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    Thread: Non biased opinions on VWs?

    1. n00b
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      03-20-2012 11:15 AM #1
      I'm looking to buy my first vw, probably a gti. However, a lot of people are trying to talk to me out of it because they supposedly break often and are expensive to fix. But on the other hand, I love the gti and would prefer to have a car that's fun to drive and I enjoy driving everyday than a more practical car that might not be as fun. What about comparable cars to the gti that maybe aren't vws? I know it's often compared to the mazdaspeed3, but that's out of my price range. I'm trying to spend between 15-16k hopefully, get a few years old car with a few more miles? Any Opinions would be greatly appreciated! I posted in the vw section too but I wanted some neutral opinions as well.
      Thanks!

    2. Member Knight2000's Avatar
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      03-20-2012 01:56 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by Laureng View Post
      I'm looking to buy my first vw, probably a gti. However, a lot of people are trying to talk to me out of it because they supposedly break often and are expensive to fix. But on the other hand, I love the gti and would prefer to have a car that's fun to drive and I enjoy driving everyday than a more practical car that might not be as fun. What about comparable cars to the gti that maybe aren't vws? I know it's often compared to the mazdaspeed3, but that's out of my price range. I'm trying to spend between 15-16k hopefully, get a few years old car with a few more miles? Any Opinions would be greatly appreciated! I posted in the vw section too but I wanted some neutral opinions as well.
      Thanks!
      All cars break. Even Hondas. However, find a car that has been maintained properly and you're one step ahead of the game. Your best bet is to find one that has all maintenance records and a clean CarFax. If you buy from a dealer, an extended service contract may help as well.

      Good luck.
      So let me get this straight? Your engine is 1.8-liters, and my pop is 2?

    3. 03-20-2012 10:21 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Laureng View Post
      I'm looking to buy my first vw, probably a gti. However, a lot of people are trying to talk to me out of it because they supposedly break often and are expensive to fix. But on the other hand, I love the gti and would prefer to have a car that's fun to drive and I enjoy driving everyday than a more practical car that might not be as fun. What about comparable cars to the gti that maybe aren't vws? I know it's often compared to the mazdaspeed3, but that's out of my price range. I'm trying to spend between 15-16k hopefully, get a few years old car with a few more miles? Any Opinions would be greatly appreciated! I posted in the vw section too but I wanted some neutral opinions as well.
      Thanks!
      you want non-biased advice on buying a VW.....from a VW forum........

      check out consumer reports or something

    4. Member garethusa's Avatar
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      03-21-2012 09:56 AM #4
      i've always bought new VWs.

      i've never been tempted until this year to get a used VW and it was CPO with some original warranty left.

      however, deep down in me, i have always felt that no matter what, a used VW without the following is like asking for trouble:
      1. all service maintenance records with original receipts
      2. compare scheduled maintenance booklet with those records to see if done on time
      3. thorough test drive - allow for 30 minutes
      4. independent mechanic inspection
      5. carfax report - now i don't rely on these because not all accidents are reported and not all information is accurate. there may be accidents the car has been in and not on the report.
      6. do your homework and find out based on the maintenance booklet what needs to get done next - timing belt, brake job, new wheels, replacement of x,y,z
      7. compare Edmunds True Market Value in your area for the vehilcle you are buying to see if you are at least paying fair value
      8. have at least a $3K savings just for vehicle breakdown
      9. if you can, buy only from a 1 owner car. interview this person about the history of the vehicle.

      if you feel confident about the vehicle after all of the above, then its worth considering.

      i put up a post on here asking about others experience with VW CPO Warranty - look it over.

      if you have $15K-$16K budgeted for a car, try to get a new one. I know a GTI sounds exciting, but there is nothing like having a peace of mind, confidence, and of course, true enjoyment when you buy a new/used car. sounds like you have enough to get into a brand new Jetta with a brand new warranty. with financing as low as 0.9% APR for 60 months for well qualified buyers, you can easily do that.

      other vehicles that won't come close to VW enjoyment but are options to consider in your price point are:
      toyota corolla
      honda fit
      honda civic
      toyota yaris
      mazda 2
      mazda 3
      nissan versa
      ford fiesta
      hyundai elantra

      i'm sure there are others and it's a great time to buy at invoice!


      good luck.
      Last edited by garethusa; 03-21-2012 at 10:01 AM.
      93 vw wolfsburg fox 4-door | 00 honda crv lx | 03 vw jetta wagon gls 2.0 | 04 vw jetta wagon gls tdi-pd | 12 vw tiguan se+panoroof+nav

    5. n00b
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      03-21-2012 12:17 PM #5
      Thank you, I'll definitely look into all of that. This is my first time buying a serious car and I don't have much help so any tips are greatly appreciated!

    6. 03-21-2012 01:28 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by deagle View Post
      you want non-biased advice on buying a VW.....from a VW forum........

      check out consumer reports or something
      Not quite. Some people could be using SubDriven or any other VORTEX Group forum...The Car Lounge isn't only in VWVortex.
      Sega|Saturn

    7. 03-22-2012 12:48 PM #7
      You're really best off buying new if you can swing it. However, I would think a properly documented used car "should" be fine. I worry a lot by nature but I always worry the previous owner was a cheap skate and may have skimped out on maintenance, used cheap walmart gas, skipped changing fluids/filters, etc. Like I say though, if you can get proper documentation, you should be fine.

      Sometimes, you just need to bite the bullet to get a car out of your system though, no matter what, to fill that desire/want/need or whatever you want to call it.

    8. Member
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      03-22-2012 01:41 PM #8
      I've owned three VWs over the last 12 years.

      1994 GTI 2.0L (my first car bought in 2000).
      2001 GTI 1.8T (traded in the 1994 GTI).
      2007 GTI (traded in the 2001 GTI).

      My '94 was great during the nearly two years of ownership.
      The car had 120k kms on it when I sold it. Though the car was fairly simple by design, not much to go wrong.

      My 2001 was a warranty pig. At the 6 year point, the car needed a new ABS module and the AC compressor clutch was going.

      My 2007 has been rock solid for the last 4.5 years. The car has not been in for a single warranty repair. I've only performed routine maintenance. Can't complain one bit... more reliable than both of my parents' toyotas.

    9. n00b
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      03-23-2012 12:19 PM #9
      Thanks for all the input! Sounds like its either hit or miss with the used ones? But obviously better chances of getting a good one if you make sure the previous owner took care of it properly. I am torn between a new jetta which I feel like is the safer choice or an older GTI -what I really want.

    10. 03-23-2012 01:05 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Laureng View Post
      Thanks for all the input! Sounds like its either hit or miss with the used ones? But obviously better chances of getting a good one if you make sure the previous owner took care of it properly. I am torn between a new jetta which I feel like is the safer choice or an older GTI -what I really want.
      Its hit or miss with all of them. They can be great cars, or they can be nightmares. You'll often hear extreme examples from either end, with most of the opinions on this site glossing over the negatives.

      I really loved my MKV GTI, but I had a lot of problems with it in 4 years of ownership and only 30K miles. I've written about it in the past, and was basically told by the VW brigade that it must've been lack of maintenance or my fault in some way. Thats my big issue. I babied that car and took great care of it. And it kept ****ting on me.

      If you get a good one you should be fine. If you get a problem child, good luck. Thats my main reasoning for staying away from VW at the moment. I don't trust that they can consistently put out problem free examples within a given model. Its one thing to say that Golfs are problem free, but their SUV is problematic; but its actually within models, and you never know if you'll get a good example or not.

    11. Member
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      03-23-2012 01:10 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by pwm View Post
      Its hit or miss with all of them. They can be great cars, or they can be nightmares. You'll often hear extreme examples from either end, with most of the opinions on this site glossing over the negatives.

      I really loved my MKV GTI, but I had a lot of problems with it in 4 years of ownership and only 30K miles. I've written about it in the past, and was basically told by the VW brigade that it must've been lack of maintenance or my fault in some way. Thats my big issue. I babied that car and took great care of it. And it kept ****ting on me.

      If you get a good one you should be fine. If you get a problem child, good luck. Thats my main reasoning for staying away from VW at the moment. I don't trust that they can consistently put out problem free examples within a given model. Its one thing to say that Golfs are problem free, but their SUV is problematic; but its actually within models, and you never know if you'll get a good example or not.
      That said, MKIV vws tend to be really problematic.

    12. 03-23-2012 01:13 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Preppy View Post
      That said, MKIV vws tend to be really problematic.
      Can't speak to those as I was always scared off by their horror stories. I will say that I left Honda for VW when the MKV came out. Part of it was supposed to be their 'greatly improved reliablity.' Sadly, I didn't realize how low the MKIV benchmark was, so greatly improving on it wasn't all that impressive in my books.

      I've heard good things about the MKVI, but as I said above...relative to what?

    13. Senior Member Hostile's Avatar
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      03-27-2012 12:04 PM #13
      One of the reasons that my wife and I aren't buying a new Passat is because of how much money we've had to sink into our 2002 Jetta.

      95k miles and every suspension component has been replaced, just about every bushing, the radiator cooling fans/sensors, alternator- and that's just off the top of my head.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      I just want to know why OP thought making a thread in The Car Lounge would help him in any way... We've got a bunch of dudes telling him to "pepper his angus," and an insurance agent who just made a 2:30 appointment to **** someones wife. Classic TCL.

    14. Member 16valvegli's Avatar
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      03-27-2012 05:58 PM #14
      Used to be a straight VW fanboy, until I started working on my girl friends Honda. The Honda was much easier to work on, easier to find parts, parts are generally cheaper.
      Jumpers for rent Vallejo CA--- AE Happy Jumps

    15. Member LordBass's Avatar
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      03-28-2012 01:01 PM #15
      If you find the right CPO GTI at the right price, I wouldn't hesitate to buy. With your budget, should be able to get a 2008.5+ TSI.

      I was a bit nervous about getting my Jetta, but CPO warranty & extremely attractive price sold me. It helped that the car was originally sold at my local small, family-owned dealer who only sell VWs, including used. They still had a stack of receipts, and the service writer remembered the car and owner. VW has since extended the warranty on the most problematic bits of the old FSI motor for a long time.

      In 2 years, I haven't had any problems with the car, and it's great to drive. Maybe I've been lucky. YMMV.
      2015 GTI S | 2006 Miata Sport | 2006 Jetta 2.0T | 2002 Impreza 2.5TS | 1993 Sentra SE-R | 1987 Subaru GL wagon
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    16. Member
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      03-28-2012 04:01 PM #16
      You can get a real nice GTI in you range.

      I've had a 99.5 GTI VR6 and a 00 Golf 1.8T. Things like window regulators, O2 sensors, coil packs, and other little stuff can add up. It's nothing like the 2002 Civic my wife had until last year. Only thing we ever did to it was brakes, tires, oil changes, and a timing belt/water pump.

      The VWs were all much more fun to drive.

      I would spend $3-6k of your budget on a decent MKIV and a little more to get in good shape and upgrade wheels/suspension.

    17. n00b
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      03-29-2012 10:50 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Hostile View Post
      One of the reasons that my wife and I aren't buying a new Passat is because of how much money we've had to sink into our 2002 Jetta.

      95k miles and every suspension component has been replaced, just about every bushing, the radiator cooling fans/sensors, alternator- and that's just off the top of my head.
      Yikes, sorry to hear about that man. I'm was hoping the cost of replacement parts wasn't as bad as I was hearing, what would you say the ball park cost of replacements has been for you? I've only had a few needed fixes for my Honda but other than that it's pretty reliable but not as inexpensive as I would like.

    18. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 02:25 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by garethusa View Post
      i've always bought new VWs.
      ...
      other vehicles that won't come close to VW enjoyment but are options to consider in your price point are:
      How would you know since you only buy new VWs?

      Non-biased.
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    19. 03-29-2012 02:41 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by NateReyes1986 View Post
      Yikes, sorry to hear about that man. I'm was hoping the cost of replacement parts wasn't as bad as I was hearing, what would you say the ball park cost of replacements has been for you? I've only had a few needed fixes for my Honda but other than that it's pretty reliable but not as inexpensive as I would like.
      In addition to parts, I'd say labor is more expensive. I forget what the labor rate was at the local Honda dealer, but it was well under $100. I believe the local VW dealer was about $10/hr less than the Audi dealer, which was in the $115 range IIRC. I'll leave it to you to figure out which is more likely to need the dealer visit in the first place.

      Don't even get me started on every day wear items like wiper blades. When they went (and went often) on my VW, I had to either buy them at the dealer, or find them online. I went with the latter and they still cost double what the Rain-X ones I picked up for our Honda at the local Autozone. Need a new VW oil filter? Better find the exact year/model/engine/brand of robot that put your car together in the parts catalog. Want a Honda oil filter? There are literally just a few. I think every CRV from 2001 onwards has used the same one. Its one of the benefits of having few engine choices. They can standardize parts across the lineup.

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