Announcing our latest project car: 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Tom
Update by Tom Suddard to the Volkswagen Golf GTI project car
Nov 16, 2022 | Volkswagen, VW, GTI, Golf, Mk. 7, Golf GTI

Sponsored by

It’s no secret that the used car market is a mess right now, and we’ll admit that the past few years have affected our purchasing decisions just like they’ve affected everybody else’s. You may have noticed our retreat towards older cars, more-involved builds, and trailering to the track. What can we say, when the world doesn’t make sense, it’s tempting to shut the garage door and focus on our projects.

But not everyone has that luxury, including those who have to do it all with one car–maybe that car lives in an apartment parking lot, maybe they have a busy life without free time for a giant project, or maybe they just want the simplicity of driving the same car to work during the week and to the track during the weekend.

Is it still possible to have a fun, trackable daily driver without paying the average new car price of $48,000? We believe the answer is yes, because depreciation does still exist on dealer lots–you just have to know where to look. 

So here’s our hypothesis: We believe the Mk. 7 Volkswagen Golf GTI presents an unsurpassed value as both a used car and a trackable street car, and we believe the rumors about reliability are overblown. With excellent driving manners, plenty of power, and a great aftermarket, there’s no reason not to daily drive one. 

True or false? To test our hypothesis, we bought one: Say hello to our newest project car. $26,500 bought us this

Announcing our latest project car, a 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Sport with 19,000 miles and a DSG transmission. And like so many other buyers, we didn’t buy it from a traditional dealership: We bought it from Carvana. In future updates we’ll dive into the details of why we chose this car, what the buying process was like, and why we crossed so many others off our list.

What’s next? Track time, of course! We’ll be at our official test track, the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park, with the car first thing Friday morning. Yes, we’re going to take our new car on track less than 48 hours after purchase. Wish us luck!

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
More like this
Comments
Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/16/22 6:35 p.m.

Go car go!  Er, dog...  No, I am not calling the car a dog.   

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/16/22 7:30 p.m.

One thing I've wondered about these cars is what you have to do to the DSG (if anything) when you increase the power. Traditional manuals get a new clutch, so what's the analogue here?

10001110101
10001110101 Reader
11/16/22 9:49 p.m.

In reply to thatsnowinnebago :

Nothing immediately required, although a trans tune will up the line pressure a bit for more holding power on the clutches as well as completely change the behavior for the better. I'll be following along as I'm ready to ditch my TDI for the same spec. 

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
11/16/22 9:51 p.m.

I'll be watching closely as I picked up a 17 Gti as a daily earlier this year. I have the 6 speed base S with the only mods being a cat back exhaust and a light weight flywheel and uprated clutch.

My future mod list is some lighter wheels, aftermarket shift linkage and if gas ever comes down a down pipe and tune.

Opti
Opti Dork
11/16/22 10:16 p.m.

I'll be following closely because I've always liked them but am too scared because I've just seen too many costly repairs with pretty much every iteration of the 2.0.

The handful of people I know with them have either had literally no problems or nothing but problems

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 UltraDork
11/16/22 11:23 p.m.

Wild. We bought our 2015 GTI manual SEL for 27k new. It has been a brilliant car. Only issue was the water pump failing (plastic and subject to a class action suit that I believe is finished). So much (carb legal) power available with a software tune. 

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
11/17/22 8:59 a.m.

Our 2017 golf alltrack dsg has been reliable but did have the water pump and t-stat housing replaced under warranty.Also on its 3rd set of rotors in 75k miles,must be a euro car thing.

 Its stock except for a neuspeed piggyback tuner,if you want to donate the IS20 when you upgrade yours that would great. :)

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/17/22 9:07 a.m.

Liked my '19 R, responded really well to tune+downpipe+intercooler.  Got rid of it before I had any issues but the water pump and clutches (MT cars) are known to be weak spots.  Bigger issue on the MT cars is crank walk, which totally lunches the motor.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
11/17/22 9:07 a.m.

In reply to thatsnowinnebago :

In theory, that's why traditional manuals are bad. :) I had one expert tell me that this DSG will hold 550 hp with just a tune. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
11/17/22 9:09 a.m.
Teh E36 M3 said:

Wild. We bought our 2015 GTI manual SEL for 27k new. It has been a brilliant car. Only issue was the water pump failing (plastic and subject to a class action suit that I believe is finished). So much (carb legal) power available with a software tune. 

Yeah, prices are still insane. I was finding cars with 80,000 miles, parking lot dings, gross interiors and minor mechanical issues for $22,000ish, and even then they would sell within 1-2 days. 

You'll need to log in to post.

Sponsored by

GRM Ad Dept

Our Preferred Partners
hUW0KW7bZ3xczcUZuaPz2vQYBIhC993vUcMGr9PATMPhH7KTUkNnZ2pnABBu3uGk