2002 Volkswagen GTI 1.8 turbo from North America


A superb death trap


Driver's side seat frame broke at 3000 miles.

Transmission started acting up around 3000 miles. Impossible to quick shift, hard to get into 1st, 2nd, 3rd is crunchy. Sometimes hard to get in reverse. Suspecting shot synchronizers and maybe 1st gear. Dealer tried adjusting the shift cables, but no luck.

Turbo sometimes cuts out in 1st around 3000 rpm. Car feels sluggish even with the turbo on, not the same feel as when I first bought it.

Engine misses at idle.

Exhaust makes popping noises in the morning when cold. Supposedly OK (according to one technician) and worse in VR6 models.

Steering column clicks if at a stop sign and you jiggle the wheel a little. Took in for service, replaced under wheel shelf (whatever that is) and tightened something. Problem subsided for 2 days... it's back.

General Comments:

Superb interior, great power (when it works), good handling. Reliability however is the worst in the market. Stay clear of this company, the cars are no longer German.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th April, 2003

25th Oct 2007, 08:02

The popping noise you are hearing is called "turbo pop". This is not bad at all! I love my GTI and I believe that you guys are finding things to pick at. I mean come on "turbo pop"??? I'm 17 and I can figure that out myself.

2002 Volkswagen GTI 1.8 turbo from North America


This Car Should Only have One Color - Yellow


The Car alarm mysteriously goes off.

The Drivers side door is creaky.

Two ignition coils have failed.

The paint is chipping on tailgate handle.

The Battery Exploded and was replaced by the dealer.

General Comments:

Don't buy this overpriced car. THe Build quality is not so good, Fun to drive, but 6 times in the shop in less than a year with only 10,000 miles on it?

This is pathetic. Get something, get anything. But don't get a VW!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th April, 2003

16th Dec 2006, 21:44

I agree VW are very unreliable. I know some1 who work at a VW dealership and he has a lot of problems with customers, well mostly because VW does not care about its consumer. Overall I am sick of the excuses. If it has problem its trash.

2002 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 1.8L turbo from North America


You'll get to know your mechanic very well!


The lights on the stereo died.

The stereo lost most of it's volume, I took it to the dealer, and they didn't fix it, said it was a fuse. I took it back, and they replaced it.

The right passenger window broke in the open position. I had to leave it at the dealer for 3 weeks to get it fixed. The rental car supplied to me was crummy.

They refused to fix the left driver window, until it fails the same way the right one did. Hopefully it doesn't fail during winter, or during a long trip. The window is a recall by the way.

The cup holder got stuck. They replaced it.

The trim piece beneath the radio fell off. They replaced it.

The temperature gauge comes on everyday the first time I start the car. The gauge indicates that either the coolant fluid is low, or the car is overheating. Neither is the case. The dealer can't fix it.

The windshield wiper fluid low indicator doesn't come on, even when the fluid runs out. I suspect some idiot at the dealer switched the temperature gauge and the windshield wiper indicator wires. They both started acting up after I took the car in for service. (when they replaced the radio).

General Comments:

The car drives great.

Has lots of room.

Has way too many problems.

Will never buy a Volkswagen product again.

My roommate has a 1.8T Jetta and has many more problems than I do. She has to get towed every couple weeks. Her car is almost off warranty, and I suggested she sell it, and take the loss.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th February, 2003

6th May 2003, 11:29

The person who wrote this entry sounds like they didn't research their car before they bought it because a lot of VW production is in Mexico and Brazil, those ones have a lot of problems with them, but, if you get one that was made in Germany then you will have a wonderful car. this is why you need to always check out were the car was made before you dump all that money into it. It sounds like this person had a lot more problems with the dealer than the car. always always check were it was assemble, in order to drive a true German ride.