I've had other GTIs, a VR6 and a 1.8T. This MK5 by far is the best of them all. It has great torque, handling and comfort. The interior looks way more expensive than the competition. It is fun to drive. I added a new suspension and a chip. They make it handle and go even better. This car might cost a little bit more compared to Honda, Mini, others, but you have to pay for all the same extras that comes with the GTI. For real everyday driving this has the best overall, you will still love this car even after five or more years, think about that! My good friends that drive Fords and Acuras test drove my car and the absolutely loved it!
Over the past five years I have had a total of six VW/Audi vehicles, including a 2001 GTI 1.8 Manual and a 2005 Audi A4 1.8 manual and this car blows them all away! I test drove the new A4 2.0T, as well as the Infiniti G35, and the new BMW 328xi which all are sweet, fun and capable cars however the GTI just came out even or ahead in most of the categories that are important. My decision came down to the GTI 4dr and the BMW 328xi and for the extra $17,000 for the Bimmer the decision was very easy, take the GTI and save a ton of money! The build quality is fantastic, the interior is high quality and comfortable, the car handles fantastically, the engine is extremely smooth. this car is very practical and fun!
125,000 Miles, Still Waiting for it to Go Wrong...
written on 07-27-2015
4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I have to say, coming from a Lexus to this car, I mentally prepared myself for a host of problems and maintenance issues after hearing horror stories of people owning Volkswagens and Audis. But to my surprise, this has been the most reliable car I've ever owned. Change the oil, and the car is like brand-new again. I think that folks have issues VW's because unlike Japanese cars, you really should stick to the maintenance schedules otherwise I can imagine you have a lot of problems. This engine for example, eats oil so you really shouldn't go over the recommended oil change intervals. Having owned this car for almost 8 years now I can say that I've only had a few things go wrong with it, there was an issue VW fixed under and extended warranty for a particular part. The 90K service was the only thing I ever paid for it, but that was the only major maintenance I have ever done on this car so far. It was about $2K for that services. $2K in maintenance over almost 8 years is not bad at all...
This really is the perfect everyday car for young people or retirees without kids or for kids who have left the nest. The best thing about this car is that it is quick and responsive. The clutch travel is short and the torque means you have instant responses to input which means you can get out of tight situations in traffic, pass with ease, squeeze through cars and obstacles, take tight turns with stability and confidence, and you have enough space to carry pretty much anything in the trunk and more if you fold the seats down. The ride is rigid for sure, but refined in the same way. It's very comfortable at highway speeds, but the car seems to get a bit more frazzled as you approach the top speed the more and more you go above 115 mph or so. What I love most about this car however is that it thinks about practical things about the driver of the car and has little nuances I've never seen in American cars or Japanese luxury cars. It, for example, will automatically engage the rear window wiper when your front wipers are on and you go into reverse. This is so you can see behind you (very thoughtful). It also allows you to lock the car with the remote before closing the door so you can get your groceries out and close the door without worry about engaging the lock button with your hands full. Besides that it's got a great stereo and great xenon lights. It's such an awesome and well thought out car!
The weaknesses of this car largely have to do with it's size. Because it's light, small, and quick, it's not terribly great at being a car for all seasons and not my ideal car for the long road trip (especially if you have 1 or more passengers). The cabin space can feel cramped after a while and with me being 6'1" I can't ever get the seat low enough without seeming to stare through the top part of the windshield. Large puddles have a way or really slowing this car down and it's not that great on snow. The major weakness of this car though I would have to say is the air conditioning. On really really hot days, 90+ degree heat with 90+% humidity in the D.C. area, it never seemed to get nearly as cool as you would want it. I guess it never gets that hot in Germany... who knows? But on days like that I always wish the air conditioner was better. The heating however is immaculate, with the window open on days of 50 degrees or less, it radiates heat automatically so you never feel cold.
Having kids soon with more storage needs I kind of wish this car would start having problems, so I can have an excuse to get a larger car, but so far, it hasn't happened. It's really a great car, a masterpiece!
This car is not only a true driver's car but is also refined and comfortable for a long distance drive. It's moderate pricing sets it apart from more expensive cars such as a BMW or Audi. Long term quality has in the past been an issue, but in my initial 5,000 miles and 7 weeks of ownership, I have not seen any problems.
This car is awesome. It has 200 hp and 207 lb. feet of torque! It gets up and goes. For those of you who are worried about reliability consider this: previous models where built in Mexico, this GTI is built in Wolfsburg, Germany. Its handling is top notch for a car that weighs 3,000 lbs. It is faster than its main competitor, the Honda Civic Si.