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VW GTI (All styles)



  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    kryosynth is probably a Honda owner that got his doors blown off by a 1.8t GTI - or maybe it was a TDI Golf that did it and he was so impressed by all that TDI diesel performance that he thought it must have been a GTI that dusted his Honda :-) My 2002 GTI has had no problems in 10k miles - and the window regulators have been redesigned. Plus when the window regulators failed on pre 2002 Golfs the windows didn't break. Sounds like another case of Honda/ Nissan/ Toyota buyers remorse/ VW envy to me.
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
    anyone know where i can find a 2002? i live on long island, and have checked all l.i. dealers as well as brooklyn, manhattan (they have 2 337's available for 24800), a few ct dealers, one nj, and some bronx and westchester. found a couple without sunroof, but i really want one w/roof.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    try trend motors in Rockaway, nj

    They do have one in stock, silver with black cloth with Lux, Cold weather, & 17" rims.

    They can also add 17" rims for the same price as the factory, as they have done that before

  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 313
    The two ring 2nd gear syncronizer on my 2002 5 speed (180 hp 4 cyl turbo model) produced crashy 1st to 2nd high rpm shifts when the car was hot. At 9500 miles VW replaced the syncro with an upgraded 3 ring syncro which seems to have cured the problem. Anyone else had similar syncro problems?
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
    thanks, but no manuals at trend either. i guess i'm waiting till 2003 models. are there any color changes for 2003. possibly a steel grey?
  • dom77dom77 Posts: 7
    Hi folks,
    My fiancee and I are planning to buy either an '02 GTI VR6 or an Acura RSX. We both love the speed and power of the GTI, and also prefer its looks and features -- BUT, we are concerned about what we've heard about VW reliability as compared to Honda's/Acura's (so much so that we're leaning strongly towards the RSX, even though no car we've test driven has made us smile like the GTI). We are both entering 5 year doctoral programs, and want the car to last at least 5 years without major repairs, and hopefully more (like 10).

    So, I'd love to hear any thoughts on the reliability of GTI VR6s, and late model VWs in general. Neither of us has owned a VW before. Thanks!
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    The reliability is average for VW. The Acura is very much better than average. The warranty for VW is 4yr/50K bumper to bumper which is very good. You are likely to make a trip to the dealer for some kind of problem during ownership of GTI and probably only maintenance for the Acura. If this would be a problem then I would recommend the RSX and if not then get the GTI and enjoy it.
  • dom77dom77 Posts: 7
    Thanks for the info, moparbad. Looks like my decision might be an easy one, as I just called five local (DC metro area) dealers and none has the VR6 w/sunroof.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    ASk them to locate one...they were more than willing to locate one for me when I purchased my TDI.
  • nixomosenixomose Posts: 95
    So a few weeks ago a tree fell on my gti. ugh. 32K miles, new roof, new windshield and hood. Now nothing lines up, the sunroof still doesn't work right, but at least it doesn't leak.
    Of course that's not as bad as when I bought it and had just 1200 miles on it and a deer blindsided me. It's just not right.

    That said, the MKIV's by design aren't as good as the MKII's in my opinion.
    Someboy mentioned the climatronic before. I would normally use foul language in describing the thing, but I've already been warned to watch it.

    Yes, it is quite impossible to get it to blow the temperature air you want if the sensors decide that it's too cold or warm by comparison. This is a stupid design that there's no question VW just majorly dropped the ball on.
    You also can't turn off the auto tinting rear view mirror. I'll have to thank them for that too.

    I've been a gti nut since 1988 when I first sat in one, but minus the tree and the deer, VW is not impressing me lately (and forget about dealer service. jack daniels in NJ, or don't bother)

    The new vr6's you can get without the leather and climatronic and all that other crap I didn't want, but I was first on the block, and I'm paying for it.

    But I've decided to stick with it. So I'm putting on dunlop sp8000's today (although it recently occured to me that I only got 32K out of the original RSA's, not too good either) and I'm going to do the suspension in a few weeks when I have time. Any suggestions? The stock suspension makes me think I'm in a caddy. I want rock solid stiff. I'm a cornering freak.

    About synchros. I've had weird very rare and random misses from 2nd to 3rd. I expect resistance from the synchros so I push hard when shifting fast, but every once in a while, there's nothing, and I just grind the gear real bad.
    Anybody ever hear of this?
    I can't reproduce it consistently, so I'm not sure quite what the symptons are.

    I'll stop ranting now...
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    ONe of the problems I read about the Climatronic system (from UK's VW Driver magazine) is the flap for the recirc function. That the dual flap tends to get stuck.

    Many on the vortex are complaining about worn synchros also.....but well, synchros are made to wear. The Celica, RSX, and WRX guys are complaining about their syncros wearing also...and you already know why.
  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 313
    The dealer told me that there had been problems with the syncros on the Mk IV and that the 3 ring upgrade (for 2nd gear syncro, don't know about 3rd) was the recommended fix. The transmission is definitely the weak link on these cars. It won't quite do to to say that syncros wear out -- not after 10K miles with no real thrashing. I had two Chevy Cavaliers (no comments please), one with 104K miles on the original trans and clutch, so I'm not hard on these things. Perhaps the 6 speed will be an improvement, but I think the extra ratio is redundant.

    Other comments: great, strong engine but a bit buzzy at high rpm. Great 5th gear acceleration at 70 mph. The only stronger 4 cyl I've driven was the old Chrysler turbo 2.5 with balance shafts fitted to the Dodge Shadow a few years back -- great torquey engine (150 hp/ 180 lb ft) and smooth to the redline. Shame about the rest of the car though..

    I like the stock suspension and the 16" Montreal wheels. I've rented cars such as the Toyota Solara (mediocre like the Camry), and the taughtness of the GTI is always a pleasure after these experiences. At the same time it's reasonably peaceful on a long drive. I have no desire to be continually smacked about on poorly maintained NE US roads by an overly stiff suspension.
  • nixomosenixomose Posts: 95
    I agree, the roads around here suck (Westchester, NY, but I occasionaly have to drive into brooklyn, ugh)
    but I just hate the immense body roll that this has.
    They've definetly made it cushier since 1992, Never drove an A3, so I can't speak for them. I've been driving with my new tires, and that makes A LOT of difference, but I know I can squeeze more cornering out of this car with an even slightly better suspension.
  • welst10welst10 Posts: 49
    Hi all, I am considering buying a 2002 VW 1.8T model, but not sure which one is better, GTI or Passat. I noticed that Passat is about $2500 more than GTI (standard features only). Any inputs? Thanks!
  • The 1.8t engine only gets 170HP in the Passat, but 180 HP in the GTI (Torque in the Passat is lower too). Also, I believe the Passat is a bit heavier.

    In defense of the Passat, it has better cupholders. :)
  • 4itgog4itgog Posts: 15
    I currently own a 2002 GTI, after selling my 99 Passat. The GTI is a blast to drive, and gas milage is comparible. The ride is not as smooth nor is it as quiet as the Passat. The GTI provides more accurate on-center steering,the utility of a hatchback and the seats are more supportive, while the Passat is more plush and luxurious. Now if VW could combine the best of each!
  • I just became the owner of a 2003 VW GTI 1.8 Turbo and I absolutely love it! The new body stlye looks great, the 17 inch alloys look awesome for stock rims, the car handles like my buddie's $50K M3, and the 4 cylinder engine has so much power and torque I would swear that VW made a mistake and accidentally gave me a VR6 engine !! :-).

    I got the luxury package so the leather inside is really comfortable, the sounds system rocks and the car itself has much more room on the inside that it looks from the outside.

    This is the first VW I have ever owned (been a BMW guy before) and I'm glad to I bought one now. I can honestly say this is the most fun I have had driving a car and with so many aftermarket options for this car, the fun is just beginning !!

    I'm happy to be a part VW family!

  • I've had my 2002 GTI for almost a year - I still can't wipe the ear to ear grin off my face when I drive it. I've done a lot of aftermarket tweaks to it, it's at another level now. I terrorize my friends 2001 BMW 330 and 2000 M Coupe. I don't beat them but I can totally keep up. My GTI is slightly faster than the 330.

    My 1.8t puts out about 240 HP and 235 Lb Ft of torque. Engine mods were simple and cost only about $1k to get this type of performance:
    K&N air filter in the factory air box - replaces stock filter - this filter is cleanable and lasts the life of the car.
    APR ECU upgrade - ( by far the best chip tuner on the planet. All the attributes of a stock GTI - minimal turbo lag, etc - with a LOT more power.
    Neuspeed: ( ( Turbo air intake - increases airflow into the turbo by 70%, Downpipe - ditto for after the turbo, TurboXS diverter valve. Eurosport exhaust - reduced back pressure, nice mellow deep tone, not loud at all, noticable power increase.
    You get a lot of benefit from allowing the turbo to breath better, increased flow in and out of the turbo has significant gains plus it really enhances the reprogrammed ECU.

    Suspension: Neuspeed racing springs, upper front stress bar and 25mm rear sway bar, Bilstein shocks - handles like a go cart, no sway, very, very tight. I have the factory 17" wheels with Michelin Pilot Sports.

    It's amazing what you can do with the GTI in the aftermarket.
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
    sounds sweeeeet!!! what happens to warranty with all of those mods? i am buying a silverstone grey GTI as soon as i find one,and would love to make some upgrades. i was thinking suspension first, power second. a little concerned with warranty since VW salesman told me they are cracking down on the chip tuned cars. is he blowing smoke up my a--? BTW, can anyone post a pic of the new 17's? also, how much did your suspension upgrade cost?
  • It really depends on the dealer -some are chip friendly and some aren't. The APR chip has a stock mode that you can switch to when you take it in. I can switch between chipped and stock mode using the cruise control button. I switch to stock when I take mine in even though my dealer has no issues with chipped cars - I don't want the service guys taking it for joyrides. APR is the only company with this feature-

    As far as suspension goes you really don't have anything to worry about. My aftermarket suspension parts are warrantied for the life of the car - much better than factory warranty. Same goes for my exhaust system - lifetime warranty. My suspension mods cost a little over $1,000.

    Silverstone is the tightest color - I would have gotten that color if it was available in 2002 - I have Reflex Silver (along with 1,000,000 other GTI's).

    For Neuspeed products go to - excellent prices and service.
  • seguyseguy Posts: 133
    Liked that color too, ended up with reflex silver w/ gray leather. Love my Gti as well. No real mods yet. High flow ITG filter, dieselgeek race short shifter, sunglass mod, and crystal clear bumper lights. Have fun with your 2003 Gti!
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
    thanks, i looked for a silver 2002 too late. tried to take advantage of the low finance rates, but i was shutout. it's for the better, though, as i really like the grey, and wife doesn't like silver (not that that would have stopped me though ;). didn't know you could switch between modes with APR chip (good post). my friend has a 2000 passat tuned by them and he kept his old stock chip to change them when bringing car in to dealer. any pics of the new 17's yet???
  • Haven't seen the new 17" wheels, I have seen 2003 Jetta GLI's with the same 17's my 2002 GTI has.

    My dealer really doesn't care if my car is chipped. If something went wrong they would have to prove that the chip caused it which is hard to do (according to them). Some dealers are totally anal about chipping. The 1.8t is overengineered in typical German fashion. It can take up to 300 HP without any internal modifications. I know a lot of people with 1.8t's with various mods and no one I know has had an engine failure of any kind.

    The APR ECU upgrade is undetectable to the VW dealers diagnostic tool and it can't be overwritten. The only way a service tech would know it's chipped would be to drive it - very, very noticable. To put my GTI back to stock mode all I have to do is turn the ignition to the on position, turn on the cruise control, (with the ignition in on position the engine light is on)push and hold the cruise set button until the engine light starts flashing, one flash is stock mode, two flashes is chipped mode. There are more modes available - valet mode (disables the turbo completely) and racing gas mode for 104 octane racing gas. One other mode will reset the check engine light if it ever trips.

    Silverstone is a great color on the GTI I bet it will be really popular on the 2003's. There are other 2003 GTI enhancements I really like - 3 spoke wheel on non-leather cars and the exhaust going through the rear valence - nice.
  • The 1.8t is overengineered in typical German fashion. It can take up to 300 HP without any internal modifications. I know a lot of people with 1.8t's with various mods and no one I know has had an engine failure of any kind.

    As long as you have a mechanic on call to replace the occasional blown head gasket.
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
    yes i agree, the leather 3 spoke, shifter, and emergency brake handle are nice touches. didn't know about the exhaust change. thanks for the info. i like the option to change modes with chip. don't believe i ever saw 104 octane. do you ever use that? make any noticeable difference? really wanted 4 dr gls 1.8t (don't shoot me, i have kids), but dragged my feet and poof no more 1.8t gls option. i saw 4 door gti poll??? chances of that have to be slim to none, huh? anyway, i can't wait any longer, i need GTI speed!!!! one last concern; how is the airflow in the cabin while driving at speed with windows down and sunroof open? i have a minor concern that the rear windows don't open, as sometimes this causes quite a bit of noisy turbulence in the cabin.
  • I guess I'm the only one who doesn't like the standard leather stuff on the '03s. I always like the fact that there was no leather in the car at all unless you ordered leather seats. It makes vegetarians like myself happy.

    It wouldn't keep me from buying an '03, but I wish VW hadn't made that change. The old way made sense...give the leather wheel/shifter/handbrake to the people who order leather seating. The people who like the thought of leather in their car would buy the leather-package cars anyway, right?

    About the turbulence, I had the same concern, but a testdrive of a sunroof car left me being thoroughly impressed with German engineering. When you twist the sunroof dial to where it stops, the sunroof opens to a certain point which is pretty much the farthest it will open without turbulence. If you really want to open it all the way, you can twist and hold the dial even further, and it will do just that. Upon doing that, turbulence reared its ugly head (at 70-ish on the freeway) but twisting it back to where it was solved the problem. No need for rear windows to crack.

  • Either opening the sunroof part way or cracking a front window takes care of buffeting.

    I don't have the 104 octane program or the valet mode on my APR chip - all the different modes are options. I can upgrade my ECU with additional programs at any time. I have 93 octane (since I live in Florida) chipped and stock modes. Apparently 104 octane gives the stock GTI the same performance of an Audi S4. My chipped GTI with all the additonal stuff I've done keeps up with S4's.

    VW made a 1.8t 4 door Golf as late as 2001 - too bad they don't still make it. About the only way to get 4 doors in a 1.8t Golf is a Jetta which is essentially a 4 door Golf with a trunk. I would have considered a 4 door Golf 1.8t if it would have been available. The back seat in a 2 door Golf is amazingly roomy. Plus if you need to haul stuff you can easily remove the rear seat bottoms and fold the backs flat. Or the bottoms

    I know a couple of people that have upgraded their 1.8t to 300 HP by installing a slightly larger turbo among other things. No problems with head gaskets or anything else internal to the engine. About the only area that needs internal work is the transaxle/ transmission when you get to the 300 HP level. Most people install a limited slip differential like a Quafe or Peliquin for better traction. If you miss a gear when shifting with that much HP it can wreak havoc with the transmission - other than that VW has made that 1.8t GTI almost bullet proof up to 300 HP.
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
    thanks again. i am at least one exception to your thinking gotenks243, as i don't like leather seats even though i've never had them (have ridden in many friends cars w/leather and they seem a little bit too hard and slippery as if i'd have to hang on while tossing the car around corners; maybe they need to be broken in or weren't sporty enough?) my friends 00 passat seems ok, but i just like cloth better i guess. anyway, the long winded point i'm trying to make here is that i am very happy to get a leather wrapped wheel, shifter, and brake handle w/o leather seats in my 03 gti. and i love cheeseburgers!!!! especially bacon cheeseburgers!!! sorry gotenks, had to throw that in for all of us meateaters and jimmy buffet fans. as far as a jetta....nice looking car, but no way can i buy a sedan, looked at wagon, but just too square and blah!!! for some reason (must be my love of boxy rally cars) i just love the golf/gti shape.
  • I didn't get leather in my 02 GTI - the cloth is awesome, kinda like velcro in the twisties. The only options on my car are the luxury package and 17" wheels(a steal at $400). I'd love to have the 3 spoke leather wheel/ shifter/ handbrake combo with my cloth. The 4 spoke wheel in my car is too skinny and hard - I still have to get an Isotta leather cover for it.

    If I was in the market for a 03 GTI I'd get Silverstone with 17" wheels with or without the luxury package.
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
    i plan on getting silverstone, 17"s (i thought they were new this year, but the current pix on vortex look same-which i happen to like) and lux (i need a sunroof if only front windows open). i noticed you mentioned $400 was a steal for 17"s. how much could i get for stock 16"s w/tires unused? and how much for new aftermarket 17"s w/same tires? i am thinking i might like a little different look. maybe some borbet's.
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