2001 Volkswagen GTI Review

Used GTI for sale
List Price Estimate:$722 - $1,644
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Fun-to-drive, lots of standard goodies, hatchback design offers excellent cargo utility.
  • Some controls hard to decipher, handling could be crisper, dated styling.

Need a sport coupe for the real world? This is it.

Vehicle overview

We've always liked the Golf, a fun-to-drive, chunky-but-spunky hatchback that has been a bestseller in Europe for more than two decades. Here in the States, the fourth-generation Golf does battle against a range of compacts, many of them with less sporting credentials.

The Golf is available as a base two-door GL, an uplevel four-door GLS, or a sporty two-door GTI in either GLS or GLX trim. There are three powertrains for the GL and GLS. The standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine is good for 115 horsepower, while an optional, fuel-sipping, 1.9-liter Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine is available. You can also opt for the turbocharged 1.8T motor, which increases horsepower to 150, produces lots of low-end torque across a wide rev range, and can now be had with an optional sports suspension.

The GTI comes standard with the 1.8T turbo engine and new sports suspension in GLS trim, or you can get the GLX version which serves up a smooth 2.8-liter narrow-angle V6 with a wide torque band. Horsepower is rated 174 at 5,800 rpm, while torque is 181 foot-pounds at 3,200 revs. This year the GLX gets a new 16-inch wheel design and standard multi-function steering wheel controls for the radio and cruise control system (steering wheel controls are optional on GTI models in GLS trim). New 17-inch alloy wheels are optional on all GTI models.

All Golfs are available with a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission (except the GTI VR6, which is five-speed only). Silky and playful, both the turbo engine and the VR6 make for high-spirited driving. Ownership piece of mind comes from VW's two-year/24,000-mile limited warranty with free scheduled maintenance for the same period.

The Golf offers a long list of standard features, including side-impact airbags, four-wheel-disc ABS, 15-inch wheels and tires, clear halogen headlamps, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, sliding sun-visor extenders, a brake-wear indicator, an anti-theft alarm, remote keyless entry, a split-folding rear seat with three headrests and an optional, dealer-installed, in-dash CD player. An eight-speaker Monsoon sound system is also available. New standard features for 2001 include an improved cupholder design, a trunk entrapment button and head protection airbags.

Consumers will be impressed by Golf's structural rigidity, which not only provides a solid, quiet body with precise gaps between the doors and body panels, but an overall feel of quality. It all rides on front MacPherson struts and a rear independent torsion-beam axle. Separate shock and coil-spring mounts reduce intrusion into the luggage compartment and cut road noise.

Inside, the instrument panel is stylish yet functional, and the dark wood trim in the GLX model blends well with the high-quality fit and finish of the soft-textured surfaces. Like the New Beetle, gauges are backlit in blue with vibrant red pointers. Volkswagen wanted this combination to be marque-specific, noting that they are the same colors used by international air traffic on airfields at night. Seats are firm and supportive, and the back seat folds down for expanded cargo-carrying capacity.

Behind the wheel of the Golf, whether swayed by value or performance, drivers will be racing to start their engines.

2001 Highlights

All Golf models get clear side marker lights, trunk entrapment buttons, new cupholders and head protection airbags. Golf GL and GLS get higher-quality interior fabrics and the GTI benefits from a new 16-inch wheel design, optional 17-inch wheels, and multi-function steering wheel controls.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2001 Volkswagen GTI.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.38 out of 5 stars
Love It
md_medic,01/05/2014
GLX VR6 2dr Hatchback (2.8L 6cyl 5M)
I have wanted an MKIV since they came out. I bought a 2000 in 2012 and was in a total collision 3 weeks later. The other girl went to the hospital I walked away without a scratch. As a former mechanic and mobile electronic technician I can tell you the build quality on this car is amazing. It is extremely safe. The only drawback to the car can be the cost of parts. This is one place where is does not pay to cut corners. There are a huge number of aftermarket companies out there that make replacement parts but when they charge $35 for a part that VW charges $350 there is a reason. With this car you basically get an AUDI in a VW wrapper. Most of the parts are interchangeable.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Fun to drive between repair shops
caro2012,10/17/2012
GLS 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A)
I bought my 2001 GTi with 25,000 miles on it and put another 105,000 miles on it over the course of 5 years. While it was comfortable to drive and had nice styling, the car completely lacked reliability. In the 5 years that I owned it, these are the things that broke or degraded prematurely: PCV tubing Ignition coils Ignition coil wiring harness (degraded insulation) Timing belt (replaced at 50,000) Clogged oil pick-up tube Radiator fan (broke) Coolant flange (degraded, leaked) Drivers side seat belt clip (bad sensor) Automatic transmission (failed at 100,000; rebuilt and failed again at 130,000) Broken, leaking axle at 130,000 Leaking power steering pump Cam tensioner Belt tensioner
4.5 out of 5 stars
Reliability, Build, and style
connor7,08/24/2014
GLS 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A)
I bought my MKIV almost a year ago, and cannot sell it to any offer. Between its peppy engine and reliability, I love it. The 1.8t has been nothing but good news, but be warned..Know how to drive and maintain these cars or you will have issues. I put 40k on it in the past year for work and school, going 100+ on most highway journeys, bringing it to 236k. Besides the belt changes done by the previous owner, it's needed very little work. No oil leaks or power loss, or tranny problems yet. The trannys usually cant pass 150k but I guess im lucky. A con is the materials used in the interior. Headliner falling, door panel upholstery falling off, and finish fade. Numerous modifications available
3.63 out of 5 stars
Ups and Downs
JT,12/08/2009
GLS 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I bought the car in desperate need of a way to get to work, didn't really research it. The performance is good and bad. The turbo is great, very fun, but the engine sometimes jumps when I try to give it gas at lower speeds. Interior is cheap, I've already had broken lights, switches, and compartment handles. Its also too easy to leave scratch marks on interior parts, just rub your fingernail and bits of black dust come right off. I only average at about 23 mpg which is pathetic. Note to all buyers, solve these performance problems with a manual, not automatic. Alternator keeps giving out at 40000 miles too, not sure about that..

More about the 2001 Volkswagen GTI

Used 2001 Volkswagen GTI Overview

The Used 2001 Volkswagen GTI is offered in the following submodels: GTI Hatchback. Available styles include GLS 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A), GLS 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), and GLX VR6 2dr Hatchback (2.8L 6cyl 5M). Pre-owned Volkswagen GTI models are available with a 1.8 L-liter gas engine or a 2.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 174 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2001 Volkswagen GTI comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual. The Used 2001 Volkswagen GTI comes with a 2 yr./ 24000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Volkswagen GTI?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2001 Volkswagen GTIS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2001 Volkswagen GTI for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2001 Volkswagen GTI.

Can't find a used 2001 Volkswagen GTIs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen GTI for sale - 8 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $22,342.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 5 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $11,116.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen GTI for sale - 9 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $17,330.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 4 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $15,626.

Should I lease or buy a 2001 Volkswagen GTI?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen GTI lease specials