2002 Volkswagen GTI Consumer Review: VW Has Lost Its Way

2002 Volkswagen GTI - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

151 Total Reviews

1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4-cyl. Turbo 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
VW Has Lost Its Way
By Sean on


2002 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


I purchased my first VW for $300 in college. I was the third owner of 1990 Golf with 164,000 miles. I drove it on the highway while red-lining, never changed the oil, rode the clutch and NEVER had problems. I got nervous around 180,000 miles and changed the clutch. The mechanic said the clutch still had about 2,000 miles left! Fast forward to 2002: I purchased a new 2002 GTI 1.8T in August. Before the end of 2003 I was in the dealer countless times. There were three separate recalls plus countless other problems (ignition coils, dead battery, two broken control arms, driver-side window fell into the door panel). I love the car; hate the reliability.

Best Features

this car is fun to drive. It delivers decent speed. I love passing Hondas with annoying coffee can tailpipes. I wish I had the speed to pass WRXs.

Worst Features

Lose the turbo lag. Lose the bells and whistles and go back to making worry-free cars that are fun to drive and last forever.
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