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Volkswagon GTI 1.8t vs VR6

gduk3gduk3 Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
anyone test drove a 1.8t? is it any good compared
to the vr6? or is just about the
rpm?do u have to rev it hard all the time, like the
hondas? and does the 1.8t have good low end
torque? i know the vr6 is awesome though.

im thinking of buying a gti, but i dont know
wether to get the 1.8t or the vr6.

the only reason im thinking of the 1.8t is because
it's cheaper.


  • stevem14stevem14 Posts: 8
    Check out and run a search for 1.8 and vr6 -- there is plenty of debate and discussion on the topic there. General view seems to be that if you like to modify your engine, the 1.8 is the way to go; but out of the box the VR6 is the more impressive engine over all. I have the GTI/GLX with the VR6 and I have to say it really is a great engine. Power all over the place (almost too much) and quite as a mouse. Going 90 on the highway you don't even hear the engine. I haven't test drove the 1.8, so I can't compare. Both are well reviewed and well liked engines. Pretty much a win/win choice.
  • gduk3gduk3 Posts: 9
    thnx. i'll check that out rt now..
  • nschmittnschmitt Posts: 1
    I've driven both motors in the GTI. And although the VR6 makes the most horsepower, the 1.8t is the most fun. Because the engine is about 125lbs lighter over the front wheels, the whole package seems more sporting. When faced with choosing which engine is right, I have to go with the 1.8t. It is, after all, over $3000 cheaper to go with the GTI GLS.
  • gduk3gduk3 Posts: 9
    thanks again guys..
    i was reading some other articles and i read the 1.8t engines were not that it broke down on them...
    so now im wondering if that is true.

    does anyone know the 0-60 and 1/4 mi. on the 1.8t?
  • gduk3gduk3 Posts: 9
    oh yeah.... i read in the r&t that the new 1.8t bettles have the car electrically governed at 118mph it the same with the gti's ???
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    I'm not sure if it's true or not, but it's easily fixed on pretty much every governed car with a chip. I haven't heard anything negative about the engine, remember it's also in the Passat and the NB, also I think it's avail in the Jetta in Europe. I haven't seen any reliable #'s on the 1.8T GTI from an American source. The NB 1.8T hit 60 in 7.6, so GTI should be 7.3-7.5 I would guess. Mid to high 15's in the 1/4 probably.
  • demode28demode28 Posts: 1
    1.8T is a great engine, and the chips are out.
    Looks like GIAC has the best one going from
    stock 150bhp to an amazing 193bhp for only
    500 dollars and no other modifications. I hope
    this information helps. Visit for
    more info on the chip.
  • ceff7ceff7 Posts: 5
    I have a 2000 GTI/GLX (purchased in Oct.99). Last week, I took it in for a 'slight' hesitation problem, and I was told that they would have to look inside of the engine. I was told that the something was wrong with the pistons (they kept using the term, "Out of Round"). Yesterday, I went in, and was told that "piston slap" was taking place.

    They use these terms freely and authoritatively at the service center, and I'm curious to know if anyone has had an engine problem like this (or heard of it).

    I'm not worried about the whole thing, because the car is only 10,000 miles old, and I KNOW how well it operated before this MAJOR maintenance. I plan to practically LIVE at the service center, if they don't fix it properly.

    Also, if I have to go into the LEMON-LAW stuff, what is the best way to approach that whole thing? I don't "expect" to have to do that, but I would like to know nevertheless.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  • dhkdhk Posts: 49
    Piston slap just means the pistons are loose in the cylinder bores, ie, too much skirt clearance. Normally, you'd hear this as a knocking sound at idle or low rpm lightly loaded, or backing off the gas. By out of round, I'm assuming they are talking about "collapsed pistons", meaning that the piston skirt actually shrank after enduring excessive heat either due to improper clearance from factory, defective pistons, or lack of oil. If you ran the engine very hard at break-in, this could also be a cause of the condition; this is one of the primary reasons for taking it easy on break-in. Did your new engine have any loss of oil, oil pressure, or overheating? Ask them if the pistons were "scuffed", or "collapsed" when you go back, and what they think caused the can sound like a pro too.
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    I think you can get the Jetta here now with the 1.8T too. Also found another performance test of the 1.8T NB that says 7.1 to 60. Half a second variance is pretty large, maybe the first guys had a bad driver or something. If the 1.8T gets anywhere near 7 seconds flat to 60 there's going to be absolutely no reason to buy a VR6. Stock straight line would be about the same, handling on the 1.8T is better, and aftermarket hop ups are cheap.
  • The 1.8T that comes in the new GTI is like the one that comes in the Audi A4 1.8T, with a few differences. 1st the VW is not Drive-By-Wire like the Audi, it has a computer controlled throttle. 2nd it's transverse mounted. I've got a friend that works a VW dealership and he said the throttle responds is not that good, compared to the Passet 1.8T which is Drive-By-Wire. I don't really think that many tuners will be making a chip for this car because it would be a big liability issue. Think about the computer tells the motor how much gas to give, what if the chip you add messes that up! Don't get me wrong if you really wanted to tune a car the 1.8T is the one to get, but more work might have to be done than an ordinary 1.8T. Doesn't stop me, I'm thinking about getting one!
  • snick52snick52 Posts: 1
    Just some random info on the gti 1.8t. The turbo in the gti is the same one found in the passat and A4. According to chip makers this turbo is capable of much more than the stock 150hp. The chips i've read about increase the boost of the turbo which significantly increases the hp(don't try this with a beetle 1.8t, it comes with a smaller turbo).

    A friend of mine recently purchased a passat 1.8t and the dealer explained that for $600 he could chip it and bring hp into the 220 range. I don't know if that much power is possible but 190hp sounds good. My only worry with installing a chip would be voiding the warranty!

    As far as 0-60 times I've seen reviews placing it at 8.0 sec for the gti 1.8t. Pretty slow compared to the VR6 but I don't know how they came up with this number considering the passat runs 0-60 in 7.8 sec and outweighs the gti by a few hundred pounds. Maybe this drive-by-wire thing has something to do with it.
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    There will be a lot more aftermarket accessories for the 1.8T in the Golf and NB for a couple reasons. 1) The Golf/GTI is a more performance oriented car targeted towards a younger market (Who mod their cars more). How many 40 year olds driving Passats and Audis do you know slapping on borla catbacks and other performance mods? 2)There are a lot more NB's and Golfs sold, so theres a lot bigger market base. Deep, in any car thats not carburated the computer controls how much gas the engine gets, thats not a problem or an issue, I'm not sure who told you that it would be, but theyre incorrect. Theres no way the gti 1.8t will be running 8.0 to 60. THe NB weighs more, has the exact same powertrain and does it in 7.1-7.6. In a euro review of the 1.8T gti they said 7.4 for 0-62mph
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    Also, I'm pretty sure that you've got your terminology mixed up. I think the GTI is the one that's 'Drive-by-wire' meaning that instead of a cable controlling the throttle it's all done electronically, hence 'by wire'
  • scalscal Posts: 3
    All you VW lovers thinking of buying a new or used VW read the following and heed my warning and learn from my mistake.

    Things havent's chaged much at VW. I bought an 87 GTI 16V in 1993. The car broke down atleast once a month for a year. Major problems encountered include, but are not limited to the following:
    1. Excessive water leakage through windshield and doors.
    2. parking break cable freezing in cold weather. had to remove wheel each time to unfreeze it.
    3. sunroof fell off while driving.
    4. front struts collapsed while driving.
    5. replaced wheel bearing.
    6. replaced alternator.
    7. left speakers only worked sometimes.
    8. overheated in warm weather.
    9. trip computer malfunctioned.
    10.plastic trim pieces always breaking.
    11. made noise in reverse.
    12. tires wearing out in 20k miles.
    13. CV joints replaced
    14. cat converter blown
    15. car's main computer malfunctioned
    16. loss of power at high rpm's
    17. seat cloth rips
    18. clear coat peeled off
    19. Head gasket blew. The final straw.

    Bought the car for $5,000 w/ 70k sold one yr later with 109k for $1,200 w/ blown head gasket. spent more money on repairs during the year than for car payments for a NEW car.

    Notice how engine blew right after 100k-the end of VW current powertrain warranty.

    DON'T DO IT. Don't buy a VW. They're nothing but a headache!!
  • kevinckevinc Posts: 51
    Let me get this straight - you're advising people against buying a NEW VW, in year 2000, because of a lousy experience you had with a 6-year-old car in 1993 that was built in 1987? And quite possibly abused before you even owned it?

    Puh-lease. This isn't even apples to oranges, it's not even close.

  • kdominczakkdominczak Posts: 174
    You've had a very bad luck with your vw.
    But it was way back, many years ago.
    Latest VW are a lot better.
    Try again if you can afford it?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    I've had an 87 VW Golf and now a 1996 VW Golf and I haven't had any of the problems you've encountered, scal. I think you may have gotten hold of a lemon! :-(

  • cinemafiacinemafia Posts: 57
    oh my god scal you've really scared us now! lol actually the problems you had with your 87 GTi are not uncommon with many cars from the mid to late 80's. Let's run the gamut, shall we?

    1. Excessive water leakage through windshield and
    doors. -> Well that black rubber sealant used to keep cars air and water tight is not exactly invulnerable to the elements or to time. It deteriorates, it rots. My '89 VW Cabriolet's top leaks in the frotn left corner, which is because of some deterioration of the rubber there.

    2. parking break cable freezing in cold weather.
    had to remove wheel each time to unfreeze it. -> cold weather causes many problems. Had an older American car with the same problem.

    3. sunroof fell off while driving. Hey, what can I say sunroofs were not very well made back then. Seen it happen in two NEWER (94 and 97) Isuzu's (a Trooper and a Rodeo), and also an '85 Honda CRX.

    4. front struts collapsed while driving. -> Happens after lots of wear, miles, and/or road conditions. Happened to me on the 405 in my '88 Honda Civic! Also happened with the rear struts in my wife's '99 Chevy Metro.

    5. replaced wheel bearing. -> happens after time.

    6. replaced alternator. -> can't help you there.

    7. left speakers only worked sometimes. -> did you even bother to check the lead? Hello there's a wire that leads from the radio's amp to the speaker and believe you me they don't use the best speaker wire in any stock car. Replace the wire or check the connection to the back of the speaker.

    8. overheated in warm weather. -> LOL no really? What did you think the car was going to overheat in cold weather? Try turning the heater on, worked evertime in my old '66 AMC Rambler with a replacement radiator.

    9. trip computer malfunctioned. -> Think back to the state of computer technology in 1987. Now imagine that state of affairs trickled down into the automotive industry. You'll realize that the computers they put in cars back then were at or below the level of the watch you put on your wrist.

    10. plastic trim pieces always breaking. -> Plastic interiors are notorious for this, especially in Japanese cars.

    11. made noise in reverse. -> well, uh all cars make noise in reverse. But I'm assuming you mean it was a "bad" noise. Well then you probably needed to get the transmission fixed. Older GTi's often had problems with first gear, but reverse isn't far off either.

    12. tires wearing out in 20k miles. -> Well how many miles were already on them? Most NEW tires only last 30k after all.

    13. CV joints replaced - > It happens it any front-wheel drive car after about 125k-150k miles. Had to replace the CV joints AND the boots in my '88 Honda Civic at 135k-140k miles.

    14. cat converter blown -> The cat's back then weren't what they are today.

    15. car's main computer malfunctioned -> See #9

    16. loss of power at high rpm's -> Well scal, a VW is not a Honda. VW's get more power and torque down low in the RPM band, they're designed this way to help with quick take-offs in urban traffic. With age it can get worse due to poor fuel injection system, bad spark plugs or wires, and the stock intake/exhasut system.

    17. seat cloth rips -> Hmmm, has happened in every car I've owned...try buying some seat covers or better yet, patch it up.

    18. clear coat peeled off -> happened at some point in the life of my VW, as one of the previous owners had it repainted. If you really want to see bad paint, check out any Ford or Chrysler from the 80's that still has original paint, ughhh!!!

    19. Head gasket blew. The final straw. -> Happened to me in my '88 Honda Civic, and like you, it was the last straw for me and I sold it for $400. But then again I'm not going into the Honda topics and yelling and screaming about how all Hondas are junk and no one should buy one, now am I?

    Hope this was informative for you all.

    Good day.
  • scalscal Posts: 3
    That's funny the way you belittle my problems with the vw. We all need a good laugh. All those problems were legitimate though, so settle down.

    The tires were bought new and wore out in 20k due to suspension problems on the car hence the collapsing struts.

    None of my other cars leaked water, had faulty computers, cat converters, brake cables, sunroofs, paint, etc. The radio problem was not a wire problem-it was within the radio itself. The radio is inaccessible without special tools. The dealer couldn't fix the radio, either. The car overheated in warm weather -meaning moderate summer temperatures. Not a heatwave. Obviously if you knew anything about cars you'd realize that the blown head gasket was a result of the car overheating excessively. And yes, I know the trick of using your heater to cool the car down and have used it.

    BTW, don't blame the age of the car for the problems. My 81 nissan and 85 toyota had no such problems and were very solid cars.

    Are you a spokesperson for VW? You seem awfully worked up over this.

    Check any Consumer's Report buyers guide and you'll see that VW's are notorious for problems.

    I've owned a toyota, nissan, and acura-none of which had any problems -only normal maintenence.

    Drive the VW and have fun breaking down. I see VW's on the highway broken down constantly.

    The GTI I owned was not abused. It was a 6 yr old car in very good condition. Most 6 yr ave mileage cars should be reliable.

    One thing I will say for VW-they taught me a lot about fixing cars.

    Anyway-I'm not bitter-I was just trying to give you folks something to think about when making a decision to by a vw.

    I, too think they're sharp looking cars that drive and handle great. Unfortunately the quality control at vw is poor.
  • cinemafiacinemafia Posts: 57
    I guess I hit a sore spot for you sir. No I'm not a spokesperson for VW but I'd be more than happy to sell ya some oranges!

  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    You can't say that all VW's cars are going to break down because you got a lemon 15 years ago (Or whatever). Carlady's had a two Golfs and she has nothing but good things to say about them. You see broken down VW's all over the place? Funny, I don't remember seeing even one, and I seriously doubt the validity of your statement. About 30 years ago all japanese made cars were junk, does that mean that Honda's are all going to break down? Of course not.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    Japanese cars were never junk. Just that they were small and lack power unlike the big American cars 2 decades ago.
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    Sorry Ramon, but they were. When the first japanese auto manufacturers entered the US market the reliability was terrible. It's a fact. Look it up.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    I did. Ok maybe I didn't look too far enuf. =P If that's the case so were the US crap. Jsut that the JDM cars improved while the US junk stayed where they were. Besides, VW started off as junk too. Still gives the impression that they are. But I know they are trying hard to improve. I don't want to start some sort of flame war. Cus if it ain't so, there wouldn't be so many "Is VWs reliable" or "Jetta breakdowns" forums....
    NE ways, my choice goes to the 1.8T. another 500 bux you'd be spanking a vr6 all ove rth eplace and u don't suffer from the nose heaviness of the vr6. Agree?
  • johnny282johnny282 Posts: 34
    Hey Everyone, just wanted to add my 2 cents. I have driven GTI's with both motors and was the most impressed with the 1.8t. It's very quick to rev, has lots of pull in every gear, and in my humble opinion is a real performance bargain. I don't know where you read about problems with the 1.8t engine, but that motor has been around for quite awhile in the A4 and Passat, and if you check for reliability ratings they don't list any frequent problems with that engine. I read in European Car that the 1.8t uses the same block, crank and pistons as the old 16v motors from the late 80s, and most VW folks will tell you that those motors, even when they were tweeked were pretty reliable. While you're at carpoint, look up my car, 1996 Neon DOHC Sport Coupe. You'll see a whole list of things that can go wrong, but the problems I've had aren't there. I got so mad when I had to take the car in for warranty work, I thought "what a POS!", but when you think about it, I only paid $14,500 for it, and it's never left me stranded. What surprises me the most is how well my paint and interior has held up. The engine performance and fuel milage has improved and the handling has remained the same after 60k miles. What I'm trying to say is, take the comments you read here with a grain of salt. If you're the kind of person who absolutely freaks when your car breaks, then get a Honda or a Subaru. If you don't care at all, then get a GM or Chrysler car, you'll get a better deal , usually more equipment, and will be able to take one home the same day. Just make your own decision based on your temperment. One last thought. Most car nuts would love to have a Ferrari, but most people who own exotic cars will tell you that if you can afford one you better save the money for a live in mechanic. Quality doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with price. If your not sure about the VW, look into the Subaru 2.5 RS, my other new-car contender. :-)
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    dismiss that for a mere 500 bux you can get 200hp without any other mods. add in intake and exhaust system you're well over 200hp and it's still less than 1000bux! a whopping 50hp! So what it looks boxy or less sleek. So what if it's FWD! If I were to buy new car again... I'd be very hard pressed not to pass up the 1.8T golf! Then again, I would say most regualr buyers wouldn't even care about the chipability of the 1.8t motor..... let alone dare try thus voiding the warranty.
  • ramy2ramy2 Posts: 1
    I live in Switzerland, and bought a 1999 Golf GTI with the 1.8T motor.
    Swiss Law allows for a 20% power hike, so I installed at the dealer an ABT chip, boosting power from 150hp to 180hp and torque is up from 155lb-ft to 181lb-ft, all under warranty.
    I've also added a Remus exhaust and a K&N airfilter. I figure the car is good for 190hp now.
    It's a pleasure to drive, and I'm sure would blow away an American Spec VR6.
    It's got leather Recaros, and all the options.
    In Euro spec it comes with the 16 inch rims on the American spec VR6.
  • jberg16jberg16 Posts: 4
    I have just bought a 2000 gti vr6, and i love it...however, i get in the car in the morning and when started up it runs "rough" for a few mins. i brought it back to the dealer and they say all the diagnostics come back fine, (no problem), well the roughness is still there...also it runs "rough" from 0900 rpm to 1300 rpms as well..and then smoothes out. DOES ANYONE HAVE A SUGGESTION????

    SECONDLY, does anyone know of any mods that can be made to the exhaust or muffler to improve performance and sound?? It is a 2.8 vr6..??


    ps. there is no question which is the better car vr6 or 1.8t....spend the extra money and buy the vr6!!!!!!!
  • bo_chungbo_chung Posts: 61
    It's normal. It goes away after the engine warms up a little. You'll learn to like it after a while.
This discussion has been closed.