After my 22 year old son bought his first car, on his own dime that is, my wife and I had to step back and take notice. He had talked about wanting a GTI since middle school and when it came time to trade the 1990 Saab 900 Turbo in that mom and dad had given him to drive through part of high school and college, he jumped at the chance to buy a GTI. His 2013 Wolfsburg edition was a different sort of animal than his Saab was...and it was also a tempting ride for my wife and I. A year after he bought the car, we traded in our 2013 Juke Nismo and picked up a 2018 S model. Since the age of 16, I have owned well over 50 different vehicles, most of them being some type of enthusiast car. From a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible to a 2001 GMC Yukon to a 2006 BMW 325i to a 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth, I've owned something of everything. I have experienced luxury (1992 Mercedes 300 AMG) to the basest car available (1986 Golf with a 3 speed automatic). I've owned slow (Any Isuzu Trooper or Mitsubishi Montero) and I've owned fast (2006 Nissan 350Z or 2001 BMW Z3M). But this GTI trumps them all. And it isn't even close. We bought the base model because it was the cheapest and offered everything we wanted in the car. While we would have loved LED headlights and a sunroof, the difference in price and possible repair cost offset that desire. I took a bath on my Juke when I traded it in, rolling about $2500 in negative equity into the loan...and that was after the down payment. Apparently when a manufacturer announces that a particular model is being discontinued, values plummet, even when that model is the enthusiast version and the most expensive. So one minor nit-pick with the car is that it is on the pricier side of things. But once you drive one, you will know why. The motor in this car is phenomenal. So much torque that you can pull away from nearly any speed in any gear. And speaking of transmission... the 6 speed manual in this car? Like hot butter. Seamless. Perfect. The Juke had a fantastic tranny. Snickety-snick through the gears. The GTI is a step above which I was not sure was possible. It is apparently. With Android Auto, there is no need for XM or navigation on this base model. Just plug your phone in and use the infotainment center to listen to what you want. Navigation through whatever app you want to use is right at your fingertips on the 6.5 inch screen. Heated seats are standard as is a back up camera that folks back into the rear hatch, protecting it from the elements and making it easy to see, even on an icy morning where a regular camera would be iced over or a rainy day when the camera would be smeared with rain water. And those plaid seats? Iconic and comfortable. Though I would normally prefer leather, these cloth seats are incredible. They are supportive, firm and look the part. Overall, this car is the most balanced car I have ever owned. It does everything well. This isn't just a jack of all trades auto, it's a master of all trades. Get This car Immediately (GTI). Seriously.
Bought the vehicle 3 weeks ago. The main reason for the choice is to have a smaller sized car with "peppy / sporty" driving characteristics for the city. The GTI is a fun little car and with the hatchback design still easy to use for storing some bulky items (55" TV in box fit perfect). Particular for city (San Fran) parking it is perfect. I like the acceleration and sportiness. The suspension is on the stiff side and potholes are for sure felt thru the body. Overall very good visibility and easy to get in and out too. 4 people fit nicely into the car. If anyone looks for a sporty compact vehicle I recommend the Golf GTI