30th Mar 2014, 20:00
Original poster here with a final follow-up.
I have really enjoyed this car and was planning to keep it for another two years or more, but an historically heavy snowfall put an end to that idea. The carport collapsed on top of the car and damaged it enough that it would cost more to fix than it was worth, so I am moving on to another car.
I never fixed the solenoid in the starter that made the small, little, strange noise on occasion when I started it, and I never had any problems. I was going to do so at the next inspection (this month), but don't need to now.
There were no major problems with the car during the whole time I owned it. It always started and ran without incident, and never left me stranded. The only issues were minor (to me), but I believe common; interior fit and finish. The plastic "wood" trim on the doors would occasionally fall off, and the fabric around the door handle was a little loose. Otherwise, no complaints with this car. It has ended its functional life with almost 200,000 kilometers on the clock, and it was fun to drive all the way to its last trip to Costco (yes, there is Costco in Japan, too). I would recommend this car to anyone who wants a fun to drive, reasonably priced, hatchback or small car without any reservations. RIP, Golf GTi.
31st Mar 2014, 13:42
Sorry to hear that your car met a domestic accident that has ended its life. Thanks for your reviews and updates - it's important for those interested to get the views of people who have owned particular models for longer periods of time. So what car have you bought to replace it with?
26th Jan 2015, 12:48
After the carport collapsed on top of my GTI, I replaced it with an Alfa Romeo 147 with a Selespeed transmission. The car is GREAT fun to drive and I am able to enjoy manual shifting, but without the clutch - something my left (slightly injured) leg appreciates.
Unfortunately, I didn't really wait for the right car and bought one that was at a fantastic price - except that repairs ate up all of the savings from the low price. I think it will be alright now, but we'll see. It is very comfortable and fun to drive. It is not quite as easy to see out the back as the GTI, and it is a little smaller in the trunk, but it is almost exactly the same size otherwise. Except for the extra transmission issues that I hope are settled now, I think I will enjoy this car as long as it behaves as well as it is now that it's back from the shop.
Thanks for asking.