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.
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.
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.
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
With itÂs small size and excellent handling, this car feels like a go-kart, which is a good thing.
As for the ride, this car strikes a balance between enthusiast and daily commuter.
ItÂs definitely more harsh than youÂre average sedan, but itÂs far from being a headache as you go over bumps in the road.
The thin tires on the GTI do did a remarkable job of absorbing major bumps and holes in the road, and overall the car is very quiet, with the only major sound coming from the engine and exhaust when you floor the car.
The interior is also above average, with very supportive seats and nice fit and finish along the dashboard.
ItÂs all very well put together, unlike VWÂs of the past.
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.
DSG- smooth automatic when you're stuck in traffic, or pretend to be a race car driver on a good road
Engine- great noise, wide powerband, instant results when you put your foot down
Plaid seats- they look awesome (the seats themselves are awesome to sit in as well)
the steering wheel is a gift from the gods
18" Detroit alloys- they look great
Quiet, refined cabin
There are no compromises necessary with this car. You can haul people and stuff, safely and economically and comfortably, it's easy to park and reasonable to insure, and it is legitimately fun to drive. I can't think of any other car (certainly not one in the same price range) that does all these things so well.
The GTI needs at least 40 more HP to stay competitive against cars like the Focus ST and Mazdaspeed 3, both of which offer more power for less money. Since this can be accomplished with a simple ECU reflash, I don't see why it would be that hard.