. . . 2 years since I began posting about my newly purchased 2016 VW GTI. True, I don’t post as frequently as some might about, say, a Tercel wagon or unnecessary car shopping, so here is a summary of my experience, with flashbacks to previous posts.
My mileage accumulation slowed down a bit and in the 2 years I have now put a total of 31,000 miles on it. I’ve been making a point of using my wife’s often neglected car if she is traveling or when we take trips together, although when it is hot out she likes to take the GTI since it has HVAC vents for the rear seat because our spoiled pup must be properly comfortable. Although both my wife and the dog dislike me taking corners quickly.
Performance and Modification
I did end up getting involved with autocross about 9 months after purchase, and ran as a novice and then in the rookie class in 2017. I have had a lot of fun with the car doing that and met a lot of good people. The GTI and autocross combined to make me more interested in doing my own work on my car for the first time in a long time.
In January 2018 I replaced the rear sway bar and endlinks to help improve the autocross performance, after a bit of research. The endlinks have been a point of frustration that is unrelated to the car. (At full stiff setting, the endlinks were bent over so much the bushing deteriorated and the manufacturer sent me new ones under warranty. Then the nuts for the endlink attachment to the sway bar keep backing off, and even at the lighter setting one of the bushings is weeping a bit).
Otherwise, I have avoided modification in order to keep in the Street class in autocross, and it has plenty of power, handling ability, and off-the-line acceleration to keep me happy.
I have managed to average just below 30 miles per gallon, which is great, especially because that includes some tanks where I got around 20 MPG due to autocross or other “spirited” driving.
It has worked well for hauling many bulky items - more functional as a truck-substitute than many capable autocross cars. And the interior design is well-thought out, right down to the grocery bag hooks in the trunk.
Fun fact: My Sirius XM satellite radio still was never turned off after the trial phase even though I have never signed up!
I even have gotten others excited about owning a GTI.
It does get creaky when temperatures are above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The sunroof rattle that is a common problem on these is quite quiet, but I have a B-pillar rattle that most wouldn’t notice but which I find irritating. And my window seals are very creaky in the warm weather, although this may be due to jacking it up two times on both sides every few weeks to swap wheels for autocross, possibly stressing the window frames juuuust a tiny bit.
I have, throughout the years, played the mental game of: If my current car were parked on the street and somehow was totalled (without anyone getting hurt, of course), what would I replace it with? My answer right now is that I would almost certainly get another GTI, which I think says a lot. It isn’t common that I want the same car after 2 years of ownership.
Although I wouldn’t mind a V8 toy to have in addition.