I still think the GTI is overpriced for its class, considering you can't get some options available on other comparable cars (have fun trying to hook up an iPod to the system and have it work through the wheel controls and enough already with the plaid cloth seats), but DAMN is it fun to drive.
Way more fun than the Mazdaspeed 3 at least among the 2010 models, and any WRX in that realm would have been even more overpriced and driven to death.
Fair warning that I had to spend a good $3k to replace the fans in the front in a hot climate at around 67k miles. Pissed me off to put that much money into what was at that point about a $10k car, but like I said...DAMN is it fun to drive.
Seamless turbo, tons of fun, astonishing amount of room in the back, beware the wear and the stupid frat boy argyle interior, but a joy to drive.
How about when I unlock the doors the trunk also unlocks without me having to find another button? And GOD with the plaid cloth seats. Why is this still a thing?
Wow, this car is totally amazing! I spent 3months test driving all different cars in the class, bordering the class, and in classes above and beneath just to narrow down everything. In the end I decided on the Certified Pre-Owned 2010 VW GTI, which I bought for 19.5k with just 16k miles on the clock. The top three for me were, in the end, the GTI, Mazdaspeed 3, and the WRX Hatch. Third place was the WRX because while I loved the AWD and the power. I really didn't like the price, nobody orders the base models. the Speed3 was close but didn't have the refinement of the GTI.
Love the shifter, its just schick, schick, schick smooth. The power is instantaneous with darn near zero turbo lag, and with just an additional 600.00 you can get a stage 1 mod and it doesn't void the warranty giving you another 55hp! The seats are absolutely incredible and the plaid pattern is really beautiful to look at. I really really love the bi-zenon headlights that turn with you when you turn the steering wheel to go around bends, THAT was a brand new feature for me.
If I had to think of one; I hate it that to switch cds in the six disc changer you have to go through 3 different menus to get to the one to switch cds, there is no simple way to use the touch screen radio to switch cds.
I had spent a year test driving 20 cars over 1000mi to decide on the car that would last me the 20yrs my last car did, a VW Corrado.
Life's too short to keep driving VWs, but the final shootouts for months were between the '10 GTI and different flavors of 1 and 3 series BMW coupes.
I was not cross-shopping any of the Japanese "hot hatches".
>Short gearing+revvy engine=lots of shifting=driver involvement
>Even PZEV engines underrated at 210+hp at wheels =~240 crank hp&flat torque
>Huge back seat+hatch space when folded
>Fabulous stereo head unit+Dynaudio=best audio well above its class
>XDS works really well, steering nearly as direct as the better RWD cars, easily best for FWD
>Better ride-handling balance than 3-series sport pkg (no run-flats helps)
>Amazing amount of std equip for the base price for a euro car
>Smart styling walks fine line between aggressive&chill
>Great ergos for my build, but BMW sport pkg seats still best
>Clutch& gearbox action sublime
>Good summer tires really raise chassis performance
>HVAC controls are garbage in an otherwise quality interior, and it doesn't hold the interior temp very well
>There were a lot of cost-cutting measures to the MkV, and more to come between 2010 & 2011.
Bringing back the body-colored side mouldings for parking lot protection would be a good start
>A center channel speaker for the Dynaudio stereo upgrade
>ESP to allow more aggressive slip angles when the TCS is manually switched off
>Leave the 12V outlets on when ignition is off
>Dealer programming needed to disable DRLs, honk when locking
>Better brake pads, calipers & air ducting
>Less road noise thru chassis
>140mph speedo, 180mph is stupid
>oil temp display
>accurate mpg display
Got this car CPO with 9k miles on it a month and a half ago and have put about a thousand miles on it since. This car is incredible. I was in a Mazda3 for a while before this car and this car just blows it away on every level. Interior is high quality on par with Audi etc. Excellent touch screen stereo and iPod interface with a very high attention to detail from the leather wrapped flat bottom steering wheel to the subtle red stitching throughout. Very comfortable seats etc. The engine (2liter turbo) coupled with 6 speed manual (how could you get the DSG??) is a dream. Seemingly bottomless torque and plenty of power when I need it with a nice exhaust sound. Excellent exterior design. Grade A
Interior build quality, particularly factory window seals and channels are poorly installed. After a week of having it I noticed wind noise at freeway speeds and door rattles. Took it to the dealer and they replaced the door seals and channels, free of charge and all is well. The car is top drawer, but it is questionable how they could ship these cars from Germany with poorly assembled door panels and seals. Ride quality can be a little rough, but thats due mainly to the 18" wheels and LA's horrible roads. If I wanted a soft ride I would have bought a Buick
The performance is awesome all around & still feels a bit on the luxury side, 6 spd shifts perfectly, very comfortable heated seats, high quality interior. I actually get 30 mpg on a regular basis which I think is excellent! I test drove many vehicles which were more powerful but chose the GTI because hands down it was all around awesome. This car is so fun to drive I find myself leaving the house and just driving for hours with no destination in mind. I have tornado red with the 18" wheel pkg & this car turns heads everywhere I go. I can't say enough good things about this vehicle.
Highly economical 4cyl. turbo, steering wheel, stereo, shifter, clutch brakes, the whole car is my favorite thing!
Of course the only improvement in my mind is about 50 more horsepower, the car is perfect the way it is but 50 more HP would really put this car into a league of its own.