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Suitably Classy Interior - 2015 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,112
edited December 2014 in Volkswagen
imageSuitably Classy Interior - 2015 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

Fuel Economy Update for the Edmunds Long-Term Volkswagen GTI.

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Comments

  • In terms of getting your money's worth, to me its all about reliability. You can swallow a price of $31k if you get 150k+ miles out of her without major repairs. VWs, though, can be VERY problematic and the repairs are never cheap. Therefore, I could never consider buying one.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    My sister would tend to agree with you after her years with her '00 New Beetle. At least her dealer experience markedly improved the last few years she owned that car, and she'd consider another one.
  • I've got a 2015 with the plaid seats, and the same aura of quality exists with them as with the leather. Choose the stick and you're out the door at under $27,000. For that money, it's hard to find anything with so many positive attributes. Whether it will be reliable five years from now is thankfully not going to be my problem.
  • 7driver7driver Posts: 145
    A3 vs. GTI mini-comparo please! A posting in the long-term road test blog is perfectly fine.
  • This is one of the main reasons why I'd take a GTI over a Focus ST or any of its other competitors. It just feels like it's in a higher class. VWs have always been rather upscale and come off more as budget Audis than economy car competitors. Even if they're more expensive, the details and overall feeling of quality make the extra cost worthwhile.

    As far as reliability problems, I always hear complaints about VW and Audi, but I've yet to hear of any firsthand issues from people I know. For example my grandmother has an 2007 A4 cabrio with over 130k miles and my mother has a 2013 Tiguan with about 20k miles. Neither have ever had any major problems. The A4 has had a few minor electrical glitches, but nothing major that's actually been terrible and expensive. Granted, they're both maintained very well, but I feel like a lot of people who have issues with German cars don't realize the importance of staying up to date with the scheduled maintenance for cars as highly engineered as these.
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,092
    1995 - 2005 were the 'dark ages' for VW/Audi. Seems like things have improved some since then. But a bad reputation is hard to live down.
  • My mark 6 2010 GTI has 105,000 miles. It has been problem free aside from a carbon intake valve cleaning ( a trait common to direct injection engines). VW paid for part of the cost. Otherwise, the car looks and drives like new. It truly a fine and reliable car. I have driven VWs since buying a new 1992 Passat ( which had its original clutch when I sold it at 140,000 miles) Each has required normal maintenance and no more. These relabel cars include a 1999 Jetta GLS, a 2003 Passat wagon (1.8t manual), and my wife's 2013 Golf R.
  • 7driver7driver Posts: 145
    Reliability is overrated, I think. People treat it as deterministic when in fact it's a probabilistic. Somewhere in the world, there's a dependable Yugo and elsewhere there's a Camry lemon. I might care more about it if I were buying a fleet of cars, but I'm not. If I had a VW, I wouldn't care if VW's are reliable. I would care whether *my* VW is reliable. Besides, an unreliable car often becomes more reliable as it gets repaired. A car that feels/drives like junk on day #1 generally will always feel/drive like junk throughout its entire lifetime.
  • I really like VW/Audi interior design but the durability of the materials used is not very good. Every VW I've been in that's 5 years old or more has worn out buttons. Buttons that are frequently used are usually worn down to the white plastic beneath the label.
  • Reliability is perception of the owners. People who have owned VW's, other German makes or maybe coming from domestic cars probably see VW's as pretty reliable because the problems they have are no different than any other car. If they're coming from a Honda or Toyota, though, they will complain about the problems they have and say that they are not reliable cars. VW biggest problem is the amount of maintenance they require and the cost. Most people see VW as on the same level as Honda or Ford but the maintenance cost is more like BMW or Mercedes. For example a DSG transmission fluid change is more than $400.00 and requires calibration of the on board computer. My co-worker recently had the battery changed in his Touraeg and it costs him over 250.00 because the battery is located under the driver's seat. Even doing it yourself gets expensive because you have to invest in a set of torx tools.
  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599
    The A3 and GTI comparison would be a no-brainer but I think Edmunds hesitates to compare cars that sell at different price points. This is kind of a thing in the industry. You don't see it much at all. A few years ago Edmunds had the Countryman and Juke. I know they are different cars for different markets but they were both within inches of eachother and we all could have learned something from a comparison. How about the CLA and the Mazda3. Again, not an obvious comparison but maybe some of the complaints about the CLA's suspension go away when you compare it to another compact FWD-based car.
  • emajoremajor Posts: 332
    edited December 2014
    7driver said:

    "Reliability is overrated, I think. People treat it as deterministic when in fact it's a probabilistic. If I had a VW, I wouldn't care if VW's are reliable. I would care whether *my* VW is reliable."

    And how do you determine if your VW, Honda, etc. will be reliable? Well, you can't. Reliability ratings that inform you of problem rates in an average example of the make/model you are considering are the best tool available. Reliability ratings aren't deterministic, but they are the only metric for judging how probable it is that the car you are buying will be reliable.

  • Reliability always comes up when talking about VW, but I'd like to point at that since the MkVI the GTI has been amongst the most reliable cars in Europe. VW AG still produces some lemons, but the Golf is not one of them and hasn't been for many years. It's shocking to me that more Americans don't buy these. They excel in nearly every regard.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512

    In terms of getting your money's worth, to me its all about reliability. You can swallow a price of $31k if you get 150k+ miles out of her without major repairs. VWs, though, can be VERY problematic and the repairs are never cheap. Therefore, I could never consider buying one.

    Yeah, if you buy a Camry it will probably be reliable for 150k miles. The downside of that is you are stuck driving a Camry for 150k miles.

  • g35bufg35buf Posts: 89
    Agree on the overrating of reliability. Very little real world difference in most late model vehicles. I've owned 12 new/almost new cars since since 2001 - 5 Hondas/Acuras, 4 Audi/VWs, 1 Infiniti, 1 Hyundai and 1 Toyota. The worst of the bunch, a 2002 Acura TL-S. The Toyota Highlander had a water pump start leaking at 48k miles, but so did the VW Tiguan at 25k. Minor issues here and there with all vehicles. The most troublefree: My 2010 Honda Ridgeline that gets the most abuse.

    Overall, I'll always take the tradeoff of a nicer interior with the excellent road manners of the VWs and the Audi vs. the spirit sucking experience of our 2008 Highlander...you could slip into a coma driving it...
  • yesireeyesiree Posts: 1
    edited March 2015
    VW Golf's have a long history of failing water pumps which continue in the new 2015 models. I recently did a Google search for pre-owned Golf GTI's using a car search engine called "Cars.c-m". I searched in a hundred mile radius of my zip code which provided me quite a large selection from years 2012 to 2014. I examined all the ads with free "Carfax" reports and found about 80% of the cars had had at least one water pump replacement with a sizable proportion having multiple water pump failures. Then I Googled "VW GTI and Golf water pump problems" and found out that water pump failure is VW's Achilles heel and widely known in the VW Golf community. This is a problem which often occurs below 30k miles! Failure to notice a coolant leak can have disastrous consequences especially after the warranty period has expired. Rather than providing a reliable water pump VW has chosen to ignore the enormous number of complaints and still wont make a widespread recall for these ticking time bombs. If they would commit themselves to designing a reliable water pump it would do wonders for their image here. VW has a shabby history of providing horrible customer service and not standing behind their products sold here in the US and is why VW's US sales over the past several years have been poor. Their reputation for unreliability extends to electrical switch malfunctions amongst others. The Die hard VW fans are willing to put up with this nonsense but many like myself choose to settle for less aesthetically designed practical alternatives. That these cars can win all these awards and be as unreliable as they are speaks volumes of just how corrupt many of our media review sources truly are. Many if not most new car reviews are nothing more than glorified commercials. As attractive as these cars are I'm avoiding them like the plague they are. Follow the steps I did and you'll see for yourself. Contrary to the rave reviews I've read from supposedly satisfied VW owners over seas I only wish the facts I have uncovered in my research of VW's sold here mirrored theirs. Being that I don't live abroad I am limited to the facts I find on our shores. Indecently I have read that a small percentage of VW owners here have had good luck with their cars. If I were lucky enough to find a proven reliable GTI over here I'd ditch my Toyota in a second!
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