2002 Volkswagen GTI GLS 1.9 TDI from North America


Awesome mileage and fun to drive!


Broken valve spring at 182,000 miles.

Front fenders rusting from inside out.

Front door window lifts replaced under factory recall.

General Comments:

This car has been one of the best cars I have ever owned. I average 45 MPG. I drive 90 miles per day, and this car has been very well suited to the task. It is also a hoot to drive!

Diesels are not for everyone or every climate. I have had my fuel gel up three times over the years in below zero weather (I reside in the mid west). I have concluded the problem lies in the location of the fuel filter. At highway speeds, the wind chill is too much for the petroleum/bio fuel mix of this region. Now when the temps get down to single digits, I trade cars with my wife. She never has trouble driving it around town, and I no longer worry about getting stranded.

I bought this car fully intending to put 200k miles on it. Having eclipsed that goal, I am now going for 300k.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2011

2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 1.8 turbo from North America


Hard to find, but worth the investment


Coil pack (s) failed around 40000 miles (known VW issue for this model year).

General Comments:

I have owned several GTis of several generations (a MK1 (Rabbit), MK2 16V) and this one. As fun as the older ones were, this one blows them out of the water. The Audi suspension setup and 6-speed make a HUGE difference when compared to other MK4 GTIs.

The stock Recaro seats look sporty, but are extremely comfortable for long rides, while holding you firmly in place while cornering vigorously. Also, the brake setup might cause you to chip a tooth on the steering wheel if you are not ready for a car with large disc brakes.

Be aware that the North American 337s were manufactured in Brazil and not Mexico, so they do not suffer the dreaded electrical window problems that Mexican Golfs/Jettas/Beetles have. That said, preventative maintenance costs can be high, since it has the 1.8T engine.

I've had absolutely no mechanical problems save for some failed coil packs (this is a know issue for this era VWs), but after replacement, they've been fine. The fit and finish of the interior is excellent, even to the point where there are absolutely no noises from the dash (VW owners will know how unusual this is), and has managed to stay almost new looking for the life of the car, even though I am not one to ever get cars detailed. The Reflex Silver paint still looks new, even though it has never been garage kept.

These are hard to find (only 1500 in North America, I believe), but if you find one, it is worth considering spending the extra money, especially if you are considering passing it over for a "normal" MK4 GTi. These were the precursors to the 2003 20th Anniversary Edition, so they are very similar, except the 20thAE comes with a sunroof, something I do not miss, since I have never owned a VW with a sunroof that does not leak.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2010

2002 Volkswagen GTI GTI 1.8T from North America


Overall excellent


Things that have gone wrong:

- Driver's side power window switch sticks.

- Check engine/traction light came on at 67,000 miles.

- Previous owner lowered car on Bilsteins; at 70,000 miles the front strut bushing is worn out (clunking noise).

- Rear brake lights finally went out at 75,000 miles.

- Driver's clip in rug has a hole, worn very easily.

- Sun roof leaks during heavy rain.

General Comments:

Honestly the GTI is a well built car aside from the above problems. I purchased the car Jan. 07' to save money on gas (Avg 25mpg vs 16mpg) from my previous gas guzzling 02' Dodge Dakota R/T & have never looked back.. sometimes!

Overall low/mid torque performance is great from the small KO3, which can achieve 60 mph in 2nd gear!

The quality leather interior is up to par & can be compared to a luxury sedan.

The exterior is by far the best to date for any current/past GTI. With 17inch five star wheels.. can't go wrong for OEM.

I recently moved & the rear folding seats helped tons.

It's great in the snow/rain, especially living in Co.

The maintenance is nothing as long as you're tool inclined.

Unfortunately I did not get the four door or else I would keep this car for a very long time. So if you're looking for room, this car is not for you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2009