I bought this 2009 GTI used in December 2009. I love the Golf, have had several regular Golfs and this is my 2nd GTI. I love the GTI, it feels like home when I sit in it. I call it my bye-bye car, because that is what I say to the people behind me at the traffic light. The pick up is fast, and I am gone in a flash! Have to be careful of speed traps because it is so easy to start speeding in this car without realizing it! I have gotten so many compliments on this car especially men, they love it! I have the white one with the plaid seats, I guess it catches the eye. I have not had any of the issues others are writing about, I did have to take it in once because my engine seemed to mess up once, could only go 20 miles an hour and lights were flashing, there was no reverse, scary! But I shut it off and when it started, it was okay again, the dealer said they could not find anything wrong and it has been a year and it is working just fine. The handling is tight and it hugs the road like no other car that I have had. This is my retirement car, so I am glad I love it! Test drive a GTI, you will not be disappointed!
I have owned this car since new and took delivery in Feb 09. I have had the computer re-flashed to make more power, and I think this is how the car should have come from the factory. It is a claimed 300 lb/ft and 250 hp. The torque is what is great about this car. Just push the pedal and it goes! No drama, just thrust. I average about 29 MPG overall through mixed driving.
Issues: My brake pads in the front did not engage the rotor fully, replaced bythe dealer and now they're great. Random rattles in the dash and rear seat area.
The transmission occasionally jerks when pulling away from a stop. No reliability issues and these have been very minor for an overall good car
Engine torque, fuel economy, cargo capability
A taller 6th gear would really improve hwy driving. Milage drops off sharply after 70 mph due to the high speed of the engine at cruise speeds. Make the 6th gear taller by about 15% and this would be a perfect car.
My suspension damper rates are somewhat harsh over slow-speed sharp edged bumps. I drove a 2011 GTI and it is much better.
I've owned a lot of cars, but none have captured my heart like my Red GTI, with the six-speed manual. Have had it for 5 months, and put on 9,000 miles, with not a single issue, other than too much fun. I have to keep myself from making up reasons to run errands. Versatile, balanced, beautiful, compact but solid, easy to park, it flies like a mother, and is equally composed when cruising in a 25 mph zone. More fun to drive than my old AUDI A4, comparable to the 3-series we had. I'm not sure I'll ever want to own another car than a GTI.
I thought it was funny what reviewers said about the steering wheel, until I actually drove this car, and then I realized what they were talking about. I love the way it looks--the honeycomb grill, the blade wheels, it's like a shrunken down X3. The clutch and gearbox are remarkably forgiving for a car of such a sporty nature. It's almost impossible to make a bad throw.
Nitpicks: because of the slope of the doors, when it's raining, the windows have to be up, or water gets in. The audio could be a little better, but then again, the overall experience of driving this car is so pleasurable, I can hardly complain. I've been spoiled by my Mark Levinsohn Lexus audio.
First let me say this car is a blast to drive. Economical on gas, although it requires premium. Almost Audi-like quality for a much lower price. The most entertaining car I have ever had. I looked forward to driving it. The hatchback versatility was great. Now the bad: the first battery lasted about a year and gave out in the middle of a road trip. CEL came on another trip for an intake sensor. At 50k miles the intake manifold had to be placed. At 55K the mass airflow sensor went. Dealership had poor service. I got the car back from them and sold it. I don't have time to sit in a VW dealership or be without a car for weeks at a time. Hated to see it go, though.
Awesome drive, hatchback versatility, gas mileage, the sound it makes under acceleration, fat steering wheel felt great, front seat comfort outstanding.
Reliability. I had been warned about VW reliability but took the plunge anyway. Not sure if I just got a bad car or what, but I got the GTI bug out of my system.