Highly Recommended - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,162
edited January 2015 in Volkswagen
imageHighly Recommended - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI is pretty great. I'd recommend it to anybody shopping for a sporty hatchback or even as a family vehicle.

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Comments

  • yellowbalyellowbal Member Posts: 234
    If the cargo area is similar to a Mazda3, it's hard to fit everything you need for a 10 hour road trip with a baby.

    Luggage, portable crib, camera bag, etc. Not going to happen unless you're going to shove some of that into the passenger area. A medium to large sedan can suck all that up.
  • ctpaulctpaul Member Posts: 46
    or save the $10,000 in the bank for the inevitable repairs that the VW will start to drive him crazy with. Or has VW finally put reliability issues behind it?
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    yellowbal said:

    If the cargo area is similar to a Mazda3, it's hard to fit everything you need for a 10 hour road trip with a baby.

    Luggage, portable crib, camera bag, etc. Not going to happen unless you're going to shove some of that into the passenger area. A medium to large sedan can suck all that up.

    That is what roof racks or small trailers are for. I don't see why you should be forced to buy a larger than necessary vehicle to support a two or three times a year need.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    It's a great recommendation over another expensive entry level lux sedan, especially for someone who is considering other options (CR-V vs BMW 3-series, really?). It won't hold squat in the way of folding strollers or pack-n-plays, but neither will another IS or Wrangler and if he's considering one of those I'm guessing there's another, bigger vehicle in the household for road trip duty anyway.

    If road trip duty two or three times a year is really your hangup for buying the smaller car you actually want day-to-day, I'd just rent a Dodge Caravan from Enterprise for those rare occasions.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    emajor said:

    It's a great recommendation over another expensive entry level lux sedan, especially for someone who is considering other options (CR-V vs BMW 3-series, really?). It won't hold squat in the way of folding strollers or pack-n-plays, but neither will another IS or Wrangler and if he's considering one of those I'm guessing there's another, bigger vehicle in the household for road trip duty anyway.

    If road trip duty two or three times a year is really your hangup for buying the smaller car you actually want day-to-day, I'd just rent a Dodge Caravan from Enterprise for those rare occasions.

    This. If I had a nickel for every vehicle purchased by someone I know that is just ideally suited for the three times per year the in-laws visit, of the owner goes to Home Depot...and then the tab is high enough thad HD will deliver free anyway...
  • redskinsdmvredskinsdmv Member Posts: 52
    ctpaul said:

    or save the $10,000 in the bank for the inevitable repairs that the VW will start to drive him crazy with. Or has VW finally put reliability issues behind it?

    Yeah, I imagine his friend had a Lexus for peace of mind(reliability) and going to a GTI would be risky.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited January 2015
    Depends on what kind of road trips you like to do. I quit hauling canoes around last year, but I still prefer to camp on my road trips. Camping gear isn't too bulky (back in the day I did six weeks to Alaska in a '73 Bug), but it's nice having minivan room to spread out in. And it's nice being able to put two bikes inside the van, wheels on, instead of hanging them off the back.

    I did a few road trips in my '97 Outback so I can still manage a smaller vehicle. But going from the big empty to a $28,000 three door hatch may be too big of a jump. ($24k base MSRP)

    Never had kids but trying to put a child seat in the back with a two door sounds like a hassle too.

    That leaves the four door GTI Autobahn for $30k MRSP, but no gain in cargo space. And less ground clearance than a Prius.

    Lest this sounds like too much thread-crapping, I really would like to downsize and see how a hatch would work for our main car. Parking the Grand Caravan is a pain on the errand runs.
  • ducky10ducky10 Member Posts: 27
    Those who parrot Vw unreliability allegations in response to most entries have either not owned a VW or have had contrary experiences to my wife and I. We trace our VW ownership back to a 1986 GLI, to include several cars with more than 100,000 miles (including my present 2010 GTI with 106,000 miles). My wife has a delightful Golf R. All of these cars have been reliable, economical and a pleasure to drive. We have also had good dealer experiences though we have the choice of several ( and German car specialist shops) here in Seattle.
  • dldavedldave SacramentoMember Posts: 46
    ctpaul said:

    or save the $10,000 in the bank for the inevitable repairs that the VW will start to drive him crazy with. Or has VW finally put reliability issues behind it?

    I own a 2008 VW Jetta Wolfsburg (2.0T, DSG) and have 102,000 miles on it. I bought it new and have had a local dealership perform every single service on the vehicle. I have never let one thing go or delayed any service. Since last June (95k miles), I have spent over 4000 in repairs and am thankful the other 1500 was covered by the warranty. I take really good care of it and really only commute in it.

    With that said, I think he might need the 10k he saves for the eventual maintenance he will have to perform, especially if he expects to drive it as long as he could the lexus. Plus, the infotainment system stinks in the GTI/VW's, right?
  • ninjamanninjaman Member Posts: 4
    ducky10 said:

    Those who parrot Vw unreliability allegations in response to most entries have either not owned a VW or have had contrary experiences to my wife and I. We trace our VW ownership back to a 1986 GLI, to include several cars with more than 100,000 miles (including my present 2010 GTI with 106,000 miles). My wife has a delightful Golf R. All of these cars have been reliable, economical and a pleasure to drive. We have also had good dealer experiences though we have the choice of several ( and German car specialist shops) here in Seattle.

    Well, not everyone has had your experience.
    2006 Rabbit
    55k radiator - $750 hmmm. I had an 97 accord with 210,00 before the radiator went.
    70k cv joint - $200?
    75k alternator - $1200
    80k - ignition switch and fuel relays - $750
    95k did the brakes. The rear calipers wouldn't expand. I forget what they cost to replace but it was hundreds.

    This last one was excellent. the car died on the highway at 70 mph. Twice. Think about that for a moment...no power breaks or steering. I called VW corporate to voice my concern and frankly, they could not have cared less.

    Not to mention the car is a rattle box.

    Other than the brakes needing done, none of these repairs should have been needed at these miles. Not even close. All it means is the bean counters getting the cheapest parts.

    So if you absolutely must drive a VW, lease or sell it when the warrantee is over. Don't let the one owner who has had a fuzzy warm with a VW keep you from ignoring the warning you get from so many others.

    As a side point, when I was looking to replace the accord I noticed that I could get a two or three year old Acura TSX for less than 20k. So I did. The VW isn't even close to the same level of the Acura and a base Golf 4 door will cost you more. I also get 34/35 on the highway. I realize that they are two different classes of automobile but it's more car for less money. It also handles much better than the VW.

    Remember...if you must...don't drive out of warrantee!
  • redskinsdmvredskinsdmv Member Posts: 52
    ducky10 said:

    Those who parrot Vw unreliability allegations in response to most entries have either not owned a VW or have had contrary experiences to my wife and I. We trace our VW ownership back to a 1986 GLI, to include several cars with more than 100,000 miles (including my present 2010 GTI with 106,000 miles). My wife has a delightful Golf R. All of these cars have been reliable, economical and a pleasure to drive. We have also had good dealer experiences though we have the choice of several ( and German car specialist shops) here in Seattle.

    The 2015 GTI has already had a recall.
  • kshankarkshankar Member Posts: 175
    Are all Golfs made in Mexico now with the exception of the Golf R? I had a 2005.5 Jetta (redesigned ) as they were called since the old body style Jetta was still around. Anyway driving it home from the dealership, the left headlight went out for a day and mysteriously came back on and no issues after that. Also when I was washing the car, all the brake lights came on and stayed on. Took it to the dealer and after 5 days, got the car back. They gave me a Hyundai Sante Fe (back in 2005) as a loaner. Only after I purchased the car, did I realize this car was also made in Mexico. Traded that in for a 2006 GTI and boy was that a fun car! I had the car for 4 months and no problems before I sold it. I then had a 2010 GTI Autobahn edition which I modified with APR stuff and that was an amazing car. Before the 3/36K bumper to bumper warranty ran out, sold it.
  • mlin32mlin32 Member Posts: 35
    Good to see the folks who "blanket" equate German cars with unreliability are not mentioning the rattles, creaks, and suspension issues on the Mazda3 Long-termer.
  • dgcamerodgcamero Member Posts: 148
    I had the usual FSI teething issues on my 2007 GTI, minus the fuel pump follower issue (they don't use the same design anymore, and they've since discontinued the FSI engine. I had a warrantied mechatronics replacement on my dsg. I would get a stick if I had to do it again, DSG services are about $225-275, which is expensive every 40k miles. Something in the front suspension creaks over speed humps when it's cold, but only for the first mile or so. I need to figure out what they greased to make that stop for a couple of years. My timing belt started squeaking at 80k miles, and VW offered to pay for half of the timing belt replacement, as it's supposed to be replaced at 120k miles, so I paid $275 for that. My only other out of warranty repairs have been a diverter valve ($190 at dealer, would have been $90 ish to do myself, but it failed out of town) and a cv boot has torn. I have an Empi brand assembly that I'll install, and keep my original one as a spare to possibly rebuild because aftermarket assemblies don't have an awesome reputation. I'm at 117k now, and I'll pay for an inspection of my high pressure fuel pump follower before its 10 year / 120k warranty is out. I have replaced only my rear brakes, my front ones will need replacement in the next year or so. If you don't use the parking brake, the rear brakes will stick. My car has been more reliable than my Honda, Dodge, and Mazda, about as reliable as the old ML, but not as reliable as my Fords, my Subaru, or my first VW. To me, the reliability is average. It seems they have had better results with initial reliability in recent years. I wonder if long term durability will be affected because of the initial reliability increases.
  • barryhuberbarryhuber Member Posts: 14
    Owned two Audis and two VWs. Neither held up before needing major repairs. Every time we think, GTI... we reflect on our last Audi and say no way. It simply isn't worth it because of the build quality. Go to Vortex and see the comments about turbos blowing out... already and those are not chipped.
  • barryhuberbarryhuber Member Posts: 14
    mlin32 said:

    Good to see the folks who "blanket" equate German cars with unreliability are not mentioning the rattles, creaks, and suspension issues on the Mazda3 Long-termer.

    Big difference between a creak and engine malfunctions. The two cannot be equated.
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