Best "bang for your buck" to be had. Surprisingly spacious and comfortable, exceedingly practical and thoughtfully designed. Want the car because it's fun to drive, buy the car because it's fun to drive every single day. My 45lb dog is perfectly comfortable in the hatch, even with the rear seats up, so she never again has to be left behind when my partner and I go out with friends. Simple controls and unassuming performance under light throttle make it a car you could lend to your grandmother, but selecting "S" on the DSG transmission yields remarkably aggressive shift points and an eagerness to brake the front tires loose. The small "poof" sound you get from the exhaust thanks to the near instant shifts made by the DSG are extremely satisfying, encouraging you to time your up-shifts just around the 3,500 rpm mark. It may not be as outright fast and sharp as its key rivals, but it is far more comfortable and refined. completely sensible when you're stuck in suburban traffic, totally sensational when you're not.
Because I drive so little (4000 miles/yr), I wanted something sporty, stylish, and most of all fun! So after trying several other cars the past 2 years, I found exactly what I wanted in a GTI. It has the perfect balance of sport, economy, and adult-styling. It is quick, but not gas-wasting fast. It is nicely outfitted on the inside, has a wonderful exhaust/turbo sound, and looks sharp from the outside. This car is a bit pricey new, but I found mine one year used with 6000 miles for an awesome price. Got the model with navigation which also has the attractive and functional bi-xenon/LED lights. I'm sure there are longer lasting, more reliable cars, but life's too short not to enjoy your car.
LED lights, hatchback convenience, DynAudio system, styling, handling, easy to park, fluid manual transmission, overall driving experience.
VW could probably sell a million of these cars if they priced them about $5K less. The one I purchased would have run about $28-29K new, which is a lot for a small car. I would have liked to have a power drivers seat that allows for tilting the seat cushion (that part you sit on). Homelink would have been nice. The seat side bolsters are a little narrow (and I'm tall and thin).
Owned a 1996 GTi (4 cyl), 2004 GTi (VR6) and now a new "left over" 2012 GTi 4-door with the DSG automatic and moonroof and nav package.
A really solid, well put-together car with a great mix of style, sportiness, economy, and utility. After two cars with maual transmissions I opted for the DSG this time with no regrets. Really like the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Lots of fun.
Couldn't deal with the cost of an all-wheel-drive Golf R, so I "settled" for the GTi. No regrets.
DSG transmission, user-friendly stereo, nav, and bluetooth.
The bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights come with the moonroof and nav package and are worth the price.
LEDs are very cool and unique - not that many GTis running around Connecticut with the LEDs.
The bi-xenons actually turn with the steering to light corners.
Heated seats need to be turned on every time you start the car (my '04 GTi allowed you to turn them on once and they would always be on when you start the car - long, cold winters here).
Trunk space is surprising smaller than my '04 GTi.
Not sure if it's because I opted for the 4-door?
Moonroof switch should be lit.
Cannot disable the horn toot when the car is locked.
Why is that?
For that matter, why exactly does any car need the horn to sound when the car is locked?
After buying a new 2012 VW passat in July 2012, I decided to trade it in for a new 2012 GTI. While the passat was a nice BIG family sedan, I wanted to drive something fun and sporty. Also, I was having alot of trouble seeing at night with the Passat.
Anyway, I got the new GTI over the weekend. It is so entirely different than the passat. I can understand why people say they look forward to driving it everyday. I feel the same way. The visibility, comfort and feel of the car is so great. It's smaller, but still has plenty of room. I find that I'm playing the stereo less now because I like listening to the sound of the engine and the turbo.
seats so comfortable, turbo engine, handling, gas efficiency, sportiness
The only improvement I would say is to add more inside storage compartments.
It's somewhat limited.
You can get by with what's available, but a little more would be nice.
That being said, I would still buy the car any day of the week.