Used 2008 Volkswagen GTI Consumer Reviews
I don't know who wrote the Edmunds review of the 2008 GTI but they are badly mistaken in describing the Honda Civic Si and- good gracious- the Mini Cooper S as better driving cars than the GTI. I test drove both those cars on multiple occasions along with a number of others and the GTI was by far the best vehicle in every category. The Mini Cooper in particular was disappointing- noisy, tinny sounding and rough riding. The Si has nowhere near the smooth acceleration and shifting of the GTI. It's by far the 'King of the hot hatches.' I have had the car for over 4 years now and my only significant repair was replacing the pcv valve. Pretty impressive.
I purchased my 2008 GTI rather than a Mustang. I wanted a sporty, fast car. My decision was made primarily due to increasing gas prices. This wasn't solved since the car runs best using premium fuel anyway. While the car was extremely fun to drive, the ride is stiff but should be expected. Maintenance costs are high as are costs for replacement items such as tires. At 10k miles it needed a 4 wheel alignment. I always drove the car easy, no curb hopping. Sold car at 22k miles due to notification from VW USA of possible problems with the DSG transmissions. Buy the car if you have money to burn on upkeep and maintenance. I went back to Toyotas, no more headaches.
I have not driven a car that gives you so much for the price. It's fantastic the way the motor and transmission work together. The DSG is the best auto-manual there is. The car feels very refined and stays relatively quiet on the road. The seats are awesome and I love the steering wheel. Loaded with features that are usually offered on luxury cars. Turbo lag is there low in the RPM range, but after driving a couple of weeks it is easy to get used to. The 4-door version has all the room I need. Carries 4 people comfortably, and my kid's car seat fits great. Have had no reliability issues. All around this is one of the best cars money can buy. Could not be happier with my purchase.
This is a car that can truly do it all. I was looking for a car that could fulfill my demands for having a fun, performance oriented vehicle that could simultaneously deliver respectable gas mileage, have four doors, a great warranty and not break the bank, including full coverage insurance. Oh, did I mention my non-manual transmission driving wife had to be able to drive it too? Under these strict stipulations, the GTI is absolutely sublime. I bought mine for $20.5K and spend $100 a month on full coverage insurance. I regularly get over 30 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in town. Because of its sleeper status, I can drive it like I sat on a wasp, and a cop would be none the wiser.
This car is a blast. It puts a huge smile on my face every single time I drive it. The power delivery is smooth and effortless and the engine makes a satisfying growl. The DSG is fantastic. The ride strikes a great compromise between sportiness and comfort. This car does everything. I can drive aggressively and have a fantastic time. I can haul 5 people, or 4 comfortably. I can haul a ton of stuff. I get great gas mileage. The interior of this car is far more refined than any of its competitors. The materials look and feel upscale. It's just a nice place to be. For the money, this car is darn near unbeatable. It is equally good as a daily driver and a weekend toy.
This car has phenomenal performance, but man does it have things go wrong with it. A few things you should know of you buy this car. You're going to replace the coil packs on this car every 30-40K miles and when the first one goes, replace them all. In fact, carry a spare in your car at all times along with a code reader. When you get a misfire, read the code, find out which cylinder it is and replace it yourself. Here is a list of all the things I've had to replace since I bought the car with 21K miles on it (it has 54K now): 4 coil packs, 4 spark plugs, 1 thermostat, 1 vacuum pump, 1 intake line, 1 headlight bulb and both headlight auto-leveling motors. I haven't even had to replace the brakes yet... Think about that. All in, I've spent about $4,000 in repairs on this car. No one should go through this many repairs for a car that has less than 55K miles. In the last 9 months I've spent half of those dollars on repairs for parts that just brake. I love this car, but if/when I get another, I'm leasing it. I'll never buy a Volkswagen again. A real shame too, because the fun factor is a 10. Reliability factor is a 3.
I give this car 2 thumbs up for being the most fun and comfortable car I've owned..I've owned 2 dozen or more. Even with reliability issues, it is still worth having if under warranty. I've owned it a month now...bought it used with 16k miles. It has FSI engine which i learned is the older version, but still very good, though. Great handling, comfortable ride even with 18" wheels. Gas mileage is awesome 26- 30mpg mixed mostly highway commuting. Premium gas is a must if you want good gas mileage. First tank from dealer got 26mpg with regular then after that I got close to 30mpg with premium. VW combines fun and practicality all in one package. Back seat is rather large, too.
Leased it two years ago this month. Now has almost 25K on it. The only problem so far was a fuel sending unit which kept indicating car was out of fuel. Dealer fixed it and no further problems. Car drives great, I average 27-28 MPG in a commute that is equal parts highway and city driving. I have owned MANY MANY VWs over the years, and some have been very problematic. Not this one. I plan to buy it at the end of the lease due to its reliability, economy and performance. Once it's mine I will chip it and replace the OEM wheels & tires to improve the performance ever more.
I'm coming up on my 3 yr ann. with my GTI and have only very few / minor complaints (see below) to go with my many miles of spirited driving. Even though torque steer is non-existent, I've decided I just don't like FWD cars - the balance is just not there, especially at turn-in. Luckily for VW (and me!), from what I've read, my wants / needs are all met with the 2012 GTI-R / Golf-R / R20.
I have been researching cars for about 7 months. I was looking at this, an accord coupe, a g6 gt, and mini cooper s, and so on. I knew that whatever car I got into I would be happy with and I feel content with my lease. I am about to graduate from college and got a great job, so this is my first car in my name. Big experience for me. I am such a car guy so I put a lot of time into this and found that rating for rating, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, i made the right choice.
its comfortable,quiet,well built and really fun to drive. this car is always in the mood for a sporty time ! even though is a heavy car it handles very good , is extremely comfortable to drive at high speeds, in long trips and daily basis.DSG gearbox is wonderful. i live in a very hot-hummid city(panama) and the air conditioner stops working some times(it seems to be a common problem in this year gti).its a expensive car to own. i haven't had any serious problems, but small things are very expensive to replace. In the end, if you are willing to sacrifice some reliability for comfort, safety and sportiness this car is a very rewarding car to own ,it will make u smile every time you press gas
I purchased this car to be my everyday car. It is very fast and fun to drive. The auto trans shifts to quick, it is twitchy. The build quality is not what you would expect a nearly 30,000 car. The factory ipod connect is bad! Fuel economy is not that great if you get on the gas. Over all it is a good car but I just feel that for the price you should get more and better quality. My rear cup holder broke like in 2 days. There is some cabin noise and the seats are not that comfortable. It does have considerable blind spots even when turning your head to switch lanes. I say you owe it to your self to drive the competition before you buy, I did not.
I am one of those types of people who can not settle on a car. I have owned twelve other cars in my lifetime and this one tops them all by far. I traded in my Passat TDI for the GTI because diesel prices were out of control and I don't regret it a bit. This car is faster and handles better than my wife's Audi TT. I challenge anyone to find a car that handles better in the curves and can function as a daily driver as well. This may be the car or at least the brand/style of car that I finally stick with. I finally know what fast looks and feels like and this is it. There's only one word to describe this vehicle: Fahrvergnügen.
Quick and agile, gun to drive. Turbo requires premium fuel. Versatile around town and short trip car. Tight, sporty suspension. Most models use some oil between changes due to turbo. Mine takes about a quart per 1500 miles buy is driven relatively easy most days.
This is hard for me to do because I traded in my 2004 AUDI S4. So imagine the performance & refinement that I'm giving up. Having said that, if it was too much of a gap I wouldn't have gotten the GTI. The GTI is nothing short of incredible. I had a GTI in 1995, when it was equipped with the VR6. I missed that car when I traded it in & am glad to be back in the GTI fold. I have owned other VWs and have always liked them. This GTI is a cut above the rest, what a great car. Not only is it quick and fun to drive, but it's well behaved too. You can cruise, you can relax, and then simply by pressing down the accelerator - the attitude changes to evil.
This is my very first "new" car and it's a long time waiting. I wanted a small sports car; either the Mini Cooper or the GTI fit my style. I ended up picking the GTI because I felt the flood of Minis out there on the street would dilute my enthusiasm for my car. I am extremely happy with my purchase an happy I chose this over the Cooper.
I was hesitant to buy a GTI due to "claims" of reliability issues. I took a chance and I cannot tell you how happy I am. This little rocket is amazing. Performance is top notch, fuel economy is great (26 MPG during 50/50 commute) interior quality is top notch (drive it at night) and it handles like a go- kart. For 22K with 0% for 60 months I walked away feeling like a king. There are little options to be had on this car, and it will not disappoint. Go with the basic package and keep the cost down. And yes, believe the hype on the DSG. It is ridiculously responsive. No car with this much torque and off the line acceleration should be this economical. The enthusiasts affordable dream!
I have owned and driven a lot of different cars over the past 27 years, from true two-seater sports cars to sport/lux sedans. So take that into account when I say that this car is flat out a blast to drive! I live in an area where everyone has (or wants) a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc., and being one to never be comfortable following the crowd, I took the advice of Car and Driver and Edmunds and gave the GTI a spin. Great little car inside and out. I opted to bloat the price by loading it up with everything but nav, but it was well worth it. More sophisticated drive than the the MazdaSpeed3 with comparable performance and better looks (IMO).
This car drives and performs well; the fuel economy is good and getting better. I previously owned a Nissan 350Z with a manual transmission and it was an outstanding performer. The GTI's performance is not as sharp and it does not have quite as much power as the Z, but is a better daily driver especially in the heavy traffic that I must deal with on a daily basis. The GTI is a very comfortable car, fun to drive, has plenty of power with very little turbo lag, exceptional build quality and easily accommodates my 6'1 250 pound frame. The 2 door has surprising room in the back for passengers, the stereo is surprisingly good, and I dont miss my Z.
Very fun car to drive, handles almost like a BMW until you realize you only have 200 ponies under the bonnet! Favorits: handeling, seat bolstering, practicality, gas mileage, moonroof, ninja star like factory 18' wheels. Dislikes: Lousy mechatronic issue, stereo is a big joke, low horse power, leather seats aren't plush, light electronic issues such as signal lights. Ugly black back bumper!!!
I went to the dealership for a 25k miles revision on my Mazda 6, the same day i test driven the GTI, it was an instant decision. I had the GTI for the past 3 weeks and is totally awesome, great driving experience and a great reason to get up in the morning and drive to work. I also have not used my HD Sporter since.
While the 08 GTI is fun to drive and well designed, it still falls short of the competition. The steering feels much heavier than what one would expect in a sport tuned hatch. The performance of the automatic transmission is also sub-par, as it frequently shifts to higher gears too quickly causing the engine to strain and grumble. Ive ended up using the paddle shifters to correct the problem. My 05 Mazda3 (S) with automatic transmission and 156hp had better handling and off the line acceleration.
Expensive to own and operate! It takes premium gas only, so while everyone else is paying $2.60 per gallon, you're paying $3.00 a gallon. It takes a special oil, too, which at Pep Boys costs $8.00 per bottle and you'll need 5 bottles. The oil filter from the dealer costs $28, but you can get it from NAPA for a mere $16 (still expensive if you ask me). And you need to change it every 5k miles. It's not a straight-forward oil change either. A bit more complicated. Xenon headlights cost $150 to replace and since the daytime running lights are on all the time, you're sure to burn through quite a few. I'm not keeping mine long enough to find out how many. transmission can have mechatronic unit problem.
I traded in a Toyota FJ Cruiser after realizing that we need to start taking better care of the environment. Minus the FJ, I have always been around fast cars and wanted something FUN. I read a review saying that the GTI was the "right car at the right time" and can't help but agree. It's super fast, powerful, and all in all the most fun car I've ever driven. It's also safe and good in the rain! Was concerned about the car not attracting much attention, fearing it looked too bland. I get so many compliments, however, on how sharp and "sexy" it looks. My suggestion is to go for the Black Magic color. You feel like you're driving a mini Batmobile. Doesn't get much cooler than that!!
I have 4000 miles on my GTI so far and it's a great car. This is my favorite car that I have owned (02 Mustang GT, 98 Cadillac STS). VERY fast and still gets good gas mileage. DSG is fun to drive on open roads and automatic mode is very convenient in traffic.
After much research and test driving, I traded in my '04 Passat GLX 5-Speed for a '08 GTI 4-Door. I needed something more practical, but also wanted to upgrade slightly in performance. However, I also wanted to stay below (well below) $30k while doing it. With the current crop of hot hatches proliferating like bunnies (no pun intended), the GTI seemed to have the best mix of everything, features, performance, space and a well-executed interior. The Mazda3 was the only real competitor that gave the GTI a run for its money - especially in the value aspect. However, in the end, the GTI was more unique and hit a lot more design details that I appreciate (illuminated vanity mirrors for one).
I have owned 6 VWs and was sure that I wanted to get something different and wanted a Civic SI. I then drove the SI and the GTI back to back and had no doubt that I wanted the WV. The SI was nice but from the second I sat in the GTI I could see the materials were of higher quality and it has more features, all the switches light up for the windows etc. And when you step on the gas in the GTI you get a rush that the SI does not provide. This car is simply a blast to drive, on the highway it is great, but the twisties is where it excels it is sure- footed and stable even when pushed hard. On the practical side the hatch will work better for me (2 kids,skis,snowboards etc).
Traded 2006 Passat 3.6 for GTI taking advantage of owner loyalty credit and 0% financing. I'm extremely satisfied with my purchase and look forward to getting in the car every day. The Passat was a nice car, but zero fun to drive. The GTI is an absolute ball. This car reacts to every thought like it's hardwired to your brain. The suspension is firm but supple, taking bumps better than the Passat did. I'm averaging 23 MPG in stop and go driving vs. 15 MPG for my V6 Passat. I had read all the hype in the car mags and I guess, well, it's all true!
I've owned many VW's in the past, but gave them up after leasing a 1995 Jetta that was nothing but trouble. Gave the GTI a chance as a summer fun car. It has a little over 5K on it. It's a blast to drive, awesome stereo, great seats, solid and stable. Fuel economy is disappointing. I've got the 6 speed manual, and a 13 mile drive to work that is mostly highway, and only get around 26 mpg. All highway gets me up to a mere 27.2 mpg. I see others getting better than 30. My driving is spirited at times but I suspect no more so than most others getting higher mpg.
Great Car! Owned 2000 Golf, 2002 Jetta GLI, 2006 Jetta GLI and now the 2008 GTI and it is the best yet. I went with the 4 door model because i got a kid and it just makes it easier. Love the leather package and the stereo. Oil changes on these cars are expensive so I opted for the dealer package that covers this. Hope I don't have problems with the air conditioner compressor and condenser that has plagued newer vw's.
This car acts as: (1) a sport scar because it is a blast to drive, (2) an suv because it hauls lots of people/stuff and is very user friendly/utilitarian, (3) a city runabout due to small size/easy to park and good on gas (31-35 mpg on highway depending on speed). This car is as fun to drive as my boxster S. Not overly flashy or showy but still looks "hip". I think VWs leather is plasticky so I got the cloth. Can be chipped for around $600 to get about 40 more hp if so inclined. The weak points of this car are well known due to tuners upgrading them to 300+ hp and no major issues if left stock or slightly modified. DSG is amazing and satisfies both automatic and manual drivers.
Needed something with a back seat, and also wanted a car with decent gas mileage. But mostly the car had to be FUN to drive, since I was giving up my roadster. I drove Toyota's, Subaru's, Chevys and Mazdas, but once I drove the GTI, I knew I was buying one. I've always been a manual transmission guy. But a salesman encouraged me to try the DSG transmission, I did, & loved it. I bought the 4-door in white, really looks classy, sporty, yet practical.
Last year I had to go down to one car. I thought a Subaru STi Limited would satisfy my need for scalding performance, reliability, a warranty and 4 doors. After driving the STi daily for a full year, I realized that driving a race car to work every day was not as much fun as it sounded. The GTI is fantastic; quiet, refined, good ride, handles exceptionally well for a front driver. This car makes for a great enthusiasts's daily driver. The Autobahn package is worth every penny. The car swallowed a a surprising amount of stuff on a trip to the home improvement store [including a 7' long mailbox post via the pass through], with two kids in the back. A great vehicle.
I have now had this car for a year and three months and this car has served me well. It is extremely fun to drive, gets great mpg (when you're not on it) and shuns most everything on the road. The manual transmissions are bullet proof and the electromechanical steering has great feel and control. Overall this is the best bang for my buck!
I leased the 08 GTI as an emergency replacement for my beloved A4, which was rear-ended at an on-ramp light, and have been pretty happy with my stand-in. The car is a blast to drive and feels solid... all at around 20k! The interior styling is passable and the exterior is pretty awesome for a hatchback. I am very impressed with the engine and the turbo lag hasn't really annoyed as I thought it might. The only problem I've had, which worries me a bit, is the tranny. It doesn't always want to go into reverse and the clutch pedal stuck to the floor on one occasion. I don't know if this is a singular issue with my car or it's a model issue. Overall though, puts a smile on face on a daily basis.
I bought this car even though I knew all about VW's terrible reputation for unreliable build quality, overpriced dealer service, and poor customer relations due to the 1.8T and its sludge issue. Why would anyone do that? I blame BBC America! Top Gear's rave review and Jeremy Clarkson's wistful reminiscences of his MKI Scirocco lured me into the dealership for a very fateful test drive. The GTI made my Scion TC feel like a Yugo; it was so much more responsive, faster, better brakes, agile, and afterward getting back into my faithful and dependable Toyota product was just depressing. The dealership screwed me on price and interest rate because I had to have the car right now and was a moron.
This is my first VW I have ever owned and I couldn't be more happy with it. The plaid seats look very cool in person but in picture I thought they looked pretty ugly. Horrible gas mileage when using the paddle shifters as all you want to do is drive like a maniac :). I average 24 mpg when I keep it in drive. The sunglasses holder up near the sunroof controls kept popping open during the summer if I had glasses in it. After a while I couldn't keep it closed even if I took the glasses out. Finally after weeks of twisting things in different directions it stays up. Back seats are roomy according to my coworkers but you have to pull up the front seats for there legs.
Bought this car used (1 year old) with 11000 miles on it. I love it. The 6sp TWIN CLUTCH auto is superb. That was the deciding factor between this and the Mazdaspeed3. 90% of my driving is in rush hour so I didn't want a manual again. Lightening fast shifts. Manual mode makes it very fun to drive. Getting pretty good mileage ~26/27 mostly city. The instrument cluster lighting(blue & red) is fantastic. The heated seats are very supportive, gobs of torque on que, xenon headlights are very bright - even when the car is filthy. This car wants to be driven fast - so fun to drive. I like having to do errands b/c I get to drive the GTI.
After 8 months I am still enjoying this car. It responds to all my driving moods. Whether I want to poke along and enjoy the scenery or zip down a winding road, the GTI is a ready companion. Gas mileage has improved to 27 mpg (per the computer display). I alternate between regular and premium gas and have not noticed a reduction in performance. I have had no mechanical issues and the car runs great.
Review Essay The Volkswagen Golf GTI has always been the go-to hot hatchback to buy ever since the first version came out in 1976. It has had numerous competitors but few have been able to match the GTIÂs balance between power and handling. The GTI I am reviewing is of the Mk5 generation, with it being a 3 door 2008 model with a DSG transmission, or Âpaddle shifters.Â Overall, this is a good car because it does what it is intended to be in a high manner, which is being the best sports hatchback money can buy. This isnÂt a base Toyota Yaris econo box; this car has been given tweaks over the base Golf to make it one of the best sport hatchbacks on the market. First off, the aesthetics
I looked at many different cars, but found none to be more fun than the GTI. It's well built, well priced and is truly a joy to drive. The transmission is easily the best automatic that I've ever driven and the F-1 style paddles make the manual mode fun. It's also as practical as a station wagen. In short, for the money, I'm could find nothing better.
I needed to upsize my daily driver from a '03 MINI Cooper to something fun with 4 dr (2 preschoolers) & the 4 dr GTI was at the top of my list because of the DSG transmission (this is the tranny wave of the future!). Even after 3 months, I am still stunned by the overall refinement level - handling/stability at speed, acceleration, braking, seats, & lights are all fabulous. There is absolutely no torque steer (I hate torque steer & would notice even a hint of it). When I have my 1st service, I'll ask about the radio display (I think it's computer needs to be reflashed since speed sensative volume & name scrolling don't seem to work), but that's the only "quality" issue. The GTI is back!!!
This German Rocket is the most fun I've had in a car!! Autobahn package worth the price. Handles great. The exhaust note is sublime... no mods needed. Performance/price ratio is off the chart. First tank mixed town/country driving was 27.6 MPG, and 2nd tank interstate driving (75-80 MPH) was 28.8 MPG.
Compared this car with the Subaru Legacy, but settled on the GTI based on friend's recommendation and fun driving experience. I only have 2,700 miles on it so far, but it's been very fun to toss this car around. Friends and family alike have been impressed with looks and performance. DSG takes a little time to get used to (tend to be jerky at low speeds), but once you get the hang of it, very fun and intuitive and the middle gears (2-4) pulls very well. Regular drive mode is useful when you don't feel like messing around with gear changes (i.e. traffic). Overall, very satisfied with this car. Hopefully, long term reliability and dealer service will not be a hassle.
I looked at a lot of other cars and when I got in this GTI all I could say was WOW. The performance and shifting were perfect. Its feels like I can beat anyone. Not only was it fast but confortable also. Everything seems to be just right in and out of the GTI. The turbo has very little lag and between 2 and 4 this thing can fly. I just got it but so far I have heard and earful of compliments and I have never been happier to drive to work in my life. The price is def. worth what you get. I would recommend this car to anyone tring to find a car under 30k and get your bang for your buck. For sure.
I must have test driven about 10-15 cars in a matter of a year. Then one day my husband said go drive the VW GTI, well it was love at first test drive, I was hooked, the speed, the handling, the torque and it is a hatchback. They had to pull me out of the car. Have it about a month now and it is the most fun car I have ever driven. I helped move someone the other day and we couldn't believe how much we could fit in the car, it was amazing. This car is a blast, the gas mileage is very good, getting about 26,27 highway right now and that is with getting on it now and then. I use to hate my long commute everyday, but with this car I go to work smiling now. I am loving it.
Love it. Test drove lots of others (Civic Si, Mazdaspeed3, 350z), and none come close to having this car's combo of speed, handling, practicality, fuel economy and build quality. The interior is driver-focused and fit-and-finish is Audi-esque. Handling is near perfect (although I budgeted for them, suspension upgrades may not be necessary at all). Most importantly, it's the impression of speed that is so great in this car: it feels faster than other cars, even if it isn't actually. For the performance, styling, fit-and-finish and the all- important fun-to-drive factor, this car is arguably perfect. Great fuel econ and massive cargo space make it a great all-around value
Test-drove a friend's GTI; I was so impressed I traded in a 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 GT. As expected, I took a pretty good beating on the trade in. But it has been worth it, the GTI is a much more refined driving experience than the Speed 3, the suspension is more compliant to road irregularities and the turbo power plant provides power with virtually no wait time for the turbo to spool up to boost. On paper it is not as fast as the Mazdaspeed 3 but you would swear that is. Quality materials and workmanship throughout, engine and DSG are matched prefectly and is a really wonderful piece of engineering.
I had a '91 GTI 16 valve when I was in high school, it was a matter of time before I got another one. I traded in my '04 Passat 4-Motion for a new '08 GTI and am happy I did. I went for the 4 door, Autobahn package and 18" rims. I've had the car for almost 4 weeks and like it more every day. Styling, handling and acceleration are great, as is gas mileage and comfort. Car feels like a BMW inside and performs like a car twice its price. I was shocked how quick it is and the 6 speed manual makes it that that much more fun to drive.
Unsure where to start. I just love this car. It drives great, very good acceleration and handling and I'm averaging 28 MPG combined driving! Everyone compliments on how great it looks and how the interior feels so great. Everytime I walk up to the GTI it makes me smile. If the car was totalled for some reason I be at the VW dealership the next day to buy another one.