I skipped the sunroof.
In terms of steering quickness, suspension stiffness, bushings, braking capacity...honestly it's about 20% shy all around from where I'd like it. Fortunately the aftermarket is so well developed that you can go through it and turn everything up a couple notches, which is what I'm working on! The mileage (24/30 for me in real driving, 27-28 average) is good but IS starting to look a little low compared to the MY13 cars. Stereo is light on bass (but sounds good otherwise). Wish the seating position was a little lower. While I'm dreaming, popout venting rear windows à la 3-series coupe (with only two windows, it doesn't vent that well). Stronger A/C (gets very cold EVENTUALLY)
I'm only 27 yrs old, but have gone through cars like water because i suffer from, "Gotta have the next thing-itis", and yeah, it's terminal. But anywho, this little car has got to be one of the best values for any one who REALLY loves to drive, and drive fast. This car fells uber strong 1st through 3rd gear, and the higher gears aren't too shabby either. (In 3rd at 6500 RPM, you're doing 85mph) The gas mileage isn't great if you stay in it, but is capable of getting 26 mpg or so on interstate. The 6 spd manual is an absolute dream to drive, takes learning to drive it right, but when you and the car agree, it's a beautiful thing. Summary: The German's build driver's cars.
Interior design is incredible, Dash lights, Punchy V6, Handling.
Gas mileage could be improved, a few creaks and noises that are normal for a German made car.
This is my first VW. Bought it used with 41K on it, and it's now got 123k and still going strong. This car is probably the most under-rated vehicle I've ever owned. It's super quick off the line, and even makes a nice cruiser on the highway. I drive quite a bit for work and have always had sufficient power I need to get around the freeways of Southern California. It's been a great car with no major issues. I feed it synthetic oil and 91 octane gas and it in turn, gets me where I need to go every single day. I'm sorry to have to sell it and get a 4 door, but if you're looking for a great car and don't need room for say, a child seat, I'd definitely check it out.
Did I mention this car is fast?
Good amount of interior room (I'm 6'1" and fit comfortably), good storage space, great gas mileage, understated but sharp design, solidly built car.
Drives the same today as the day I bought it.
I'd say make a 4 door version but they already have, so kudos to VW.
Maybe throw in a free hoverboard?
Bought this in 09 with 91k, now have 105k. The quality of the interior is top notch, love the feel of the switch gear. Shifting and clutch action on the 5 speed is very smooth. Get around 24mpg mostly city driving, 30mpg hiway. I have the 17" rims which really look sharp. Great stereo too. Only repair besides tires in 2.5 yrs was coil modules that caused it to run like it was on 2 cylinders, was able to limp to shop in that shape. Check engine light is persistent for coolant temp, but confirmed that actual temp matches gauge, not hot. Just enough fun to drive with a couple blasts through 1st & 2nd with great cornering, but not too much power to get in trouble. Broke console hinge
Cornering, stereo, glossy black paint, 17" spoked wheels
This is the nicest car I've owned and I have owned plenty of American as well as foreign cars. It's nice to have every amenity possible including a cold weather package that included heated leather seat, heated mirrors, and head washer nozzles. The tilting & telescopic steering along with the fully adjustable seats make this car fit like a glove. The premium stereo is up there with high-end luxury models as well as the overall performance. The 200 h.p. VR6 runs perfect and with the paired smooth shifting 6-speed transmission, the drive is anything but dull. Congrats to making an affordable autobahn bred sports car obtainable by the working class.
Having a fully loaded car with everything you can think of with the comfort and fun to match shows this car is second to none. It's truly amazing how much the car's construction resembles the quality on a Bentley; of which VW owns and intertwines throughout all of their brands.