Volkswagen GTI: Reliability Experiences

nightmancomethnightmancometh Member Posts: 10
edited July 2014 in Volkswagen
I recently test drove the 2010 GTI and was blown away. It's everything I want in a car.

I'm currently driving a 1997 Honda Accord LX w/ 250,000 miles on it. I purchased it new in 1996 and all I had to do is replace the radiator and the cluch has not been replaced!

I've owned a 1991 Jetta prior to owning my Accord which was plagued by Transmission problems, etc. Therefore, I'm a bit hesitant regarding purchasing a VW.

Nevertheless, I'm impressed with the 2010 GTI's handling, MPG, sound system, and especially the interior design. So my question is, do I go for driving enjoyment, or should I purchase a boring 2010 EX Accord and have piece of mind? Please post your experiences, good and bad regarding VW's as of late. I've heard that the GTI's are made in Germany whereas the Jettas are made in Mexico so perhaps the build quality is different between both models? Thanks much!


  • zigster38zigster38 Member Posts: 117
    The GTI is a great test drive, isn't it?

    VW is better quality wise that they used to be 3 years ago...but not as good as Honda. But if you buy a new car, you are covered for three years anyway. That said, you are never going to get 250k trouble free miles from a VW. It just doesn't work that way.

    But life is short. Drive what you want. Better mileage with the GTI as well.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Member Posts: 710
    Well this question is right up my alley. ;)
    I've pretty much owned a VW or Honda product for the last 20 years.(Save for that, ahem, oldsmobile I bought)
    My experience has been that the honda will always be more reliable. I just parted w/ an '04 acura MDX that had virtually 70k trouble free miles. The '08 GTI that I have also just recently parted with had several issues w/ only a fraction of the miles. (trip computer haywire from day 1, tires wearing out at 8k miles, engine skid plate just falling off :confuse: ) That aside, it was a real blast to drive. BTW it was made in Germany.
  • extech2extech2 Member Posts: 120
    I have an 07 GTI with the DSG automatic. There are only 16,400 miles on it because it's our 3rd car. There are no problems, never stalled or failed to start. There was an air bag light taken care of during the 10K service and the car isn't as quiet as my wife's 04 Accord. But the GTI is much more fun and it's more secure at high speeds, like 80 mph or higher. It is a lease and I will return it next summer, but I will miss it tremendously. The only problem I have is that the GTI is difficult to drive slowly because it begs to be driven hard. After the second speeding ticket I'm taking it easy now - so I might as well take the Honda or the Toyota. Stay away from Arizona, they have hidden speed cameras in every small town. They make their revenue from photo radar but we won't visit there again.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Member Posts: 710
    "After the second speeding ticket I'm taking it easy now ,hidden speed cameras in every small town,They make their revenue from photo radar "

    You should look into the Escort 9500ix, you won't be disappointed.
  • nightmancomethnightmancometh Member Posts: 10
    Yes. It was a blast to drive and man that interior, especially the steering wheel is fan-effin'-tastic! :) Thanks for your response!

    How's the resale value for GTI's or VW's in general?
  • nightmancomethnightmancometh Member Posts: 10
    Are all GTI's made in Germany? I'm surprised to hear about the issues you had with your GTI. You would think that the Germans would be as meticulous as the Japanese when it comes to build quality.
  • nightmancomethnightmancometh Member Posts: 10
    Would you ever consider buying a VW opposed to leasing one? Thanks for your response!
  • extech2extech2 Member Posts: 120
    "You should look into the Escort 9500ix, you won't be disappointed."

    I'm considering to get one. I know it has a built in GPS for speedcams and red light cameras. I don't mind the $ 500 but I'd like to get more information on that one. If you have the time, please write a review on how is it and how do you like it. We'll all appreciate a good review.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Member Posts: 710
    Check out, the escort forum. everything you ever wanted to know about the 9500 series (unbiased, well for the most part) and then some. ;)
  • clickclackerclickclacker Member Posts: 6
    I am in the same boat. I too want to want to buy a 2010 GTI, but had a 1999 Jetta that had a bad transmission and when I was finally close to 24,000 miles i told the dealer i was going to invoke the lemon law and by magic my transmission was replacced free of charge. I think If I added up all of my service tickets I most likely paid another 10K in service on top of the sale price of the car. But, it was so much fun to drive. I now own a 2007 Acura TSX which has had 3 oil changes in 3 years period. A boring car, not fun to drive but very reliable, a very nice car, just crappy turning radius, blind spots, and no grip on the curves. I'm not sure what to do either. I have read reviews of the delaer service depts in Seattle and they are all horrendous. Somone please tell me that the GTI has a superior manufacturing quality than the Jetta. PLEASE?
  • clickclackerclickclacker Member Posts: 6
    I just checked with VW and all GTI's for the US market are made in Mexico.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Not saying you're wrong here, but I've never once seen any evidence that suggests that the Mexico plant builds anything but the Jetta and the GLI. Per every published article I've read, the Rabbit/Golf and the GTI are still built in Germany.

    Do you have any references to support your statement?
  • extech2extech2 Member Posts: 120
    I wouldn't lease again. If you want to trade in or sell it becomes a major hassle. The payments are lost like when someone rents an apartment, there is nothing owned when the time is up. As for buying, one must have substantial cash reserves when the warranty ends. I don't have precise figures but my estimate is that a new engine or transmission can run between 5-10 thousand dollars, which is much higher than most Japanese cars. If money isn't tight, go for it, but if someone is on a tight budget, then a Honda or Toyota might be the better alternative. This is like trying to decide who to marry: Pamela Anderson or Carol Burnett. Obviously, Pamela would be high maintenance, but so would be the joy. I might just buy another VW and sell it 2 months before the five-year warranty ends, and swallow the loss of depreciation as the price paid for five years of bliss. I'm truly sorry to say that, because I spent 22 years of my life working on Hondas and Acuras. A few months ago I drove a used Infinity G35 coupe and a used Lexus IS 350 as possible replacements for the GTI and I've almost went to sleep during the testdrive. These were very quick and quiet cars but something was missing, hard to explain. Bear in mind the Lexus 350 is rear wheel drive and has 300-some horsepower -it isn't your father's Lexus, but I'd rather take the GTI anytime.
  • nightmancomethnightmancometh Member Posts: 10
    I forgot to mention this in my first message. I test drove the GTI twice. The second time it was raining and the GTI's driver side windshield wiper wasn't working. It was moving back and forth, but, it did not clear any rain from the windshield. This was disconcerting :surprise: and it made me flinch when I thought about VW's build quality. Nevertheless, it was a blast to drive.
  • brian1235brian1235 Member Posts: 1
    my new 2010 GTI makes noises (rattling) when rpm is around 2500~3000, right before the auto gear is shifted. it is very annoying. is this a common issue? anyone has this problem?
  • clickclackerclickclacker Member Posts: 6
    It was information that I received from a customer service rep via the VW website. Not sure if the CS Rep knwe what he/she was talking about? But they clearly said that GTI's were manufactured in mexico. I will submit the same question again on their website and see if i receive the same answer from another agent.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    There are several indicators that point to the CSR being wrong.

    1) Each and every detailed article on the Mark VI Golf/GTI that I've written indicate that this body style is only being produced in Germany.
    2) The Mexico plant is still producing the Mark V Jetta, and unless something has dramatically change, it has absolutely zero tooling to produce any vehicle built off of the Mark VI platform.
    3) An article I read a year or so ago indicated that the Mexico plant wasn't scheduled for conversion to the Mark VI tooling until after the 2010 model year, and even then, for the Jetta only.
    4) The few Mark VI Golf and GTI models that I've seen in person carry a VIN number that indicates the country of origin is Germany.

    Best regards,
  • tolsntolsn Member Posts: 1
    There is one easy way to check the car your looking at...look at the VIN. If it starts with a "3" it was built in Mexico, if it starts with a "W" it was built in Germany.

    I just checked my local dealership (they usually list the VIN with the info about the car) and the two 2010 GTIs they have in stock were both built in Germany.

    Hope this helps.

  • upstatedocupstatedoc Member Posts: 710
    I wonder if the "W" stands for Wolfsburg...
    What does the "3" mean? No, I won't say it.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Nope, all cars from Germany have a VIN that starts with a "W". :)
  • zigster38zigster38 Member Posts: 117
    GTI's are built in Germany; GLI's are built in Mexico.
This discussion has been closed.