Alot Staff Auto Review: 2016 Volkswagen GTI S

Unlike magazines where cars are purchased or provided for the staff, our staff saves up money, shops carefully, and makes decisions that we're invested in - just like you do. When someone at Alot buys a new car, we check in with them about how it's going, what drove their decisions, and how happy they are with their purchase. Then we keep checking in, over time, to see how well the car has aged for them.

The Car

2016 Volkswagen GTI S

The Reviewer

Phil Basinger, QA Manager

Why did you buy the car?

When the company moved 37 miles away, I needed a dependable commuter car instead of driving my 18 year old pick-up to work. The GTI had the good gas mileage, but also some pep. With four doors, I could use it as the family car if needed.

What did you pay? 

MSRP $ 27,750 Purchase price $25,621

Any major options or upgrades?

Lighting package

Current Miles Driven/Time Owned?

10,000 miles / 8 months

What gas mileage are you getting?

EPA Estimate: City 25 MPG/Hwy 34 MPG
Actual Mileage: City 27 MPG/Hwy 36 MPG

How Do You Use the Car? 

I use the GTI nearly exclusively for commuting 75 miles round trip during the work week. I generally use my old pick-up on the weekend.

Any problems so far?

I had a wind leak around the driver side door seal. This was fixed under warranty, but I had to leave the car at the dealer for five days. VW gave me a new courtesy car to drive while they had my car, however.

What do you like about the car?

This is the perfect commuter car - great visibility all around, with four doors and decent back seat room if you are a car pool member. The gas mileage is good, and it runs on regular. The power is surprising despite the mileage. It is quiet inside. With the high roof and the back seat down, this hatchback is almost a station wagon. The bottom of the line S model comes with a load of standard features. The lighting package gives you headlights that turn with the steering wheel. The GTi works with the Android Auto and AppleCarPlay apps. Since I have a Samsung Galaxy 7 phone, I have only tried it with Android Auto. This is a lot of car for the money.

What don’t you like?

The bumper top gets scratched easily when you load the back hatch. You can buy an optional skid plate at the VW dealer, but it does not come standard. The inside of the windshield fogs up easily in the rain. Although the S model is loaded, if you want other options like high tech driver aides, leather, and navigation, the price really goes up and the price is way outside a commuter car price. The lighting package was an expensive 1K option which I decided was worth it.

If you could go back and do it over knowing what you know now, how likely would you be to buy the car again?

Without a doubt I would buy it again.

Last Updated: December 07, 2016