This is a 50 mile "first impressions" for my GTI autobahn, DSG, 4dr. The plethora of positive reviews online are right: excellent build quality, amazing driving dynamics, quiet smooth ride for size, excellent brakes, and great looking with a squat, low stance. The DSG takes getting used to and does feel hesitant at first but "squirts" you around town. As with previous GTIs, torque is abundant. I put two boosters and a nine year old in the back no problem! They are skinny though. Issues. There are a few minor ergonomic foibles. With the correct driving position for me, the steering wheel obstructs the top of speedo. Some controls are too low and parts of them cannot be visualized.
I bought my 2012 6MT shadow blue GTI 1 year ago today. Here is my 1 Year Review. After 365 days of owning a brand new GTI, my first VW, I can say it has been great. But along with the good, I've had to accept some problems. My fuel injector failed at 20k miles and left me on the side of the road. This is a common weakness of the GTI. If you want reliable and dependable, buy a Honda. If you want German and high performance, expect to have some issues with this car. Some people have zero problems. You may get lucky. But plan on not being so lucky. I love driving this car, but don't know if I will keep it once the warranty is over. Expect to have problems, but it is a wonderful car.
I drive sports cars. I frequently end up selling them due to not being able to use all their power and features on the road. The GTI Gives real world performance. You can utilize all the gears without committing a felony. Well balanced. Powerful but not too much. Power comes on smoothly from about 2000 rpm (when boost is entered) all the way up. No need to keep it up at redline all day. I finally have a car that is comfortable enough to commute in yet still sporty enough to take the twisty way home. If you're a number racer, buy a Ferrari. If you love to drive pick up the gti. Easy real 4 passenger commuter near mini s performance. Corners near red territory.
My first VW ever and digging it!. I've always had interest in GTI and there was 0% apr opportunity back in July. One test drive pretty much sold me the car. My attachment of this car is almost equal to the time when i got my first car back in 1988(Nissan Maxima). Although, brand new car picked up from the dealer was already defective with faulty head light ballester, it has not given me any other issues so far. I see why people rave about this car...driving this car is very gratifying. It may not be the most powerful or reliable car but for me, this car has more personality than competitors.
Owned a 1996 GTi (4 cyl), 2004 GTi (VR6) and now a new "left over" 2012 GTi 4-door with the DSG automatic and moonroof and nav package. A really solid, well put-together car with a great mix of style, sportiness, economy, and utility. After two cars with maual transmissions I opted for the DSG this time with no regrets. Really like the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Lots of fun. Couldn't deal with the cost of an all-wheel-drive Golf R, so I "settled" for the GTi. No regrets.