I couldn't afford a Brand New GTI yet due to my credit. However, Dave Suchocki over at https://www.douglasvw.com was able to get me into a 2012 GTI and this car is amazing! Super-fast, drives nice, and good gas mileage. If it weren't for Dave' I would of never been able to finance this car. Thanks Dave!
We purchased a vw golf at first and we were very impressed how it performed that we upgraded to the 2012 GTI. It was my wife's daily driver. Under 12,000 miles the AC condenser quit working had to be replaced under warranty, no issue. less than 30,000 miles the dealership charging approximately $1,000 to replace the main fuel pump and an auxiliary fuel pump. I have owned other vehicles and never had a problem with the fuel sys. I'm very disappointed in this VW Brand, I will get rid this car by the end of the week.
Update: I no longer own this vehicle. A loss of about 21,000 since buying.
I am writing this review after driving this GTI for a full two years. I purchased this car slightly used with 20k miles on it after driving a Camry for over ten years. After two years of owning it, it still puts a smile on my face while I drive it. It is a lot of fun to drive and surprisingly it has a lot of utility for such a small car. The GTI is a fast and nimble car, performing better at highway speeds and on twisty roads, than at low speeds. It is a great all around car, balancing the fun factor, with the ability to load it up with four or five people, and the ability to put down the seats and load it up at the Home Depot. I occasionally find new features on it and I'm constantly surprised how much I can put inside of it. The best features I like about it are: the sound system on my fully loaded GTI is amazing along with comfortable seats. Only few negatives, but keep in mind I owned a Toyota for ten years. As with any German car, this GTI is a little overengineered so simple car maintenance may be overcomplicated. The spark plugs and the DSG need to be maintained every 40k miles or so. Lastly, I'm not overly happy about putting premium fuel in my everyday car. Overall, this is neat car, which is super easy to park, with lots of power. I understand why there aren't too many GTIs on the road though - most Camry/Accord drivers would never appreciate a car engineered for the car enthusiasts.
I've owned my 2-door since Sept 2014, and love it. Great balance between performance and practicality, especially on the performance side of the equation. I find no greater joy than hucking it into a corner at a slightly irresponsible speed, and coming out the other side going even faster. Seats are super comfortable for my 6 foot frame. Took my car from New Hampshire to California and back, and at no point did any part of me hurt in a 600-700 mile day. My average mileage sits around 28.7 MPG on mostly 93 octane fuel. There have only been three weak points I've found so far: The car has an appetite for summer tires (expect a new set every 25-30k miles or so), the reliability hasn't been perfect (so far I've had to do the water pump and fuel pump, which are common failure points on the 2.0 TSI motor, in addition to new ignition coils), and the insurance has been on the pricey side. Other than those minor things, this is my favorite car I've ever owned.
Update 6/2017: Still good, although maintenance continues to be an expense (as one might expect at this age I suppose.) Recently had to do the timing chain tensioner, and the brake wear sensor is broken. Other than that, car continues to be great!
Best "bang for your buck" to be had. Surprisingly spacious and comfortable, exceedingly practical and thoughtfully designed. Want the car because it's fun to drive, buy the car because it's fun to drive every single day. My 45lb dog is perfectly comfortable in the hatch, even with the rear seats up, so she never again has to be left behind when my partner and I go out with friends. Simple controls and unassuming performance under light throttle make it a car you could lend to your grandmother, but selecting "S" on the DSG transmission yields remarkably aggressive shift points and an eagerness to brake the front tires loose. The small "poof" sound you get from the exhaust thanks to the near instant shifts made by the DSG are extremely satisfying, encouraging you to time your up-shifts just around the 3,500 rpm mark. It may not be as outright fast and sharp as its key rivals, but it is far more comfortable and refined. completely sensible when you're stuck in suburban traffic, totally sensational when you're not.