Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Consumer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
18 reviews
List Price Range
$23,747 - $29,923

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5 out of 5 stars

Get This car Immediately (See what I did there?)

Colin, 03/13/2018
S 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
36 of 37 people found this review helpful

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. UPDATE: still the best car I've ever owned. 20k miles and counting. Reliable, fun to drive, beautiful... SECOND UPDATE: 52k miles and still in love with this car. 2 recalls and no issues whatsoever. 32mpg average and loads of fun all around. We are nearing the 3 year ownership mark and couldn't be happier. THIRD UPDATE: 60k miles. Still wow. No issues other than the recalls and a stuck fuel injector that might have been bad gas. We love this car.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

Great daily driver for the car enthusiast

Brian Campbell, 05/12/2018
Autobahn 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
14 of 14 people found this review helpful

The Autobahn trim of this car is a fun daily driver, which is great for road trips as well. Besides the excellent handling, acceleration and braking, the adaptive dampers offer a smooth, controlled ride. Android Auto is well implemented and almost makes the built-in navigation and satellite radio superfluous. The adaptive cruise and other driving aids are mostly well done, but I wish they had included lane centering assist, instead of just lane keeping assist. Other nice to haves include automatic climate control, a more comfortable 12-way adjustable driver's seat, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and self-parking. (I was skeptical about the utility of that last one, but it works well and assures I don't get "curb rash" when parallel parking.) Gripes are few: There were a couple of build issues, including a sunroof rattle and a problem with a minor trim piece that fell off, which was addressed by the dealer. While durable, the leather upholstery isn't of the highest quality, either. Overall, I'm very happy with the decision to go with the Autobahn and would recommend it to anyone who can afford the additional coin.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Goft GTI SE / Leather

Mike, 04/12/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Life is too short to drive a Toyota

TheManInDboX, 01/04/2019
S 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
10 of 10 people found this review helpful

I have owned Toyota's pretty much my entire life, i had never given much thought to any other car brand. I would buy one after another, and i would modify them to my liking, but as you get older you have less of a desire to drop another 5K into a new car to make it fun, and once Toyota killed off the manual transmission in nearly everything they make, i was brought to try to find another brand i would like. I drove Hyundai, KIA, Honda, ford, GM, and Fiat, and then i drove the VW. While reliability may be far worse than the Toyota, or Honda, (only time will tell) the VW just feels special. The steering input, the way the shifter feels in your hand, the feedback from the steering wheel as you are downshifting into a tight bend, all make you exited about driving, the car feels well balanced, and you can use your own eyes to see out of it. I fit lumbar into it on the weekends when i go to home depot, it carries my dogs, it's extremely comfortable and easy to drive on the highway, and if you put it in eco mode, and drive it under 80 you can easily get 40mpg out of it. It really is an amazing car.. Mine is a base model with the Performance Package, honestly though, i wish i just bought the base model, it's really just that good of a car, the performance package is really only noticeable on the track. If you don't track the car, skip the PP.

Performance
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

My fun car

Don, 07/12/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
15 of 16 people found this review helpful

Traded my 2016 GTI S model in to get the 2018 SE version. I loved my 2016 model, had absolutely no problems with it at all. The longer warranty and new safety features on the 2018 model were the primary factors behind my decision to let go of the 2016 version. I really like the new LED headlights and tail lights, the larger brakes and the electronic limited slip differential bring a noticeable improvement over my previous car. I wish that I had upgraded to the summer tires on both cars rather than stay with the stock versions. However I do like the ride and performance of the Hankooks that came on the 2018 car over the Bridgestones that came on the 2016 version. My 2016 car had the manual transmission which I loved but I went with the DSG transmission on 2018 which really is a better fit for me over the long run. While I'm not unhappy with the mpg I am seeing on the 2018 I got about 3-4 mpg better with the manual than I am getting with the DSG transmission. The low speed performance of the DSG is much better than I experienced with earlier versions on Jetta's that our family owned. I had been wanting a GTI for 25 years+ when I got the 2016 model and have not been disappointed with either car. Love taking it for drives on twisty mountain roads but frankly look forward to commuting to the office in it everyday as well. 5600 mile update - still love the car and definitely feel it was right to trade in my 2016 for the 2018 model. I have had no issues with either car. Additional features that the SE model has over the S that I appreciate. The larger touchscreen is a pleasure, the system is very intuitive and easy to master much better than those in many other manufacturers. I'm very happy with the quality of the sound system. The adaptive lighting system is great, high beams are phenomenal, low beam the cut off is sharp and I wish the reach was a bit farther. They are nice and bright and they have a wide spread which helps. Really like the electronic limited slip differential it really makes a difference on twisty roads and driving in the snow. The ride of the 2018 SE model seems to be a bit more comfortable than the 2016 S model. I'm not sure if it's the tires, the extra weight of the SE with the DSG transmission or if VW made some updates to the suspension. Whatever I do like the ride. I've had no mechanical issues, fit and finish still top notch as was my 2016 model. For me the choice to go with the DSG transmission was right. When in heavy traffic I can focus on the traffic and keep both hands on the steering wheel. Then I can switch to manual mode when driving in the countryside on windy roads. The safety features are very appreciated particularly the blind spot monitor and that the windshield wipers automatically turn on, I really like that the car is built solidly you never feel like your in inexpensive vehicle, you always feel like your in a much more expensive vehicle with no compromises. Dislikes not many but... I don't like that every time I start the car I have to disable the auto engine stop feature. I should be able to shut if off permanently. The 2018 model doesn't have the under front seat storage trays that the 2016 model had. I do miss the extra storage as the center console is very small. You really can't drive either models that I've had with the windows down due to excessive buffeting noise inside the car. On the SE model that includes with the sunroof open. Basically, I can only drive with an open sunroof at low speed under 30 miles an hour. For me it's not a deal breaker as I really love the GTI. 17,000 mile update- absolutely no mechanical or electrical issues to date and no problems with the technology on the vehicle nearly 3 years of ownership.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

16 days of ownership / 1,000 miles driven

Rashod B., 11/24/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
17 of 19 people found this review helpful

Rent this car before buying! Test drive the actual trim multiple times. Make sure you love it because it has a lot of perks but some major annoyances. Overall, I'm stoked about my purchase and I love my new GTI so far. I'm coming from an older Jetta so it feels intuitive and familiar but much nicer than my old VW. The GTI is everything you expect it to be...fast, fun, practical, affordable, and seemingly reliable. It truly is a lovely car. The reviews out there are fairly accurate. The tech package is modern and very nice. The car is sneaky fast and the exhaust notes are great when driving in sport mode. THIS CAR IS FUN!!! Here's what I learned in my 2 weeks of ownership. The leatherette seats are not the most comfortable, especially for long trips. Interestingly enough, I didn't experience the same problem when I rented the base model with cloth seats. I just assumed the leatherette would be nicer and more comfortable...they're not. They just *look* nicer. My biggest complaint is cabin noise. My brand new GTI has more creaks and rattles than my '08 Jetta with 157K miles on it. I took it to the local VW dealership where I purchased the car and the service advisor told me it's the norm with these cars. For a car that looks & drives amazing and costs $28K - $35K, the noises make it feel cheap and not well assembled. After Googling the issue, it is clear that my GTI is not unique. Lots of people out there reporting creaks and rattles with a lack of support from the VW dealerships. I absolutely love the car but would I make the purchase again...I'd probably lease because it doesn't feel like a keeper. On a positive note, the GTI ownership community is pretty amazing. Tons of tips, tricks, and DIY solutions for almost any problem. The aftermarket world is rabbit hole of goodies.

Safety
3 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
3 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Best daily driver under 30k money can buy

Tom, 08/07/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

This car is a home-run. Turns like it’s on rails, very well planted on the road. Ride is stiff at times, especially on bad pavement... But it's the price you pay for the sporty suspension. Brakes are great. Safety features are great: forward collision mitigation is on point, as is blind spot monitor. Led lights are slick. Interior is luxurious : 8" touchscreen with Apple Carplay, leather seats, soft touch materials. Cabin noise levels are very low. DSG is bliss. Overall it's a very well finished car... Iteration number 7.5 so they have figured out the value proposition really well. Speedwise : it's got enough power to keep you interested, but it's no wild beast like the Golf R or a WRX STI. I'm very happy with the car and look forward to driving it every day. Got the SE because the Autobahn was not worth it to me. Barebones S with the manual is a sweet value proposition you should absolutely consider too. I drove other cars like the Subaru WRX, but went with the GTI due to better incentives and more civilized ride, plus that DSG. The Mazda3 is a good option too, but the GTI is one level above. If you live in an area with very bad pavement, don't get this car, otherwise you'll enjoy every minute. Love this car, gosh. BRB I went for a drive.

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5 out of 5 stars

Great car!

Rick, 08/10/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Love this car! So much fun! Many great things about it: acceleration, steering, cloth seats, gas mileage, small size, etc. I got the manual but would have been just as happy with the automatic. I own a 2009 & 2015 BMW 335, but I prefer to drive the GTI.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

This car is AWESOME!

Al Bert, 05/20/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

I was skeptical about buying a VW - I had set on one of the following: Mazda 3, Honda Civic, or a Ford Focus. Since I was out shopping anyway, I decided to check out the GTI; it was love at first acceleration. This car is awesome - you can select Eco mode, drive it responsibly, and get 39mpg; or you can select Sport mode, let the turbo do its thing, and have a lot of fun. I like small cars; this one fits the bill while taking 4 adults around very comfortably. The interior is nice, instruments are well positioned, the seats are snug and firm (as you would expect from a sport car), and the driving position commanding. I got the standard speakers, and I'm happy with them. The dual clutch transmission is something out of this world - it switches gears quickly and seamlessly. All in all, this is a fine specimen of German engineering at its best.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

GTI on the Fly

Walt, 06/16/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The car is a driver's car, a real fun car to drive. The ride is somewhat dependent upon the type of tires that are on the GTI from the manufacturer. We have Hankook all season tires which are a harder rubber compound and a nosier tire so the ride is a bit nosy and you feel the bumps a bit more although not a deal breaker. But that's to be expected with a performance car and this car DOES perform. The interior looks like that of a luxury car and is much more than one can expect for a car in this class. Fit and finish is excellent and the quality of the leather and other materials is excellent and rather plush as well. It looks like VW has finally turned the corner after "diesel gate" and brought a quality and impressive car to the market. If this is things to come for VW, I believe they'll be back in front as a premier auto manufacturer.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

This car is so much fun to drive

Barbara in Houston, 12/03/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I have owned probably 10 VWs, including numerous Jettas, a convertible Rabbit, and a Quantum. This is by far the most fun to drive. A couple of months ago, my sales guy sent me a text and told me he could upgrade my Jetta and lower my payment by $100 a month. I told him I did not want another Jetta, I wanted a Golf GTI. I have wanted one for a long time. I ended up with the 2.0T SE with beautiful titan black leather with red stitch. The exterior paint is deep black pearl metallic. I love it!!!!! The first time I really hit the gas to get on the freeway, my neck actually snapped back. It is so fast and small and zippy. I also have a 2004 Land Rover Discovery (which I really love), but I don't even want to drive it because the GTI is so much fun. I love the trim and the fact that it has 4 doors and the hatchback. The two things that I don't like as much as the Jetta - I like the temperature control system in the Jetta over the GTI and I really miss having an old fashioned navigation system not connected to a phone. Buy this car - you will be very happy!!!!!

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

Why was it shipped with a broken switch

Autononymous, 01/16/2019
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I can't do a review Justice like all of those available elsewhere. It's a perennial top winner for car and driver and Motor Trend and other magazines. I was in a 2016 M3 which I traded out of because it was a colossal waste of money. Super fun car of course just no where you can possibly drive that car living in the city. I actually enjoy driving the GTI more. The GTI is like a magnificent go kart and while not as fast, at all, as the M3 it doesn't feel like driving a really heavy missile. Steering feedback is better. I hate it when it arrived it had a broken window switch and the dealership never bothered to call me to tell me that the part was in, and my annoyance at that lack of customer service and initial quality forces me to give this for stars. Sorry for the run-on sentence but voice to text

Safety
4 out of 5 stars
Technology
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
3 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
3 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

A Great Hot Hatch

Dave, 07/16/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Does all the little things well. Your sport car, your daily cruiser, long range hauler all rolled into one.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Excellent car

Eldis Govin, 07/19/2018
Autobahn 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
1 of 8 people found this review helpful

Pricey 😕

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
3 out of 5 stars
Report Abuse
5 out of 5 stars

VW GTI

Kefeyalew Mengistu, 03/01/2018
Autobahn 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
3 of 25 people found this review helpful

Great car but higher sticker price. The gas mileage consumption is higher specially on city use.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
4 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

Gti

Jim, 05/25/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
0 of 8 people found this review helpful

Active driver assist is only partial.

Safety
4 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
4 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
Report Abuse
5 out of 5 stars

the car

REUBEN, 01/08/2019
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
0 of 9 people found this review helpful

this is the best car you need to buy it before Volkswagon goes bankrupt

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Great Car

Padraic, 07/23/2020
S 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

This car is so much fun to drive with the 6 speed manual transmission. It’s super quick, handles well and feels like it’s stuck to the road. The great falls green is an awesome color too, I get so many compliments on it.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
4 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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