By Raman Gain on
Vehicle2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
ReviewThe original Hot Hatchback and still
the best. I drove a SVT Focus for a
full day, then a single test drive of
the GTI 1.8T was the answer. By far
the most 'mature' in this scrappy
class - am I getting too old? Is
enjoying full torque at 2k RPM too
mature for this class? You can't beat
the 4 year warranty or fuel mileage if
you drive it maturely.
Performance is very good, some say
best in class. Turbo boost comes on
strongly at 2k RPM and is smooth until
PAST redline. Brakes are initially
very grabby but responsive. Gearbox
hates being rushed. RECOMMENDED
upgrade is new diverter valve (~$140)
to reduce boost-lag during shifts.
Best FeaturesOh-so-quiet and polished around town. Being able to keep it in current gear (if above 2k RPM) to just hit the gas to pass without revving the engine to the redline. German engineering mixed with a 4 year warranty. Fu*engruven, Farfignewton, whatever it is - its a catchy thing.
Worst FeaturesUnbelievably useless cupholders that almost totally block the radio. 5spd tranny shifts on its own schedule (not to be hurried). Upgraded Monsoon stereo is only so-so (compared to SVT Focus upgraded stereo). Insurance seems to be highest in its class (I'm 25/male).
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