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irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
2/24/19 7:35 p.m.
rocketrich1 said:

irish44j, You seem a little underwhelmed with your GTI so I want to be your counterpoint a little if I may.  At just under 70,000 miles since I bought it new, I'm quite happy with my 2015 GTI w/PP and lighting package that I use as a daily driver. Only problem has been a failed a/c compressor that was replaced under warranty during the first or second year and its been trouble free since then. For the record, I don't skip on maintenance. The headlights are really great and turn a bit with the steering wheel making driving at night very nice.  The brakes on this car are EXCELLENT (with stock rotors larger in diameter than those on the 2018 Porsche Cayman S!!!!) and things even got better once I replaced the very dusty stock pagid pads with some posiquiet ceramics from Tire Rack.  I went to NGP and has them install the lowest torque, 91 Octane APR tune on this car once the warranty ran out. The clutch continues to hold just fine.  I've noticed a very slight drop in mpg from its pre-chipped days, but a monster increase in power - this thing is now 'officially' fast in my book. Full boost on a cold day is very exciting!  I'm still getting ~33 mpg or so depending upon weather, with better mileage in the summer than the winter.  I think for the price, this GTI is a performance bargain. And yes, I hauled 10 tires in it at once time, so that hatchback is massively practical. I disabled the soundaktor early on and it actually a rather quiet car to drive - that's nice. After all of this, its the SUV in my stable, LOL! Now that VW has a 72 month warranty, I think a new GTI is a solid performance value.  No sunroof for me thank you. This car is a long term keeper!

Oh I think you have me wrong - I am not underwhelmed by any "actual" aspect of the GTI. It's really good at everything. I have literally zero complaints about how it goes about doing any task I ask of it - great brakes, great suspension, LSD works well, great interior. Ok, the noises it makes still suck. I agree with everything you say about it.

My issue is just its lack of any real character. But again, I came from a WRX with exhaust, lots of power, and plenty of ....er....character (don't we usually describe "character" in cars as things that are actually flaws or quirks?). Again, the GTI is so competent, it doesn't really have any quirks that one coudl describe as "character" I guess, lol.

 

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
2/24/19 8:13 p.m.

One of the few mods I'm considering doing is the factory GTI Clubsport S rear muffler from Europe. It's an "OE+" type upgrade, it's supposed to flow better and add some nice character to the exhaust note while still being a VW factory piece.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fcx2CkACGOo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1GXYsZaoVA

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/24/19 9:46 p.m.

I'm over 8000 miles on this car and nothing exciting to report. It continues to return around 30mpg in mixed commuting driving. Today it got its first oil change (recommended ever 10k miles by VW). A few thoughts:

1. It's somewhat annoying to have to buy "VW-certified oil" (aka "European formula"). Not that it's hard to find (Castrol Edge at Walmart), just kind of funny.

2. This engine, for those not familiar, has a top-mounted filter housing, that uses a paper filter insert (with a re-usable cover). It drains nicely, no mess.

3. Was surprised to see a plastic oil pan, with a plastic drain plug. Especially with pretty much zero underbody protection for them other than the front subframe. Not that this car is low, but I am mildly more nervous about rough roads now, which i wasn't before. Apparently its recommended to replace the drain plug as well (it has an o-ring) at every oil change, which is also kind of silly. I just reused it. 

Otherwise, oil change piece of cake. No interesting news on the car. It continues to be very good at everything, and continues to be relatively uninteresting to drive except the rare time I get into some good forest roads, where it excels. 

MTechnically
MTechnically New Reader
3/24/19 11:38 p.m.
irish44j said:

3. Was surprised to see a plastic oil pan, with a plastic drain plug. Especially with pretty much zero underbody protection for them other than the front subframe. Not that this car is low, but I am mildly more nervous about rough roads now, which i wasn't before. Apparently its recommended to replace the drain plug as well (it has an o-ring) at every oil change, which is also kind of silly. I just reused it. 

Otherwise, oil change piece of cake. No interesting news on the car. It continues to be very good at everything, and continues to be relatively uninteresting to drive except the rare time I get into some good forest roads, where it excels. 

Plastic pan is to save weight and some cost. Though I think most owners would have forgone the savings for a little more protection. There are aftermarket options out there for metal pans if you are overly worried about it. Keep an eye on the carbon build up as it's still an issue for these cars. 

The rest of your review mirrors the experience I had with my MY17 GTI SE. The car was actually too refined for my tastes. I only found it fun to drive when hammering it, and I could hardly ever do that in normal use. After 2 years and 42K miles, I just found myself a bit bored with it. Hopefully you'll find a way to keep the spark alive, because they really are excellent jack of all trades cars.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/25/19 5:17 p.m.
MTechnically said:
irish44j said:

3. Was surprised to see a plastic oil pan, with a plastic drain plug. Especially with pretty much zero underbody protection for them other than the front subframe. Not that this car is low, but I am mildly more nervous about rough roads now, which i wasn't before. Apparently its recommended to replace the drain plug as well (it has an o-ring) at every oil change, which is also kind of silly. I just reused it. 

Otherwise, oil change piece of cake. No interesting news on the car. It continues to be very good at everything, and continues to be relatively uninteresting to drive except the rare time I get into some good forest roads, where it excels. 

Plastic pan is to save weight and some cost. Though I think most owners would have forgone the savings for a little more protection. There are aftermarket options out there for metal pans if you are overly worried about it. Keep an eye on the carbon build up as it's still an issue for these cars. 

The rest of your review mirrors the experience I had with my MY17 GTI SE. The car was actually too refined for my tastes. I only found it fun to drive when hammering it, and I could hardly ever do that in normal use. After 2 years and 42K miles, I just found myself a bit bored with it. Hopefully you'll find a way to keep the spark alive, because they really are excellent jack of all trades cars.

yeah, figured as much. Everything is about cost these days. But I guess that's why you can get a car like the GTI for $25k out the door with LSD, LED lights, good power, great brakes, etc. ....

Also thought it was funny you have to take the engine cover off to access the oil fill cap.

Compulsory oil change picture.

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
3/30/19 9:52 a.m.

Out of curiosity, did you test drive a DSG? Or anyone else following this thread?

If so, how was it?

 

MTechnically
MTechnically New Reader
3/30/19 10:28 a.m.

In reply to Slippery :

My '17 GTI SE was a DSG car. There are tunes out there for them, but in stock form the logic leaves a little something to be desired. In Drive mode you'll find the car upshifting very early. Unless you're giving it a decent amount of pedal it's possible to be in 6th at 38MPH. In Sport mode wasn't my cup of tea either. It holds gears noticably longer and is more sensitive to downshifting under braking, but it's pretty clumsy at low speeds. Whenever I wanted to do spirited driving I would push the lever over for manual mode and use the paddles. Car won't let you overrev, but it will hold gears all the way to redline.

Overall, Drive setting is fine for commuting. People do rave about the TCU tunes, but I was happy enough just using the paddles when I wanted to push the car.

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
3/30/19 11:41 a.m.

In reply to MTechnically :

Interesting.  You'd think that the DSG in the VW and Audi's would basically be the Porsche PDK but apparently it isn't.  I'm debating getting a DSG Golf R next but that behavior would annoy me.  I don't want to tune it as it'll have a 6 year/72k mile warranty that I'd want to leave intact.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/30/19 11:57 a.m.
Slippery said:

Out of curiosity, did you test drive a DSG? Or anyone else following this thread?

If so, how was it?

 

Not me. In fact, one of the primary reasons I even considered the GTI in the first place is its one of the few affordable "sporty" cars out there that still comes with three pedals. I personally had no interest in DSG and didn't even test one. It won't be too much longer until you just can't find any cars with a true manual, so I'll keep buying them while I can!

Side note: This is, hands-down, the best shift feel and throw of any stock vehicle I've ever driven. Smooth enough to row the gears with one finger if you want to, but with enough notch definition that you can still feel it. My only complaint has been that the car is so smooth and quiet, sometimes I think I'm in 6th when I'm still in 4th :)

Tk8398
Tk8398 Reader
3/30/19 12:04 p.m.

VW warranty is still horrible, I know someone who has a 2015 Golf TDI they bought after the emissions fix, and they recently had the sunroof seal fail and noisy control arm bushings, and it took over a month of fighting the dealer and VW of America (and them lying about what was covered "even though it says so on the warranty you signed, the answer is no, and no, you can't talk to my supervisor, they would tell you the same thing", etc), and the car still wasn't fixed property.  It took a lemon law claim to get them to honor the written warranty. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/30/19 12:14 p.m.
Tk8398 said:

VW warranty is still horrible, I know someone who has a 2015 Golf TDI they bought after the emissions fix, and they recently had the sunroof seal fail and noisy control arm bushings, and it took over a month of fighting the dealer and VW of America (and them lying about what was covered "even though it says so on the warranty you signed, the answer is no, and no, you can't talk to my supervisor, they would tell you the same thing", etc), and the car still wasn't fixed property.  It took a lemon law claim to get them to honor the written warranty. 

I"d submit that most warranty issues are more related to the individual dealer. I've had terrible warranty experiences, and very good ones, and it seems less brand-specific than dealer-specific. 

Hell, I took this car back after a week and said "the wipers are streaky" (it had been on the lot for 6 months before I bought it) and the dealer was basically like "ok, give us 5 minutes and we'll put some new ones on." no problem.IDk, i'll worry about it if/when I have to worry about it. 

MTechnically
MTechnically New Reader
3/30/19 12:22 p.m.
irish44j said:
Slippery said:

Out of curiosity, did you test drive a DSG? Or anyone else following this thread?

If so, how was it?

 

Not me. In fact, one of the primary reasons I even considered the GTI in the first place is its one of the few affordable "sporty" cars out there that still comes with three pedals. I personally had no interest in DSG and didn't even test one. It won't be too much longer until you just can't find any cars with a true manual, so I'll keep buying them while I can!

Side note: This is, hands-down, the best shift feel and throw of any stock vehicle I've ever driven. Smooth enough to row the gears with one finger if you want to, but with enough notch definition that you can still feel it. My only complaint has been that the car is so smooth and quiet, sometimes I think I'm in 6th when I'm still in 4th :)

Interesting. I test drove a '17 Golf R and hated the feel of the shifter and clutch. Part of the reason I didn't feel bad about going for the DSG. That and my 80 mile commute.

MTechnically
MTechnically New Reader
3/30/19 12:26 p.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to MTechnically :

Interesting.  You'd think that the DSG in the VW and Audi's would basically be the Porsche PDK but apparently it isn't.  I'm debating getting a DSG Golf R next but that behavior would annoy me.  I don't want to tune it as it'll have a 6 year/72k mile warranty that I'd want to leave intact.

Don't let the VAG association fool you, it's definitely not a PDK. Though if I was going to get the Golf R I would still recommend the DSG over the stick. I wasn't a fan of the feel of the shifter or the clutch and people have had issues killing the clutches on those cars. Especially if any tuning is done. I'd also recommend the GTI over the R unless you really really want the R. Just not enough of a difference between the two to justify the massive price difference.

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
3/30/19 4:35 p.m.

I've read about the bad clutches on the R's, failing with very low mileage, even on stock cars.  Mostly I'd get the DSG as it'll be my DD and traffic is getting worse here.  Plus my wife can't drive a manual and this would give us another car she could drive in the garage.

I live in Colorado and ski frequently.  Having the awd is a massive plus for me, additionally it makes ~75 more hp over the GTI.  I agree the value doesn't quite seem to be there, especially when you can get a really nicely equipped GTi for under $26k.  The R is a full $14k more, for essentially a factory tune and AWD.

I'm hoping VW does more to differentiate the R from the GTi in the Mk8, as I'm in the market in 2021.

einy
einy HalfDork
3/30/19 5:28 p.m.
irish44j said

3. Was surprised to see a plastic oil pan, with a plastic drain plug. Especially with pretty much zero underbody protection for them other than the front subframe. Not that this car is low, but I am mildly more nervous about rough roads now, which i wasn't before. Apparently its recommended to replace the drain plug as well (it has an o-ring) at every oil change, which is also kind of silly. I just reused it.

FCP Euro has a factory “last gen” steel oil pan replacement kit.  I believe it is under $100, and based on them losing the plastic pan on their current gen GTI just driving down the highway (posted on their Mk VII GTI blog), I’d make the swap if mine had the plastic pan on it.  

Regarding the drain plug, if it is the newer style with a removable crush washer, just replace that washer every oil change.  If it is back to the older style with the captive washer, suck it up and replace both.  I tried to reuse the older style, and did not have good luck at all getting that captive washer to re-seal.  Fortunately, I found the newer style from FCP last time I stocked up on oil filters.

Over time, the double rubber seals around the doors will probably start to squeak over bumps.  I tried using spray silicone but quieting effects were short lived.  Have had much better results using Honda’s Shin Etsu silicone grease, available at any Honda dealer.  It is stupid expensive ... about $20 for a tube, but that tube lasts a long time.  And your doors will be quiet.  Which is nice.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
3/30/19 5:48 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

The one-use drain plug doesn't surprise me. When I first starting buying oil change kits for my 2003 TDI they came with a new drain plug - due to the captured crush washer. Later kits don't. Just a new crush washer that is a hair larger to fit over the threads (after you cut off the old washer). 

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
3/30/19 6:52 p.m.

Thanks for the DSG input. 

I have been considering a manual GTI since I have seen this thread. For the past two weeks I have been driving my mom’s 2017 Jetta and its a really nice place to spend time in. 

The Jetta’s auto is just like any other auto, but it was eye opening how much easier my 45’ commute became. I daily either an e30 or an e46 SMG, and I thought maybe the DSG is a good option since I already deal with what is considered the clunkiest of semi autos without a problem. 

I spent a few weeks driving an Audi TT a while ago, I guess the DSG in the GTI would be similar?

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/30/19 7:17 p.m.
einy said:
irish44j said

3. Was surprised to see a plastic oil pan, with a plastic drain plug. Especially with pretty much zero underbody protection for them other than the front subframe. Not that this car is low, but I am mildly more nervous about rough roads now, which i wasn't before. Apparently its recommended to replace the drain plug as well (it has an o-ring) at every oil change, which is also kind of silly. I just reused it.

FCP Euro has a factory “last gen” steel oil pan replacement kit.  I believe it is under $100, and based on them losing the plastic pan on their current gen GTI just driving down the highway (posted on their Mk VII GTI blog), I’d make the swap if mine had the plastic pan on it.  

Regarding the drain plug, if it is the newer style with a removable crush washer, just replace that washer every oil change.  If it is back to the older style with the captive washer, suck it up and replace both.  I tried to reuse the older style, and did not have good luck at all getting that captive washer to re-seal.  Fortunately, I found the newer style from FCP last time I stocked up on oil filters.

Over time, the double rubber seals around the doors will probably start to squeak over bumps.  I tried using spray silicone but quieting effects were short lived.  Have had much better results using Honda’s Shin Etsu silicone grease, available at any Honda dealer.  It is stupid expensive ... about $20 for a tube, but that tube lasts a long time.  And your doors will be quiet.  Which is nice.

the oil drain plug actually doesn't have a crush washer at all - it has a rubber o-ring!

I like the idea of a metal oil pan, but seems like it's something that would cause issues if God forbid I have some kind of engine issues under warranty. Perhaps I'll just fab up a skidplate instead.

Interesting about the seals. WRXs are known to have the same issue. I got some funky fancy silicone spray for that too, not sure if it fixed it though - the WRX was always too loud and had plenty of other rattles anyhow lol..

MTechnically
MTechnically New Reader
3/30/19 7:23 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

What generation TT? First gens have DSG only in the 3.2 Quattro's. Second gens have S-tronic, same for the third gen, which is the DSG from the equivalent Golf. Programming might be different, but otherwise they should be pretty similar.

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
3/30/19 8:02 p.m.

In reply to MTechnically :

Not sure what gen. It was a 2015, here is a pic:

MTechnically
MTechnically New Reader
3/30/19 8:15 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

That's a third gen. Essentially the same underpinnings as the MK7 GTI discussed here. The base TT has a little more output than the power pack equipped GTI's (230hp/270tq). The TTS has a bit of a power bump from there. Honestly, I don't know much more about those cars, bit it's MQB so I'm sure it's a tune and a bigger rear sway bar from being a fun little daily.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
3/30/19 8:21 p.m.

In my pursuit of a new car I'm going to check out both a 6spd and a DSG Rabbit edition GTI tomorrow. I need something that can swallow miles while also being sporty and space. We'll see if the GTI can meet those needs in a small test drive. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
3/30/19 8:34 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

make sure you drive SE or Autobahn models - they have the LSD.(does the Rabbit edition?)

MTechnically
MTechnically New Reader
3/30/19 8:45 p.m.
irish44j said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

make sure you drive SE or Autobahn models - they have the LSD.(does the Rabbit edition?)

Rabbit Edition is equipped with the VAQ e-diff.

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
3/30/19 8:56 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:

In my pursuit of a new car I'm going to check out both a 6spd and a DSG Rabbit edition GTI tomorrow. I need something that can swallow miles while also being sporty and space. We'll see if the GTI can meet those needs in a small test drive. 

Please report back your thoughts on both transmissions!

The DSG Audi was not bad, but was not amazing either. 

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