This is the nicest car I've owned and I have owned plenty of American as well as foreign cars. It's nice to have every amenity possible including a cold weather package that included heated leather seat, heated mirrors, and head washer nozzles. The tilting & telescopic steering along with the fully adjustable seats make this car fit like a glove. The premium stereo is up there with high-end luxury models as well as the overall performance. The 200 h.p. VR6 runs perfect and with the paired smooth shifting 6-speed transmission, the drive is anything but dull. Congrats to making an affordable autobahn bred sports car obtainable by the working class.
From the day I owned this car it has been a pleasure to drive. VW has a knack for incorperating 'feel' into thier cars. My GTI has more 'feel' than almost any non german car I have driven. Some people do not like to feel the road while they drive and just want to be as disconnected from the driving experience as possible. If you are one of these people do not get a VW. But if you are passionate about driving you will not be dissapointed with this car.
I've had my '04 GTI since it was new and I've just ticked over the 80k mark (this is my second GTI, after a '02 Tiptronic). It has never once had a mechanical or electrical problem. I've done just about everything in it...5 people and their stuff, track days, commuting, long road trips, backroad drives, snow, rain, sun, traffic, moving...short of towing or off-roading there's nothing it doesn't do competently or better. It's such a delightfully well-built car, it's no surprise that VW didn't actually profit from the MkIV Golf. Yes maintenance is important, but isn't it with every car? Do it on schedule and it's unbeatable!
My 2004 Volkswagen GTI has been first rate from the moment I took it off the lot. It is a considerable improvement in build quality over early models. I traded in a 2002 Golf for this GTI. The turbo, 17" wheels and sport seats make a huge difference. If you need one car to do it all, and you don't want to blow a ton of money, this is it. Romp on the pedal and this car will take off like a rocket. Lay off the pedal for good gas milieage. Need to haul some junk, just fold down the seats. The manual five speed is fun to drive even in traffic. The paint and materials look better than other cars in its class. There is a ton of aftermarket parts available for this car. I've driven Porsches, and yes, they're better, but for the money you can't beat the all around champ, GTI.
I'm only 27 yrs old, but have gone through cars like water because i suffer from, "Gotta have the next thing-itis", and yeah, it's terminal. But anywho, this little car has got to be one of the best values for any one who REALLY loves to drive, and drive fast. This car fells uber strong 1st through 3rd gear, and the higher gears aren't too shabby either. (In 3rd at 6500 RPM, you're doing 85mph) The gas mileage isn't great if you stay in it, but is capable of getting 26 mpg or so on interstate. The 6 spd manual is an absolute dream to drive, takes learning to drive it right, but when you and the car agree, it's a beautiful thing. Summary: The German's build driver's cars.