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.
So let me get this straight? Your engine is 1.8-liters, and my pop is 2?
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:
i'm sure there are others and it's a great time to buy at invoice!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I've heard good things about the MKVI, but as I said above...relative to what?
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.
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.
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.
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.