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VW GOLF GTI

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Comments

  • dtrinhdtrinh Posts: 5
    I went to carpoint.com and put in a request for a GTI GLX. The contact person got back to me today and said he had THREE GLX's on lot. I fell off my seat! But here's the kicker: he quoted me invoice for either the 1999 or both 2000's he had in stock! Invoice!

    Now in reading these threads, I had made up my mind that sticker was going to be the best price I could get for this car. Also, I had given up the idea of owning one since I am a new father. But damn it! We're talking invoice for the VR6 here! I can't pass that up, can I?


    Sincerely,

    Family guy rationalizing an emotional purchase
  • LackeyLackey Posts: 24
    dtrinh- You are the luckiest man on the face of the earth. Sure, it's may not be the best family car choice, but it gives you an excuse to become flexible. You are still looking at your computer? Run, don't walk, and take advantage of this opportunity!
  • dhicksdhicks Posts: 14
    Sounds like a great deal. However...it sounds like you want someone to make up your mind for you. I think the GTI GLX is a great car, and I'm very happy with it. However, my wife and I also have a Ford Expedition in the driveway when we need to lug the kids around. The GLX is used by me for work only.

    As I said, the 2 doors will probably grate on you 3 months from now when the new car excitement has worn off and reality (and monthly payments) sets in. The Jetta GLS with the VR6 is a good option pricewise, the Jetta GLX is a bit more expensive. They offer similar performance to the GTI and have 4 doors. As mentioned before by other contributors, the Jetta's headroom in the rear is comprimised by the sloping roofline; I think there is a bit more legroom, but that may be my memory playing tricks on me. Either way, there is plenty of room back there for little munchkins (and adults too.)

    Both the Golf or Jetta offer a great car at a great price. Just don't make the mistake of buying a car that only satisfies your emotions. I'm curious to see what your decision would be.

    Dave
    2000 GTI GLX
  • dtrinhdtrinh Posts: 5
    I'll let you know how things pan out. The deal might go down this weekend, or maybe not at all once my wife and I take a good look at the car.

    If it doesn't, then I'm shooting for the Audi RS4! (If it ever gets here!)

    Thanks for the input!

    dtrinh
  • ejsejs Posts: 36
    dtrinh: I'm with dhicks. I love my GTI, but I would have gone with a VR6 Jetta if I had any reason to. It sounds like the Jetta would work better for you, and you could save a few bucks by getting a GLS VR6.

    Of course, the RS4 is a fine, fine choice, although high-G maneuvers won't be good for the baby. :)

    compucar: Don't let the dealers tell you what you like! If you test drive both the Jetta and the Golf, I think you'll find they're very similar. I'm surprised you can't find any Golfs to test drive, but if you keep looking one should turn up.
  • It’s right, the Jetta GLS/VR6 was a good compromise
    but there is a big difference between Jetta GLS/VR6 and GTI/GLX/VR6...
    Made in Germany VS Made in Mexico!
    At the beginning, I have order a Jetta GLX-VR6 and waiting 3 month to get it!!!
    then I have the chance to compare head to head both cars and big surprise...
    the body stiffness of the GTI was impressive, the final quality too,
    so I change for a GTI and was an happy men now!

    But I could understand a Jetta choice!
  • Can anyone comment on whether the extra weight of the engine on GTI VR6 compromises the handling (vs. 4-cyl Golf GLS)?

    I thought I saw a post saying the GTI VR6 came with a beefier suspension. Is that correct? (also traction control and bigger tires, right?).

    The reason I ask is, the $ difference between 2.0 GLS and GTI VR6 is SIGNIFICANT. And I was REALLY surprised at the torque and fun-to-drive quality of the Golf 2.0 GLS 5-spd I drove today. (Though engine seemed a bit loud/rough at fwy speed, hence curiosity about 6-cyl.)

    Can anyone comment on noise and fwy RPM of each engine (assuming 5-spd).

    (VERY MUCH appreciate these on-point comments; will continue to share my impressions; hope to buy this weekend).
  • dhicksdhicks Posts: 14
    I've driven both and the 2.0l does not compare to the VR6. This is not to say there is anything wrong with the 2.0l; it's just that to compare a 4 cyl. engine with a 6cyl is like comparing apples to oranges.

    The 2.0l does not produce nearly the same torque or HP as the VR6. This creates an incredibly different driving experience. Try both and see which one you prefer.

    The VR6 cruises at [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] from my observations. The engine is very quiet and smooth at these revs - you really don't notice it until you run up past 4000rpm and the VR6 starts singing her sweet tune. The 2.0l is a fair bit noisier at 60mph, plus I found the power really drops off after you hit 45mph - no passing unless you kick the tranny down and really mash the gas.

    Personally I like the smoothness and torque that the 6 gives you, well worth the investment if you ask me. However, not not everybody agrees on such things - a friend of mine prefers the rabid whine of his Integra RS as it is wound past 8000rpm into VTEC land. To each their own.

    Regarding suspension and handling, the VR6 a bit nose heavy and although the suspension is a bit stiffer, the nose digs in. The tires do have a wider track and a lower profile (205/55R16)for a little more grip. Again, this is a matter of personal preference in handling. Many have complained about the suspension set up being too soft and the tires too pedestrian. I suppose it depends on what type of driving you do. Ultimately, you're the one who'll be driving, so get a feel for both cars and pick the one that suits your needs best.

    Dave
    2000 GTI GLX
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Well it depends on you. The main problem with the 2.0 is lack of power. Serious lack of power. 0-60 is in excess of 10 seconds. The GTI GLX, on the other hand, does 0-60 in about 7 seconds. The GTI GLX is loaded as well -- leather, heated seats, sunroof, power everything, climate control, etc. The turbo-diesel is probably about as quick as the 2.0, but gives much better mileage (not available in GTI trim, though).

    As far as handling and suspension, yes the front springs and struts are different on the GLX due to the heavier engine. Nevertheless, the suspension on both cars is really too soft.

    If you don't need a car right away, I'd wait until spring, when the GTI GLS will be available with the 1.8T.

    For the new parent, sorry but the two-door would be a real pain with baby. You just don't have good access to the rear seat. A four-door would be much better. I really wish the GTI GLX was available in a 4-door. I didn't consider the Jetta because I need a hatchback (for oversize stuff) and because the GTI's straight roofline makes the rear seat usable by adults. In contrast, the headroom in the rear seat of the Jetta sucks big time.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Yuck. Sorry, but I think the styling on the 318ti is really awful. The front is fine, but the back? Yuck. The 318ti has the old 3 series rear suspension, which is said to be really exciting in slick conditions. But the main problem with it is the 4 cylinder engine. It is way underpowered. 0-60 in excess of 10 seconds.

    Don't get me wrong. I love the new 323. Test drove one with the sport package. The only things wrong with it are: 1) no hatckback (though station wagon is coming) and 2) costs 50% more than I want to spend :-P
  • peter41peter41 Posts: 15
    Actually, the 318ti manual transmission does 0-60 in about 8.5 or less. Not bad. External styling isn't its strong point, but hey, same for the GTI! (which I don't mind). Had you heard the rear suspension on the ti wasn't great on slick roads? (Or is that just true of all RWD cars). -P
  • dhicksdhicks Posts: 14
    I'm with Nedzel, the 318ti is gowdawful ugly, especially when compared to the beautiful lines of the new 3 series (particularly the coupe-).

    Plus, IMHO, the inline six is what the 3 series is meant to be - not the 4cyl. The Bimmer guys at the office laughed at my GLX when it first showed up, but save the boss' highly tuned '98 M3, the GLX holds it's own in build quality and performance (especially considering it's 25% cheaper!)

    Dave
    2000 GTI GLX
  • davravdavrav Posts: 2
    I owned the VR6 prior to getting my new 1.8 Turbo Golf.
    I have just travelled to Cape Town from Johannesburg (South Africa), a journey of approximately 800 miles in about 10 and a half hours. This car will cruise all day at 220 kph.
    (135mph)with the aircon running.Well my VR6 didn't.
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    Where do you guys get your 0-60 times? Just make em up? Peter is right, the Ti is in the mid 8's to 60, quite a bit less than 'in excess of 10 seconds'. Also, the 2.0l, while admittedly way underpowered if you're an enthusiast, is also under 10 seconds, the last 0-60 I saw was in the mid-high 9's i believe. I'm waiting for the 1.8T myself. Less weight, better weight bias, and with a few aftermarket mods will make much more power than the VR6 (Which is a great engine, don't get me wrong, but unless you like slapping some sort of forced induction on it or ripping it apart and replacing internals, there's not a while lot of aftermarket performance to be had).
  • davravdavrav Posts: 2
    Far more enjoyable than the VR6. Quicker too!
  • peter41peter41 Posts: 15
    If the 1.8T is really that great, VW may significantly up the price. If they don't, it should be quite a bargain. And not sure why anyone would buy the VR6 anymore...I'll wait on buying a 318ti until I've tried the 1.8T when it comes out. Anybody know if/when the 4motion version will arrive here??
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    The 1.8T will still be the base engine. I'm guessing the price will definitely go up compared to the 2.0l GTI, but it should still be significantly less than the VR6. I'm guessing it will be less than a grand more than the 2.0l, and still a couple grand less than a loaded VR6. The reason people will still buy a VR6 is simple. Stock it makes almost 30 more HP and (I think) over 30 lb/ft more torque. People like stock torque and HP. Most people don't like getting all dirty replacing the factory turbo with a KO4, and no one likes voiding a 100K mile powertrain warranty. I, on the other hand, love working on my own vehicles. Also, I'm not too concerned about voiding the warranty since a) this will be my third vehicle b)Ive got a 95 Honda for a daily driver c)I probably won't be putting more than 3K miles a year on it and d)this vehicle will be for one thing, entertainment (And maybe a couple local VW shows) (And maybe some autocross while I'm at it) Actually, both those things fall under the topic of entertainment, never mind.
  • Well, first off I am biased. Earlier this year I purchased a 99 M coupe, but my first car was an 87 GTI .. and I dearly loved that car.

    Earlier this week I accompanied a friend considering the GTI .. and the Integra.

    Driving the vr6 GTI I was very impressed with the torque, and the handling .. almost akin to a larger bmw M coupe, definatly a fun car around town, with an Audi quality interior. As well they seemed to have fixed the vague steering in previous vr6 gti's with the 99 revision.

    We also drove a new turbo beetle .. and well .. it stunk. Now the beetle is perhaps not a fair comparison, as it has that nasty little useless tach, but it was ... slow. Power delivery was of course non-linear, but what was most surpising was how gut-less the motor was even with the turbo spooled up.

    I would definatly pick the vr6 over the turbo, especially considering the questionable aftermarket claims for performance enhancements.

    my 2 cents.
  • Yesterday, I had a chance to finally test drive a TDI Golf and the Golf GL 4 Door at a dealer.
    Both cars were very nice, the TDI was a 2-door while the GL was a 4-door. By far, the easier Golf to access the back seat was the 4-door. Now, engine wise, I expected the TDI to be more sluggish than the Golf's regular engine. I was wrong! The TDI is a spunky engine and was much more resonsive than the 2.0 engine. I was very impressed. BTW, both were 5-speeds.

    GR
  • dhicksdhicks Posts: 14
    The TDI has great low-end torque so it scoots from lights. No top end though - amazing fuel economy.

    Dave
    2000 GTI GLX
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Don't hold your breath for the 4Motion GTI. It is currently available in Europe with a 204hp VR6 and a 6speed transmission. There's a review in the current issue of Car magazine. Also it has a fully independent rear suspension. Sounds very, very nice. But word over at http://www.vwvortex.com is that it won't be over here for at least a year, if at all.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Hmmm. I thought it was slower than that, but Edmunds shows 8.9 seconds 0-60:

    http://www.edmunds.com/newcars/1998/bmw/3series/318tihatchback.html

    Guess I misremembered.

    You're right about the 2.0l Golf -- it's way, way too slow, 0-60 > 10 seconds. But the original poster was looking at the GTI GLX, which has the VR6, and does 0-60 ~7 seconds.
  • dtran

    Go and buy the GTI GLX VR6 - especially if you have that invoice deal.

    But seriously - I've got an 18 month old and I like my golf much more than my previous jetta when it comes to bambino stuff.

    First, it's easier to get the tyke in the baby seat in a hatchback. The door is a lot wider; you just push the front seat back and plop him in without having to twist your spine.

    Second, if you're going on a longer trip and need more space for all the parapher...paraphan...junk, then you can fold half the back seat down and you've got all this space. After I took delivery of my new sled in August, I went on holiday to Scotland for ten days to play golf (I live in North Carolina). My wife took my car, the bambino, mother-in-law and all the parapher...paraphan...junk to Washington D.C. to visit relatives. Everything fit with ease, surprising my wife who was not particularly happy that I spent so much on a small car.

    The only problem that's baby-related is my baby-seat, which leaves indentations on the leather seats: I've got to purchase some covers. Big deal. I've also had a problem with my window regulator that's been a bit of a hassle.

    But - the final and most important story. A friend took me aside the other day and congratulated me on getting exactly the car I wanted instead of giving into the mini-van thing.

    'Nough said - I've got a SLED.
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    Questionable aftermarket claims? What are you talking about? What's questionable about them? You think they're lying that they raise the boost to 8-9 psi over stock 4-5 psi? I've seen three different companies advertising 185 HP with a chip replacement, and there's nothing questionable about it. 400 bones and youve got 10 HP more than a VR6. And I also find it pretty tough to believe that you noticed this enormous performance difference between a turbo bug and a VR6 Golf. There's .6 difference in 0-60 times. Not exactly a huge margin, plus 4 banger beetle weighs more than the VR6 golf. So there will be an even bigger difference in weight between the beetle and the 1.8T golf. The VR6 is a great engine, people that want a decently quick car and dont feel like modding it will love it. But the guys that dont mind spending a few dollars and turning a few wrenches are going to go for the 1.8T (as long as theyre reasonably well informed)
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Yes, when it arrives in the US, it will be a good alternative to the VR6. But it isn't here yet.

    I haven't driven a Golf with the 1.8T. I have driven an A4 Avant and Passat with the stock 1.8T (not chipped). Both of those are significantly heavier cars than the GTI GLX. What I noticed most about the difference between those cars and the VR6 Golf was the high level of torque available. I had to wind up the 1.8T on the A4 and Passat in order to get much acceleration. Of course, it may feel entirely different in the lighter GTI, even before being chipped.

    I would like to see torque curves for both motors.

    What I'm really looking forward to is the 204hp 4Motion GTI, if it ever comes to the US....
  • I just purchased a Y2K GTI VR6, I'm new to VW, and have a few questions.

    (1) What changes would people recommend for the stock suspension for better handling (i.e., springs/sway bars/upper strut tie-bars...). I live in the snowy NE, but feel the stock suspension rolls too much.

    (2) What aftermarket companies do people like (e.g., NEUSPEED)?

    Currently, I've looked at the NEUSPEED: P-FLOW, SOFSPORT or SPORT LOWERING Springs, Bilstein Sport shocks, 1" front and 1-1/8" rear swaybars, and upper strut tie-bar.

    Am I going in the right direction?

    Thx in advance!
  • Thanks all for the advice. But I have gone against concensus and bought my 2K GTI GLX in the best color it could come in - Cosmic Green!

    I absolutely love this car! The power, the handling, the amenities! I got the car for $500 over invoice. It came with the 6-disc CD changer. All in all, I paid just under $22,000 for the car. And the best part is that this Lil Mean Green Machine came off the truck the very same day I was at the dealer! No demo miles on it!

    I used carpoint.com and the sales person was absolutely great! He treated my wife and I fair and straightforward. There was none of that "behind the door I gotta talk to the manager" crap. I was in at noon and took delivery at 4 that same day.

    And you are right, wicketkeeper, I can load up my lil one in the back seat a lot easier than my previous Civic. Because of the doulbe folding front seats, ingress/egress is no problem. I also love the hatchback vs. the traditional trunk. So much easier to get your "crap" in there IMHO.

    But the best part about this car came to me when I was at a toll booth. I was being tailgated by this minivan at 35 mph as I was coming off the ramp. We both pulled into side by side booths and I glance over to see the driver smirking at me, probably thinking that. I look down and there is this "Sport" decal on the side of his minivan! I thought to myself "He cannot be serious!" As soon as I get my ticket, I found out that he was. There he goes trying to beat me to my exit. Even with the car length head start he got and his automatic lumbering away as hard as it could, I clean smoked his [non-permissible content removed] two gears later and (since I was breaking the car in) barely reaching 3000 on the tach! My point to this longwinded story: I'm glad I don't have a "Sport" decal on my car!


    dtrinh
  • Good move dtrinh even though I'm not sure about the colour! You got a good deal at 500 above invoice. I got 3%. You'll like your car 100 times more than the Honda Civic, which is a bathtub compared to the GTI. Just make sure you put some towels or something under that baby seat so that it doesn't make indentations in the leather.

    Cheers!
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    How's the ride? Did you find that the lower profile tires and stiffer springs significantly impacted the ride quality? I'm here in NE, the land of potholes, so I've been reluctant so far to make changes...

    Jared
  • I'm waiting for the 1.8t engine to be put in the Golf/GTI next spring. Question is, what is the difference between a GTI with the 1.8t engine and a regular Golf GLS with the same engine? Is the suspension different? Internal styling? In other words, why pay more for the GTI version with the same engine? Any thoughts appreciated...
  • I'm waiting for the 1.8t engine to be put in the Golf/GTI next spring. Question is, what is the difference between a GTI with the 1.8t engine and a regular Golf GLS with the same engine? Is the suspension different? Internal styling? In other words, why pay more for the GTI version with the same engine? Any thoughts appreciated...
  • kubbokubbo Posts: 7
    Bought a 2000 Golf GTI GLX in August. And I really like this car. It is a fun to drive car. The only problem (although pretty small) I have with it is a vibrating shifter in 3rd and 4th gear. I returned to the dealer with it but all they could do was tightening something inside the shifter so you wouldn't feel the vibrations anymore (so not taking it away). Well that only helped a little bit. It is still vibrating. Are there more owners with the same problem?

    Oh, by the way, buying a Jetta is no substitute at all. It looks like shi.... Once you have fallen in love with the Golf GTI VR6 there is no substitute at all. Not even the 1.8T, although it is fast, but not faster than the VR6. And just think about this: the 1.8T is a small blown (turbo) engine allmost at it's top. The VR6 is just a (bigger) standard engine. Wait till this one is blown ....... He, and the 204 HP, 4WD VR6 may have more power but is absolutely not faster under normal conditions.

    Kubbo
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    Kind of a flawed argument there. The VR6 isn't blown. And slapping turbo's on non turbo car's isn't always the funnest pastime in the world. Nor the cheapest. It's like the Ford guys telling the Chevy guys that their Mustang would be faster if it had the 1.1 more liters that the Chevy has. Well, it doesn't, so you can't really use it as an arguing point. And yeah, the VR6 is faster in stock trim, but. And this is a big big but, take $1000 and throw it at both engines. For a grand on the 1.8T you can get the ECU reprogrammed, exhaust, and your choice of cold air type intake. Thats gonna put you over or around 200 HP. For the VR6 you could get exhaust and intake (Although ive heard neither do a *whole* lot for the VR6) and a chip, but even if you get the same power increase from the exhaust and intake, the chip ain't going to do much. Best case scenario, you end up with the same amount of power as the 1.8T, but the 1.8T cost less to begin with, weighs less, and has a better weight bias. And Peter, I'm not sure where you live, but I live in the US and I seriously doubt they'll be putting the 1.8T in anything other than the GTI here.
  • I've had the 4th gear vibration as well. Your dealer is giving you a line. If you scroll back through this site, someone offers a URL from VW service that addresses the problem - download the 4 pages, print them, then hand them to your dealer! Or tell the dealer to go through recent service bulletins. My shifter vibrates a little, but it should not vibrate at all. I'll be taking it in soon.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    There's a Technical Service Bulletin on this. You can find all the VW and Audi TSBs on line at:

    http://tech.vw.com/

    Jared
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    You're right that 0-60 of the 204 hp AWD is no faster than that of the 174 hp FWD GTI GLX. But acceleration is only one factor.

    What I'm interested in are the other affects -- better handling, no torque steer, better ride (due to fully-independent rear suspension), and all-wheel-drive traction.

    Yes, you can chip the 1.8T and boost the HP. You can replace the Turbo and exhaust (that's going to cost some bucks) and you'll get well over 200 hp. But the problem is that 250 hp and FWD do not mix. Your acceleration doesn't improve that much -- you just wear out your tires faster ;-)

    The problem with FWD is that the weight transfer during acceleration reduces your traction. Add in the torque steer affects and things get kinda exciting.

    I'm not saying that the 1.8T isn't a good idea. It is, definately. It's much better than the 2.0. Some may prefer it to the VR6, but not me. To each his own...

    Jared
  • Kubbo, I have had a 2000 GTI VR6 since september and I experienced the shifter vibration in 3rd and 4th gear. I took it back to the dealer twice but the vibration is still there. I sincerely beleive that this is a design flaw. I am going to take it back for the 3rd time and if the problem is not resolved I might consider suing the manufacturer. After all, you can't pay close to 23,000 dollars for a defective product. Could all the people that own a 2000 GTI GLX that are having this problem please contact me: my email address is
    [email protected]
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    There's a TSB on this issue, see http://http://tech.vw.com/

    the dealer should be able to fix this. Try going to a different dealer.
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    ... is quite good with the Bilstein/H&R combo + 17" wheels/tires. Only the very worst roads will even cause anyone to notice that the suspension has been upgraded from stock. Very comfortable setup IMHO.

    As for you guys talking about the shifter problem, yes the right thing to do with a lame dealer is PRINT OUT the TSB about the problem (from tech.vw.com) and shove it in their faces. If they still won't play ball, call the regional service rep and get him involved. This problem has been around several years with the cable shifters, back to the Mk3 models. I REALLY wish VW would do away with the damn things, it's one of the weakest items in the car, and totally unnecessary. Hell my '86.5 Scirocco shifts MUCH better than ANY cable-shifted VW, and it's 13 years old. Lame, lame, LAME!!

    -kc-
  • ejsejs Posts: 36
    Used the seat-warmer last night for the first time... It works well! Turned it up to 6 and very quickly it was almost uncomfortably warm. Turned it down to 2 and drove on toastily. Forgot to turn it off again, so this morning I was surprised by it on the way to work.

    I would never have chosen this option, but I'm glad I could use it at least once. It's not often that I notice my butt feeling cold.
  • I also would never have paid separately for the seat warmer, but that was just lack of imagination. It's a SAFETY FEATURE.

    You can drive with a colder air cabin temperature, warming your body via the seat, and thus stay awake and alert better, driving at night. Hot, dry air always kills my eyes, first to go when I'm tired.
  • ejsejs Posts: 36
    Well, there you go. And here I was thinking it was a luxury.
  • dhicksdhicks Posts: 14
    Up here, heated seats are necessary. When it is -20 degrees in January, leather seats are as hard and cold as stone when you jump in for your morning commute. If only they offered a heated steering wheel as an option like Volvo does...

    Dave
    2000 GTi GLX
  • I see that a number of posts back, there was much discussion of availability. Here's an update, for within 20 miles of NYC.

    Last week, I used VW's web site to list every dealer within 20 miles, and spent an hour calling every one to ask if they had a GTI GLX on the lot they could sell me. Of 17 dealers, a total of 4 reported 6 GTI's on the premises. All but 2 were sold. One of the 2 was in a showroom, couldn't be test driven. I test drove and bought the other. It had only been on its lot overnight, and several other people were calling to buy it as I closed; I found it by about an hour's margin. I paid MSRP; the phone consensus seemed no one was going over or under. If you can bargain under, all the more power to you. All a dealer here has to do is wait a day. Many dealers had several deposits waiting on GTI's.

    I learned from several dealers that VW has been telling them not to expect any more until February, don't even write orders! So I caught the tail end of the supply, before a drought.

    ======

    Awesome car. This was a 48 hour impulse buy, after my '86 Mazda 626 Turbo tanked for good, and after I was impressed enough with a new rental bug (except for engine and shape) to want best, most practical driver's car VW made. This is it. I was very lucky to find one.

    I have "cosmic green." That's what was available. People have trouble imagining a green sports car, but I like it. My family always had green VW's. It turns out my mom specified "anything but green" for her '62 bug, and the factory shipped green.

    Considerations:

    * This is the best driving car VW makes. Fastest. Best brakes, suspension, not softened for US tastes as much as Jetta or Passat, and lighter.
    On a good road, cruising at night at 75 or 80 with the tach under 30, you feel more like you're in a plane than a car. Through the quiet cabin and clean stereo you can hear the engine whine of each car passing you by pushing their machines much closer to the brink. Like the best fighter on the block, you don't need to show them up, they haven't a clue. You'll live to collect retirement. This is the definition of safety.

    * I'm sure I would have hated myself the first time I tried to fit an object through the sphincter between the trunk and back seats of a Passat or Jetta, and it didn't fit. A sedan is a conventional shape, but not a logical one. And an AWD station wagen is not a sports car, no matter what engine you put in.

    * Try sitting in the back seat of a Jetta, then a Golf. The flat roof of a Golf means more headroom. The GTI has belts and headrests for 5. This is such a rare event, I don't mind having only two doors.
  • gspecgspec Posts: 3
    I'm seriously considering the 2k GTI GLX and
    wondering if you or someone could tell me of any
    problems/gripes you know of? I understand that the shifter can seem vague, but can it be fixed w/ an aftermarket shift kit? I'm sure at least the long throws can be reduced. Can someone also expand on the GTI's soft suspension? Does it dive, roll, etc.?? Can it be fixed w/ an
    aftermarket spring/strut? If there is anything
    else anybody can add, Pros/Cons, whatever, I would much appreciate it!

    -gene
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I don't know about any fixes for the shifter. The throws are a bit long, and it does tend to crunch a bit. It doesn't like to be hurried. I don't mind it, but it isn't a Honda shifter and I doubt you'll be able to make it one. There is a short-throw kit available, but I doubt that will change the feel much.

    Yes, the suspension is too soft. I don't mind the roll as much as I mind the dive under braking. It will stick in the corners to much higher limits than I'm willing to reach on the street. But I would like it to be stiffer. This is easy to fix, with stiffer struts and springs. Bilstein and Koni seem to be favored for struts. Several manufacturers make springs, including H&R, Eibach, etc. People who want the stupid so-cal, boy-racer, slammed look tend to go for coil-overs (expensive). I haven't changed mine out yet, but may do so in the future. Providing you don't get coil-overs, you can do struts and springs for less than $1000 (well below, actually).

    But you really need to drive the car for yourself to see whether you like or not.
  • pipopipo Posts: 36
    I'm no expert, but everything I've read and heard suggests that you should do things in steps. Get to know your car, strengths and weaknesses, then do mods gradually.

    When I first got my new GTI, I was so smitten with it that I didn't notice any weaknesses. It has become clear to me that the engine can get ahead of the suspension's ability to handle it. So I would recommend (and am planning same) suspension mods first, namely springs and shocks and, probably most important, PERFORMANCE TIRES.

    It seems that Bilstein and Koni are the leaders for shocks, while H&R comes up most often on various postings in the spring department.

    After I replace the shocks, springs and tires, I will drive the car for a while, get a good feel for what it's doing, and then decide whether any more roll resistance is needed, keeping in mind that adding sway bars can radically affect understeer/oversteer tendencies. Some tuners recommend only replacing the rear bar, and leaving the front bar alone or even disconnecting it. Beware of putting too much of a bar up front.

    I have heard good things about the Neuspeed and Autotech front strut tie bars.

    Just like you wouldn't fix your [non-permissible content removed], mammaries and face all at once, do your car in steps. How's that for a lousy (but vivid) analogy?!
  • ejsejs Posts: 36
    Congratulations on the GTI! Cosmic green may not be a typical sports car color, but like you your post says, the GTI is not a typical sports car.

    Just one thing-- "And an AWD station wagon is not a sports car, no matter what engine you put in." Well, that Audi RS4 is darn close.
  • For street use the stock 00 GTI GLX is an awesome, very practical luxury sports car, a steal at its price. It has more engine than the rest of the car can handle (carefully consider the phrase "rocket sled") so it needs to be driven with care.

    That said, the first "issues" a new buyer (such as myself) will come to realize are:

    * The soft suspension and body roll feel like the limiting factor in tight curves. The closest to performance driving a typical consumer might come is taking the GTI 20 over speed limit on an empty, winding parkway at night (an unlikely scenario during your test drive). The GTI gives no hint of actual trouble handling this, a professional driver would probably be seriously bored, you'll be passed by other (expensive) cars that look like they're on cruise control with the driver asleep, but the GTI body roll will give you the disconcerting feeling you're about to be wrapped around a tree. Other sports cars don't behave like this. Serious GTI drivers ALL seem to go for suspension mods, and I can see why. But I'll stick to stock suspension, for NYC potholes, and because no one has any business driving like this except with proper training in a controlled environment.

    * You're going to lose your $400+ in the supplied tires. Once you put out for the best studded snows for winter (e.g. Gislaved Nordfrost 2), you'll realize what a compromise the Eagle RS-A all-season tires make for emergency wet summer handling, and you'll spring for summer performance tires, too. Elsewhere is chronicled in detail why VW switched to these, when wuss U.S. consumers couldn't deal with tire wear.

    * The Monsoon audio will only please you if you've never heard a $1,500 3rd party system. And it's too integrated to easily upgrade in stages.

    That said, I absolutely love the GTI, and for the money I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    ... from a 4-time GTI owner. Yep the car is way too soft, the stock tires are horrible (either the Goodyears or the Michelins - both grocery-getter tires) and yes the cable shifter is vague as hell.
    I first ditched my tires and wheels, then did the suspension (Bilstein Sports, H&R Sport lowering springs). Neuspeed already makes a short-shift kit but it's pricey as the entire shifter box is replaced. At least it's not as labor-intensive as on the Mk3's, it's now done from inside the car (on the Mk3's you had to get under it and drop the exhaust to install the short-shift kit). I had one in my '97, and while it helped a lot, it still felt like a crappy cable shifter. I *really* wish VW would put some engineering effort into eliminating cable shifters forever.. it's a horrible design, period.

    The main problem being reported is window regulators are failing at an ALARMING rate. They were lousy in the Mk3's, but this is a new part in the Mk4 and they're apparently even worse. One VWoA rep told someone that "heads were rolling" over the problem. The part has been on national backorder and I've read stories from several owners of their cars being parked for weeks at a time waiting for the new part..

    That said - it's an awesome car. Upgraded tires are the #1 necessity IMHO. Suspension tweaks are nice but not necessary for many.. the tires alone will help tremendously.

    -kc-
    http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Factory/1780
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