Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback Consumer Reviews

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$17,720 - $29,115

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

Colin, 03/13/2018
S 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
35 of 36 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...

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16 days of ownership / 1,000 miles driven

Rashod B., 11/24/2018
SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
17 of 17 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.

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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, and great for road trips as well. The implementation of Android Auto is probably my favorite feature of this car, it almost makes the built-in navigation and satellite radio superfluous. The adaptive cruise and other driving aids are well done, with the exception of Lane keeping assist, which, if left to its own devices, wanders from side-to-side in the lane like a drunk driver. Other nice to haves include adaptive dampers, 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: From prior experience with my 2015 model, I know that I'll have to replace the standard Bridgestone Potenza RE97s at around 20,000 miles, as they start to have crappy wet traction at that point. Also, 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. 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.

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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

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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 the 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.

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