2012 Volkswagen GTI 2.0 turbo from North America


Awesome all round car


My blue tooth module died after 6 months. The dealership covered it under warranty with no hassle whatsoever.

Why it did not gets 10s (and yes these are obvious and clearly known before I got the car).

Performance: I test drove a Mazda Speed3, which was an absolute cannon compared to the GTI.

Comfort: I find the interior quite comfortable. Some of my bigger friends find the front seats restrictive (narrow), but others who are the same size don't have a problem. It's also very bumpy compared to my old Civic - but it has to be for performance reasons.

Costs: Premium fuel and synthetic oil - still rather cheap (~$85/ oil change at the dealer - I plan on self maintenance or finding a different mechanic after the warranty is done).

General Comments:

This car is absolutely fantastic. I average ~8.5L/100km (mostly city driving), and it has the right amount of kick for passing on the highway or just putting a smile on your face.

A stage 1 ECU upgrade boosts the power by 33% and costs about $600 (I haven't done it but I plan to), I have also been told it improves fuel economy for regular driving.

There are quite a few easy modifications you can make that only kick in for top level performance, while not changing the car for normal driving.

All in all, it is a great car for daily driving that has a big fun factor - and lots of utility. It's no wonder that it is usually rated among the top hot-hatch/sport compacts available.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2013

16th Feb 2013, 14:37

"It's also very bumpy compared to my old Civic - but it has to be for performance reasons"

Most sporty grade cars use a stiffer suspension to reduce weight transfer and make the car feel "sporty"; this does enhance handling on a racing circuit and other flat roads, but does nothing for day-to-day driving.

As for the ECU upgrade, if you want better gas mileage, I highly suggest to go easier on the gas pedal. Increasing boost would increase wear and tear on your engine, and if anything decrease gas mileage, but it would improve power.

2012 Volkswagen GTI 4-door 2.0L TSI turbo from North America


Fast, frugal, great handling - mini Audi


Steering wheel buttons for MFI and audio stopped working. Subsequent "reboot" of the car corrected the problem without going to the dealer.

General Comments:

This car has nice, conservative styling, while still being sporty in GTI trim.

It has a 2.0L engine that is thoroughly modern (DOHC, 16V, intake VVT, direct-injection, turbo, drive-by-wire throttle, etc) but is durable with VW's iron block and lower maintenance than previous FSI engines, as it comes with timing chains rather than belts. The engine is a gem, being very willing to rev high and fast; it pulls hard and sounds good doing it. The VW Soundaktor noise generator is not to my liking, so I disconnected it. The 6-speed manual is much better than the previous 2010 VW Jetta 5-speed I had.

The car looks great on 40-series 18" tires riding on the Detroit rims. However, I managed to curb both front rims in 6 month's time.

The car has great room in the front, both for head and leg - I am 6'5" and have no trouble with space. The back seats are comfortable, but space is tighter. The seats have a great look with the plaid cloth, but have for some reason soften up after they are 'broken in.' This makes them less comfortable on long drives. However, the interior is very conservative and nice - the interior basically feels like an Audi interior, with great materials and exceptional fit / finish. Lots of luxury features, too. MFI is great, very complete in all its function.

One complaint is the lack of an auto-dimming mirror. Dealer oil changes (outside of the 3 free ones) are fairly expensive at $75 per for only 4.9qts.

This car gets good fuel economy - its possible to average 40 MPG on a 55-mph highway if you take it easy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2012

2012 Volkswagen GTI 2.0 TSI from North America


Awesome DD for SCCA wannabe


Water pump noise. A common fault. Doesn't fail, just noise, but so common, a new style pump is hard to get. Mine stopped making a noise, but still going to get it replaced on warranty. The part is ordered.

General Comments:

Great balance of sport and comfort. Far more refined than its rivals. More useful and comfortable than a Cooper S, but not quite as fun.

Not too powerful for the road like previous cars I've owned. Balanced and controlled well. Does not under steer without significant power application. Doesn't over steer without quick off the throttle in hard cornering. Don't try to left foot brake with TCS on. It gets ornery.

Seat 4 adults comfortably with the front seats all the way back... As long as the seats are at the highest position.

Shifter could be considerably more sporty; my wife's Scion has a shorter throw.

Fun at the weekend autocross, and a reasonable family car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th June, 2012