Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Josh93

So I've wanted some form of GTI/D for a long time now and it's finally getting to the point where I can get one.

Important info:

I was originally waiting and saving for a MK7 but I've decided I actually prefer the look of the MK6 and it's almost within the budget right now (budget is 4-5k off of a mk7).

So to explain my driving situation, I will be joining the military this year (April time) and i'll be ranging from 100 to 200 miles from home and be making regular trips back, I reckon between 1-2 a week (but the car may not get used a lot in the time between).

I'm trying to decide how best to go about getting my dream car with the main debate being between mk6/mk7 and also between a GTI and GTD.

I believe the mk6 will prove majorly better value, and my long trips may favour the diesel (I like to be frugal and also although I like driving fast I don't like to rev a car too hard so I do quite enjoy the mid range grunt of diesels)

Extra info (rambling):

So looking at GTD/GTI I found that mostly the GTD is cheaper to buy outright and i'm assuming will also be better to purchase with high mileage than a GTI; should I be worried about buying a post 100k gti/gtd and are there many known reliability issues with the mk6 golf in general or gti/gtd specifically?

Also I had the thought, a GTD is more likely to be motorway mileage and is less likely to have been driven hard it's whole life (just because someone with an exuberant driving style would favour the petrol)

anyway.. if anyone has any pointers or advice on anything I've said it would be greatly appreciated.

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - RobJP

They are, according to HJ himself, some of the worst built and most complained about cars ever.

The 'what's bad' section is huge. Go on, have a browse.

If you read all that, and STILL want to buy one, then I suggest a good psychiatrist. Because you're a total masochist, who like suffering for the hell of it.

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Josh93
Ok, so that's not looking good however are a lot of those not due to problems with earlier models and more specifically the smaller turbo chanted petrol engines?

Also it appears the page on the mk7 golf aren't great either.
Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - RobJP
Ok, so that's not looking good however are a lot of those not due to problems with earlier models and more specifically the smaller turbo chanted petrol engines? Also it appears the page on the mk7 golf aren't great either.

That page is the review for the Mk 6 Golf. Not for earlier versions.

Yes, some of the problems are for the smaller petrol engines. However, lots of the problems are more general, or cover other models - electronics, clutch problems on manual box cars, lots of problems on DSG automatics, lots of problems with the diesels, oil consumption problems on the larger petrol engines, the list is, frankly, terrifying.

If your mind is made up, and you want one, then get one. But just be aware they've got a bit of a reputation as money pits.

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Josh93
I'm not looking to get a silly car if I find it to be inadequate in key areas such as reliability so I wouldn't say I have my mind set. Is it worth mentioning that so am also interested in the Scirroco?

Also, is there anything you could mention with regards to any of my other queries?
Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - oldroverboy.

Go and buy yourself a nice Honda civic type R...

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Engineer Andy

Go and buy yourself a nice Honda civic type R...

Good idea - as quick, and very reliable - can't go wrong with a VTEC. I might've suggested the Mazda3 MPS, but they are quite rare (especially the mk2) and likely to have been heavily 'modded' by now as a result, of the m1s that haven't started to rust...

I personally also like the Ford Focus ST (2005-11), which if you can find a non-modded/thrashed version (difficult), then its a fine car with great pace, handling and a decent sized cabin/boot. Just make sure its had a timing belt/water pump change before the 'failure period' per each 50k miles as per the 'Good & Bad' section comments .

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - gordonbennet

Isn't Scirroco, or any other model from VW's vast range of marques, simply an equivalent Golf in a different frock.

The stinger with Mk6 Diesels is the EGR valve which is hidden down in the murky depths leading to around 5 hours of labour to change the stupid thing, VW goodwill depends not just on perfect main dealer service history but are you a dyed in the wool loyal customer, even then you might see a bill for £1200, yet joe soap whose never had one before but kicked a right fuss up might get it done for £300.

Sorry, but for me the whole VW group range of cars currently has barge pole writ large across it, you can have that car but it must have been made between certain dates and have engine number 6385932 +/- however many, check down the side of the engine under the turbo for a particular forge mark and it must have a certain code of turbo/supercharger/camshaft/oil pump, and gucci oil of the correct spec for the day of manufacture is a must or you'll be to blame.

You can have this gearbox but it must have been made in january or october and have a wet clutch for the first 15 seconds of use but not if its got 5 or 6 or is it 12 gears, i forget now but if you were serious about researching your head would spin, the whole sorry lot appears to be a minefield unless you are happy to buy/rent/lease new and get rid in three years when the warranty expires, in which case any make or model of any car supplied in this country will do fine.

yes i know thats all bit tongue in cheek.

It wasn't always like this, their 1.9 PD Diesel engined cars are among the best cars you could have bought from any maker.

Edited by gordonbennet on 06/02/2017 at 18:31

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - pint6x

Tongue in cheek or otherwise - this is spot on.

This is also why anything from the VAG stable is now no longer on my list of cars I'd consider buying.

They have messed about too much in the last decade with both diesel and petrol cars, and their reputation for paying goodwill claims when there is a clear case of cars not being fit-for-purpose is woeful.

As gordonbennet rightly says, having all the info you need in order to separate the reliable cars from the crap is nigh-on impossible without detailed knowledge of all the different gearboxes, DSG oil-change intervals, dual-charge petrol engines, diesel engines ruined after the adjustment following dieselgate, camchains breaking on the 2.0 petrol engine, injectors, dual mass flywheels, particulate filters etc.

Such a shame. I have had Skodas, VWs, Audis for many years and they were my default brand for something at a good price but of good quality.

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - SLO76
The Scirocco is based on the Golf and shares mechanicals so there's no difference reliability wise.

The MK V & VI Golf have developed a bit of a poor reputation among owners and the trade for problems however with a large well regarded VW dealer on my doorstep there are plenty of them around my neighbourhood and several friends and colleagues have owned them without problems.

Our MD's wife has a MK VI GTi with 50k on it and a friend owns a low mileage MK V 07 GTi both have been flawless aside from rust on the MK V even though it's slathered in polish regularly but the 2.0 TDi Audi TT another friend owns (which again shares running gear and floorpan with the Golf) has been a pain in the ass with DPF issues despite regular longer runs and the MK VII GTD a friend of my other half leases has also been a pain in this regard, though I did warn her that her usage wasn't suitable for a diesel.

My gaffer also has a Focus ST which is poles apart when it comes to driver enjoyment and he prefers it to the Golf which is more of a small rapid executive express than a hot hatch but the Golf is far superior on fuel, regularly breaking 40mpg on a run when the Focus (which does encourage a heavier right foot) struggles to better 30.

If it were my choice to make I'd go for a petrol MK VI GTi. It's less likely to go wrong than the diesel, is as quick as anyone could need and it's decent on go go juice. But buy only if it has a full VW or genuine specialist service history and by that I mean one that seen fresh oil every year and not one that's been on some idiotic biannual service plan. It's also not a car I'd plan on keeping into old age. If you want one buy it and offload before it becomes a liability.

Edited by SLO76 on 06/02/2017 at 18:41

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Avant

Not sure what your budget is, Josh, but it looks as if you're buying a car that's a few years old.

There are simply too many tales of woe about older diesel engines, on this forum and elsewhere, for most of us to recommend a diesel.

VW Golfs are indeed much complained about, but it's mostly the diesels and the short-lived petrol 1.4 with twin chargers. Not too many about the petrol GTI.

Remember that you can have, for less money for the same age of car, a Skoda Octavia vRS with exactly the same engine. I wanted a GTI three times, but instead had three vRS estates as we needed the extra space. No regrets. If you're after mid-range grunt, the 2.0 TSI engine is brilliant for this, at least as good as a diesel, and a lot quieter (I know - my first Octavia was a diesel).

Whatever you do, bear in mind that a performance car is that much more likely to have been driven hard, so a full service history is esential.

Edited by Avant on 06/02/2017 at 23:50

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Josh93
So you have all given me excellent advice and made lots of good points, and taken into account everything you've told/shown me and my own research I'm going to put the GTI on the back burner
Until I have the budget to consider the mk7 gti possibly next year.

The alternative suggestions are all cars I've looked into but none of them tick all the boxers for me and don't appeal to my taste which is one of the big tick boxes for me.

So my plan B was to consider the BMW route, my budget for such would be around 7k (my current car is a Zetec a 1L fiesta with 123bhp so I don't need to be looking at anything drastic (power wise) but I do want something with decent grunt and reliability and something that isn't terrible on fuel; so I was considering the 3L 325i..

I was wondering if any of you sensible and far more knowledgable people had any thoughts on this route?

I would be looking at around 08-09 and around 80-100k miles clocked.
Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - RobJP

You're going to think we've got it in for German makers here ... we haven't, I've got a 530d, and have had any number of BMWs, and others here (skidpan in particular) have had perfectly fault-free BMWs too.

325i, coil packs and injectors are probably the biggest problem. The BMW 'recommended' service interval is too long at 18-20k miles, so there can be an issue with timing chains as well - though it's more common on diesel variants.

So, check for plenty of servicing - ideally annual services. I know they look less 'sporty', but SE with the softer suspension and smaller wheels are a lot more comfortable. MSport spec with the big wheels are horribly twitchy and have a tendency to tramline. BMWs from then had ridiculously hard 'sports' suspension in MSport spec, and it really didn't work well.

Manual gearbox is far more reliable than the auto - and far better to drive as well.

Apart from that, yes, the 325i is probably the pick of the bunch. The same basic engine as the 330i/335i, but not tuned as highly and with no turbo, so less stressed, and less likely to wear.

As always, take your time to find a good one. Walk away from anything not perfect.

A list of reported problems here :

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Josh93
So I understand that the Maintinence is going to be far higher than the negligible outlay for my 14 plate fiesta, however I would expect that completely and I can live with the extra service cost etc (although if I'm entirely honest I don't have a great idea of how much it's likely to cost me in comparison.

Also with a car like this is it seen as a good idea to take it to a main dealer for servicing?

My huge advantage I have when in the market for an e90 325i is that I'm happy with 2 or 4 door, any colour, SE or Msport and virtually any spec! All I'm looking for is a good example that's likely to be reliable and keep maintinence/repair costs down and get me from a to b without fault (as breakdowns could get me in trouble with my employment). I would also consider the 330i if it seemed to make sense (I would rather the less tuned 325 though)
Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - sandy56

Suggest you make a short list of the cars you like then check out their known problems mpg etc on the Honest John site.

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - skidpan

Don't know what your budget is but consider this.

The Seat Leon SE 1.4 TSi Mk 3 (the current one based on the same MQB platform as the Mk 7 Golf.

Had one now for almost 4 years and with its 140 PS and 184 torques its got as much real world performance as you can use plus it does 45 mpg on average, almost as good as many diesels.

It goes in PX next month and I expect it to appear on an independants forcourt for about £8500 (possibly £9000). Its done under 30,000 miles and still has Seats extended warranty until June 2018.

You should be able to find one local to you to look at and drive.

Its a cracking car, so good that my new car is a Skoda Superb which is based on the same MQB platform and uses the same 1.4 TSi engine but has 150 PS (still 184 torques).

Far cheaper than any VW and mine has been 100% reliable.

And I am a big Golf fan. Had 3 in total, 2 GTI's and a TDi but they are just too expensive for what they are compared to their Seat and Skoda siblings.

Edited by skidpan on 07/02/2017 at 18:35

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - SLO76
I wouldn't touch a premium brand car on that £7k budget especially since you are looking for a bit of performance and spec. These were all expensive £30k plus cars new and have maintenance costs in line with that origional price tag if you want to keep it healthy. I could fill a page all the problems you could encounter on a ten year old 3 series even with one of the more reliable 6cyl petrols.

Best stick with mass market stuff which are cheaper to run, easier to find and you'll get a newer lower mileage car for your cash. Skidpan's suggestion of a MK III Leon 1.4 TSi is a good one if you can/don't mind upping the budget to at least £8.5k, I don't think you'll find s good one for much less. It's a cracking wee car with sensible running costs and plenty of poke. A Golf underneath but with a little Mediterranean flair and a lower price tag.

Don't write the Golf off either. Much of the trouble with them comes from the diesel models or DSG equipped cars. The 2.0 TSi is a good engine if looked after, with a great combination of performance and economy but you won't find a good MK VI GTi for £7k. Only ones I've seen below £8k are high milers or Cat D's neither of which I'd buy. The MK V suffers badly from rust around the bonnet, door bottoms, wheel arches and tailgate but the MK VI is better all round and worth digging a little deeper for. Realistically you'll need around £10k for a decent MK VI with sensible mileage and a full dealer history.

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - 777boeingman
Just to add my two pennies worth regarding GTD/GTi,

I drove a 1.8 petrol VW Passat for 17yrs and over 100,000 miles with no engine problems. Last year I purchased a 2011 GTD with 45,000 miles. After six months at 55,000 miles I had a yellow engine warning light. Took the car back to the purchasing garage (luckily 1 yr warranty) new egr valve required =£700 bill.

Will we need another in the next 50,000 miles? Who knows, but that could blow all the diesel fuel savings. If your mileage is under 15,000 per year......... I would probably go with the GTi.
Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - skidpan

Should have added that when I bought the Leon a Mk 7 Golf 1.4 TSi GT was at the top of my list. But for a car with the same mechanical spec it was £5000 more than the Leon and offered no more poke and very little in the way of extra kit. The interior was probably a little classier but after almost 4 years the Leon shows no signs of wear.

As a PX the Golf would probably be worth about £3000 more than the Leon which I think proves there is nothing special about VW residuals these days. 40% for the leon and 43% for the Golf.

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Josh93
My budget may increase to around 8-9 however, do you or think an unstressed 3L e90 could be reliable if bought as a high mileage car?
Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - SLO76
My budget may increase to around 8-9 however, do you or think an unstressed 3L e90 could be reliable if bought as a high mileage car?

£8-£10k is enough to buy a well cared for E90 with 60-80k with a full BMW history and it although the 3 series doesn't have the best of reputations reliability wise the bulk of the major issues come from the 4cyl 2.0 petrol and the diesels which can be total money pits. You will however encounter the same problems I had with an earlier E46 I owned for a few years. It seemed to be very heavy on suspension components. Worn bushes and broken springs despite the car only having 47k when I got fed up and flogged it. Just bear in mind the higher servicing costs at main dealers and specialists you'll need to accept if you want to keep the thing healthy and resellable. Don't buy it if you intend on running it on a shoestring at dodgy Joe's backstreet garage or your local fast fit branch. Buy the best car you can aford up front and buy only with that full main dealer or specialist history with proof of annual oil changes. Look out for faked histories, call the dealer who's stamp is in the book to verify they've seen it or they even exist and I would personally want to buy from a larger dealer who'd taken it as a part ex instead of a backstreet fly guy who's bought a tatty car at auction and patched it up. Look for longterm ownership 1-3 owners at the most and avoid any cars that have only been owned by the current/last keeper for less than 2yrs. People get rid of troublesome cars quickly.

Edited by SLO76 on 09/02/2017 at 13:14

Golf GTD/GTI - Golf GTD/GTI MK6 indecision - Josh93
That's a lot of great advice there! Yes I would be looking for one word a full BMW service history, but how would I find out if it's been serviced by a specialist and who am I to judge that and the same for oil changes, would most people not just do that themselves(although actually it would have proof in the service records I assume)?

I plan to maintain it properly and also continue to leave it for main dealers to service (while buying it with main dealer history too).

One question I have is with regards to all maintinence and ownership costs (aside from insurance, tax and petrol), how much would you estimate I should put aside for the first year of ownership?

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