I bought my 2012 6MT shadow blue GTI 1 year ago today.
Here is my 1 Year Review. After 365 days of owning a brand new GTI, my first VW, I can say it has been great.
But along with the good, I've had to accept some problems.
My fuel injector failed at 20k miles and left me on the side of the road. This is a common weakness of the GTI.
If you want reliable and dependable, buy a Honda. If you want German and high performance, expect to have some issues with this car. Some people have zero problems. You may get lucky. But plan on not being so lucky. I love driving this car, but don't know if I will keep it once the warranty is over.
Expect to have problems, but it is a wonderful car.
The interior is outstanding. The bluetooth works great for iPhones. I really enjoy the plaid seats. Fit and finish is top notch. Nothing rattles or vibrates after a year and everything seems to be holding up well. I installed OEM bi-xenons a few months ago. I would make sure you get one of the trim levels that include the HIDs/AFS feature, as this is the only thing I regret about this car. I also like how the rear seats fold up and provide a lot of space when needed.
Reliability continues to trouble VW. I read about plenty of people having all sorts of problems but you have to realize that high performance almost always comes at the expense of reliability/durability. VW should include the HIDs on all trims, not just the top 2. Also, there is a hissing in the driver window that is common to GTIs. Not a big deal. Also the wheel bearing failed after I brushed a low curb. Had to replace it. The GTI feels very fragile sometimes. If only they were more dependable cars. That's really my only complaint after 1 year and 21k miles.
I just bought the 2012 GTI last week. So far: non-linear acceleration i.e. the pedal has about two inches of dead travel before the car reacts and then it engages and the car shoots forward, which makes it very dicey in traffic. Over rough pavement the dash and the A pillars buzz like a hornet. I couldn't have a bigger case of buyer's remorse. Will VW fix this? Maybe they will surprise me; if not I'll follow every nuance of the Ohio Lemon Law and they can buy it back.
The interior is well equipped.
Fit and finish are nice, which makes me wonder how I could have all of the buzzing in the dash over rough pavement.