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VW GTI (All styles)



  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I'm no audiofile, but the sound system works for me. The CD player and changer are dealer installed options. You can buy the changer and CD player from the parts department or directly from VW and install them yourself. The changer can be installed in 5 minutes with just a screwdriver. The in-dash CD player is more of a pain to install.

    Go take a test drive and listen to the system. Then decide for yourself whether you want to replace it.

  • Thanks Kevin and Jared -- I'm hoping to find one to test drive this weekend, so I can hear the stereo, but GTIs seem to be scarce in these parts (Chicago area). I've found a few on the web and I'm going to call a few dealers tomorrow. You've both calmed my fears about the stereo, and on paper 8 speakers sounds impressive. And you are right -- beauty is in the eye of the listener (though I know from experience I'm a pretty picky listener). Hate to forgo the MD though, but I don't think I want to corrupt the look of the dash with non-OEM materials. Since it looks like I may have to order mine, anyone have any luck in negotiating "deals" when ordering as opposed to buying off the lot? Given the scarity of GTIs I feel I'll be lucky to get MSRP. OTOH, I'm not in a hurry, so I could wait out the drought. Thanks again for your help.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I paid ~$22,200, which is about $1000 off list. I found a dealer with a Silver/Black GTI GLX on the lot and started dealing. The previous 3 dealers I spoke with wouldn't deal. This one would.

    You do have to be willing to walk away. When the salesman gave me the line "these are real popular, I don't think they'll discount much", I said fine, I don't need a car now. I want to buy one now, but if you won't deal, I'll wait three months when the supply is better. At three dealers I had to walk away. But the fourth was willing to deal.

    Be polite, but firm. When I walked at the previous three, I told them to give me a call if they wanted to sell a car. Two of them called back -- one with a minor improvement in his price, and the second after I had already bought a car.

    '00 GTI GLX
  • Has anyone purchased a "bubble" cover for the sunroof? Does it make a difference?

  • pipopipo Posts: 36
    debijon, if you already have the Monsoon system with the "VW" changer, your only option (other than the "VW" headunit) is to get a Panasonic head unit, which must also be a model with built in amplifiers, so that the speaker level outputs of the headunit may be wired to the speaker level inputs on the Monsoon amplifier. The changer is manufactured by Panasonic, and configured to work only with a Panasonic head unit (or the factory head unit, which is apparently a Clarion modified to work with the Panasonic changer).

    If you don't already have the "VW" changer, then your choice of head units is limited only by the requirement mentioned above: that it have built in amps for proper wiring into the Monsoon system.
  • pipopipo Posts: 36
    stevem14, I, like you, anticipated that the Monsoon system would sound pretty good, based on the description I got from a Monsoon representative (8 speakers, 200 watt amp, customized equalization).

    First, the bad news: I was disappointed by the result. If you are a picky listener (as you said you are), particularly if you are sensitive to abrasive treble, be forewarned, this one's an ear bleeder. I actually keep the tone controls turned all the way down in the midrange and treble, while I adjust the bass in the minus 8 to minus 6 range (for most source material) to make the system listenable for more than a few seconds.

    But before you despair, here's the good news (based on hearsay, but nonetheless good news)! The headunit is apparently the weakest link in the system, and a good aftermarket headunit (with built in amps; see prior post) can transform the system. That's the fix I'm going to try.

    If you haven't yet purchased your car, my advice would be not to get the "VW" changer (which would limit you to getting a Panasonic headunit). Then you will have a multitude of headunits to choose from, and you can add a changer if you'd like.

    The Blaupunkt Alaska is made to match the VWs' dash lighting, but it's not reputed to be the best of the available headunits.
  • I just bought the Autoweek magazine and they mention that VW is coming out with a sports suspension for the GTI. It doesn't say what parts will be upgraded. No dates were mentioned as to when, but it will be sometime in 2000.
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    Everything will be upgraded - springs, shox, and swaybars. This was reported by the boys at, who have a direct pipeline into VWoA. The changes will appear in the spring, along with the 1.8T in the GTI GLS. Also at that time, the Golf/GTI will begin coming from Brazil rather than Wolfsburg.

    It will be interesting to see just how "sporting" they go with the upgrade. Also they sorely need to upgrade the tires, which are your garden variety, all-season grocery-getters. More suspension without more tire will be a big letdown for those who don't go ahead and upgrade the rubber after buying.

    '99 GTI GLX (upgraded suspension & tires)
    '86.5 Scirocco 16V 2.0 (ditto and then some)
  • Peter -- Thanks for the response. I'm not sure it is possible to avoid the changer -- they seem to be adding it to all the newer GTIs. I've only seen two at dealers so far and both had the changer already installed (no in dash tho). Frankly, I'd prefer the in-dash to the changer, but I suppose that would make any swapping out of the head unit only more problematic. Do folks not like to change the head unit just for appearance sake? Is there anyway to leave the VW head unit in place, but rewire "behind the scenes"? I imagine that would be a royal pain, but doable.

    Regarding the newer GTIs with the sport suspension . . . would it be worth waiting till spring to buy? Any word on the effect on cost, either of the improvements or the switch to Brazilian production?

    One dealer I spoke with this weekend said he would be able to cut me a deal the last week of the year, but gave me the expected "GTI's are rare, they come from Germany and take a while, I can get you a better deal on a Jetta" etc. It was still nice to see one "in the flesh" -- Cosmic Green, which I actually liked (tho I'm smitten with the Tropical Orange).
  • VR6 Mk4 Owners,
    This is the first car with ABS brakes that I own and I am not sure if mine are OK. When I slam on them in snow or on a slippery surface, It feels very weird. Not only do they pulsate, but it feels like I just ran over a huge rock and it is scraping on the underneath of my car. I don't know if this is normal with the 2000 GLX Abs or what. Please let me know about your experiences.
  • pipopipo Posts: 36
    The early word is that the new GTI GLXs will have a standard sport suspension, consisting of upgraded springs/shocks/roll bars and -- maybe -- 17" rims!!! And apparently all GLS models will have the sport package available as a $200-$300 option.

    At that price point, I'd say it's worth waiting for. Don't know if GTI GLX pricing will be affected.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Yes, the pedal will feel weird and you will hear chattering. Check your manual. The manual probably describes it.
  • replace everything!
  • Has anyone had any success with improving the sound of the Monsoon system by replacing the speakers with after-market units?
  • What my aftermarket stereo experts told me (they put the awesome sound into my previous car) is that "crossover" takes place in an unusual way in a Monsoon system. I clearly don't remember enough of what he meant to be entirely helpful, but don't go replacing speakers unless your source understands this issue!

    My biggest objection to my Monsoon system is putting all that bass in the doors causing spurious buzzing, a serious design flaw. I've been choosing my music to compensate (Natalie Merchant "Tigerlily" or any live Dead is a no-go) and the stereo is actually breaking in sweet over time. Friends who don't remember the old system are actually blown away, want to really crank it e.g. plowing through Vermont snow in my Gislaved Nordfrost 2's for a night out up at the ski cabin.

    If I could, I'd add a separate subwoofer and switch the bass away from the walls, and live with the system till I had $2,000 to rip it out and start over. If you have less than half this to spend, you'll probably be as happy leaving well enough alone.
  • I did check with a dealer: The upgrade speakers listed at VW's web site are already in the GTI.
  • pipopipo Posts: 36
    I had been very disappointed in the Monsoon system, complaining repeatedly in posts here and elsewhere. However, I've noticed that the system has improved with time, to the point where I'm going to suspend judgment until I give it a chance to break in some more.

    Speakers, in my experience, require the longest break in period before they start opening up. The Monsoon speakers started life as lean and harsh, particularly in the treble and midrange, to the point where I had to turn the treble and midrange tone controls all the way down to make the system bearable. The treble is still a bit harsh, but I am able to turn all the tone controls to the zero (flat) setting and get some pretty decent sound.

    Advice to new owners: wait until your system breaks in for a while before modifying it -- unless, of course, you're planning to do a complete system upgrade. For those who want to get the most bang for their upgrade dollars, I suspect that a new headunit, followed by a subwoofer, would be the best bets.
  • dhkdhk Posts: 49
    Agree with the comment to break the speakers in before passing judgement. I don't have a Monsoon system, but have noticed this effect on other new cars I've owned. The new speakers start out harsh and scratchy-sounded, then mellow out over a few weeks of playing at normal volume settings. Rather than have all the distortion ruin your hearing, may be better to roll up the windows and leave the radio on for an hour or two at a time!
  • When the new GTI comes out with the sport suspension, does anyone think that the VW dealer would or could upgrade my GTI's suspension? Would that be better than going to an after-market upgrader?

    Or is this a stupid question?
  • Finally got to test drive the car -- at day and at night. Lot's of fun to drive and I'm definitely sold on the GLX over the Integra GS-R. And wow does the dash look great at night! The Monsoon sounds odd -- very tinny and shrill --but that (hopefully) will improve with the break in period. Have actually found a fair number of GLX's in the Chicago area, but the two dealers I have spoken to (including the Autobytel recommended dealer)will come much below MSRP (best offer so far was 22,595 for a green machine with CD changer if I bought on the spot; if it were another color I would have possibly taken it). The search continues . . .
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    The dealers will all say that. "this car is so popular, short supply, yadda, yadda, yadda." If you can find one with the car you want on the lot and you're ready to buy, then you're in a much better bargaining position.

    Don't let them jack up the price for the in-dash cd or cd changer. The cd changer costs $290 at the parts window and the in-dash cd costs $240 at the parts window (or direct from vw at You can install the cd changer with a screwdriver in 5 minutes. The in-dash cd is a bit of a pain to install, but can be done do-it yourself.

    '00 GTI GLX
  • Has anyone installed a seperate subwoofer amp yet. I did it myself on my old car but i haven't bothered to check the GTI GLX for pre-amp wires (RCA out cables) in the Monsoon.
  • dhkdhk Posts: 49
    You could have the dealer do the upgrade, or just go to any VW shop and have them install lowered sport springs and shocks. My son did this on his 91 Golf when the OE stuff wore out, and the difference in handling and "fun to drive" feel is amazing. Believe VW will offer Eibach springs, but there are several brands of springs and shocks widely available in several different ride heights and spring rates.
  • jmajma Posts: 1
    (See Maloner, 11-14-99)

    Seems as though I've spent half my life waiting for VW to come out with things. In Europe they have the Audi A3, that looks much like a Golf GTI, but AWD and a lot sportier. Now they souped it up as the Audi S3. Come to the US? Never, VW says. VW doesn't want to intrude on Audi's market. So probably no GTI AWD at all for a long time. Maybe I'm just an AWD nut ('88 Audi 90Q, now '93 Mitsu Eclipse GSX).

    But I'd buy a GTI GLX if I could fix the vague transmission and the body lean/dive. The GTI is otherwise a marvelous car. Does anyone have experience with the Neuspeed suspension add-ons?

  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    Hi Mike.. I have upgraded my '99.5 GTI GLX with H&R springs and Bilstein dampers.. HUGE improvement. Cost was $700 for parts plus about $165 for install + align.

    Neuspeed makes a short-shift kit. It's not cheap as it replaces the entire shifter mechanism. I haven't tried the Mk4 version, but I had one in my Mk3 '97 GTI VR6 (very close to the same setup, also cable-shifted) and it was a nice upgrade, if not very cost effective. I too loathe the cable shifter.. hell my 13 year old Scirocco shifts better. And they call this progress??

  • I'm the happy owner of a new GLX and wanted to thank everyone at Edmunds generally and this forum in particular for their help and advice. Using Edmunds I wound up paying about $1,000 under MSRP, and had I waited a little longer, could have gotten my calculated invoice + 3% price, $21,900. But I was very pleased with my dealer -- very straight forward, no attempt at any hidden "extras", and even the finance guy was low key -- only tried to sell an extended warranty (offered 795.00 for a 7 year/100,000 no deductible, which actually seemed pretty good), but was happy to give me the offer in writing and send me on my way to think about it, no hassles.

    And the car -- wow!! I love it. It is exactly what I was looking for -- sporty and practical. In earlier posts I mentioned my concerns about the stereo, but I have to say I think it sounds great (and so does everyone else who has heard it). I'm sure over time I may develop an ear for its weaknesses, but right now I'm very happy with it. My last car had a crappy stereo at best, so this is a huge improvement over what I'm used to.

    To folks considering the car: try to test drive at night on a highway without the radio. This car is great at night on the highway -- the dashboard is beautiful, the engine purrs, and the the rear-view mirror automatically adjusts so that you can see what's behind you but all glare is eliminated -- a terrific feature. Plus that quiet engine still has tons of zip at highway speeds so passing is a breeze. All and all a great car and a great car-buying experience -- thanks.
  • So I botched the approach to a drive-thru car wash
    (I'll never make 'Top Gun' school) and developed a
    flat on an errand the next day. Was right in front
    of my office, thought I'd wuss out and let this
    "roadside assistance" that comes with new VWs deal
    with it? I also started to slowly do the tire
    change as I called on my cell phone. Of course,
    even with all the new car "huh?" experiences, I
    finished as they arrived.

    Interesting lessons for anyone not in the gifted
    elite that does their own mods, who likes to
    visualize trouble in advance or amuse themselves
    with the misfortunes of their fellow idiot man:

    [1] Spent something like 20 minutes on hold to "VW
    Roadside Assistance". Lucky my cell battery wasn't
    low. In the end THEY used AAA, to which I still
    belong. Made me realize that in my fantasies, I
    thought some German rocket scientist would soar in
    on a V2. Get over it, and call AAA. They answer
    their phones quicker.

    [2] "VW Roadside Assistance" will want your VIN.
    On a cell phone I read their number off the little
    sticker they suggest you apply to inside rear side
    window, then read the VIN off the car. On a land
    line, have both numbers recorded same place.

    [3] The owner's manual doesn't correctly describe
    how to remove the '00 GTI GLX plastic logo
    do-hickeys from the allow wheels, to expose the
    bolts. Principle: tapping and listening will
    reveal what's plastic, what's alloy, to determine
    what should come off. A phillips head into a hole
    will pry a gap, then a flat screwdriver can pop
    them off from the edge. Perhaps my tire mechanic
    was a great actor, but I felt like much less of an
    idiot the next day when this equally confused him.

    [4] Carry flares. Great time to use them. I was
    parked at night on edge of Manhattan traffic, they
    gave me much improved sense of security against
    becoming road kill. These things must be an
    arsonist's wet dream. You'll use two flares in
    sequence per location, if anything holds you up on
    your change.

    [5] The provided bolt wrench is barely adequate.
    Luckily I carry a crossbar X from a long-gone 60's
    van, that includes the needed 17mm size. My top
    notch tire place supposedly has their power tools
    set to not overtighten the bolts, but it took me
    TWENTY MINUTES of obstinate struggling to loosen
    the bolt that uses the "wheel lock key". Have
    anyone who changes wheels HAND TIGHTEN these
    bolts, or you may have to wuss out and wait for
    help because of this one issue. Also, good time to
    study what a lame wheel lock comes stock, as has
    been noted on other lists. Would be a pretty cheap
    upgrade to go top of the line 3rd party.

    [6] Owner's manual says to block diagonally
    opposite tire, but no block is provided. Of course
    I never considered this till time of need. Buy one
    and carry it! Didn't need it on level asphalt.
    Otherwise, provided jack looks cheesy but works
    great. Remember, a GTI GLX only weighs 2800 lbs.

    After this, the change was the routine breeze it
    should be. The full sized spare is awesome, had
    plenty of pressure.

    [7] Call ahead to your tire place to make sure
    they have your tire in stock, in case your tire is
    a "goner". Mine had one left of my Gislaved
    Nordfrost 2 studded snows, I lucked out. (Great
    tire, but if the 99 mph speed rating is an issue
    for you, go Pirelli snows.)

    I carry a bike pump. At my tire place, a fellow
    patron recommended a 12V compressor than runs off
    any of the many cig outlets on the GTI. On a
    slower leak, he managed to reinflate and drive for
    help without changing the tire! Get one with the
    attachments for basketballs and camping air
    mattresses. Bonus: Can "top off" any given tire
    with an additional 4 psi in under a minute, slow
    but could be less hassle than driving to a filling
  • I replaced all 4 wheels with Bridgestone Blizzaks and Borbet alloy wheels (Wheels only $49 per, less than steel with hub caps) from the Tire rack. I used the tool provided for removing the center plastic piece of the VW wheel. Worked well. It is hard to find in the styrofoam tool kit, looks something like a key ring with an extension.
    The wheels wouldn't have been my first choice, but in retrospect add to the unique look of an already unique car. Bought it for all the typical econ / sport / practical reasons. Thought I would blend in more, but I actually get more people stopping me and asking about my VW econo / sport car than I ever did with my Corvette.
    Decided the Sound system is more than adequate at this point, same comments from others re the speaker break in. I will get an in-dash cd, for the convenience
    Car could do with a little less body roll, but no real complaints. I probably won't go for lower spring / shock combo as it is already a bit low for driveway bumps etc. 4wd 204 hp would be nice, but again, it may or may not get here and the existing 174hp fwd is a nice combo.
    Overall... I got exactly what I wanted. Went through I did notice their price has gone up, I paid 21,900 1 month ago.
    Also appreciated this and the other edmunds boards, very informative
  • I lied,,, I went through
  • I heard from a friend that a GLS Turbo (not diesel) should be coming out this spring. 150hp, basically the same engine as the Passat. Has anyone else heard anything like this??
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