I knew I wanted a GTI, no matter what! I had my heart set on a Reflex Silver Sport and found the only one in the region. I was so confident I’d love the car that I didn’t even test drive it. I just visited the dealer (80 miles away), took some photos of it in the showroom, got the paperwork rolling, and then drove it home the next day. It’s the only time I had ever bought a car this way. Ironically, it was also the smoothest buying process I’ve ever experienced, with most negotiating done via e-mail before I even arrived! The problems I encountered were minor, so small that I probably wouldn’t have noticed during a test drive anyway:
Shipping Pucks – There were points along my 100-mile drive home where the car felt REALLY firm. The next morning, I decided to inspect the front suspension after driving over a speed bump that shouldn’t have been so bone-jolting. Sure enough, I found that the dealer had failed to remove the shipping pucks from the front strut shafts, effectively locking-out the suspension. Unfortunately, this is a common problem around the country, almost an epidemic, which is why I knew to look. The ride improved dramatically once the front suspension was free to do its job. I was particularly annoyed by this because I had mentioned it before I even took possession of the car. My salesperson assured me that the pucks had been removed (not his fault that a lazy tech misled him). The dealer atoned for its “puck-up” by installing a set of OEM splash guards free of charge the following weekend. My salesperson knew I was interested in them, so it was a nice surprise when he made the offer.
Glass Defect – This was more noticeable to my passengers than from the driver’s seat. The defect was in the form of a small, but sharp distortion on the front passenger window. I couldn’t see it unless I was looking for it, but it was obvious to a passenger who happened to be looking through the glass. I almost didn’t make a fuss, but decided that a car in this price range shouldn’t have any flaws on delivery. Getting a good photograph proved impossible, so Volkswagen opted to send a representative to inspect my car in person. I drove a loaner 2015 Jetta SE while my car awaited inspection. The Jetta SE was a terrible experience after driving the GTI for a week. The VW rep quickly justified a replacement window.
Door Lighting – There’s a red LED accent stripe and a few other LEDs in the front doors. The passenger side was non-functional. I had the door diagnosed while the car was in for its glass inspection. The repair required a new interior door panel, which I had installed while the door was getting its new glass.
The repairs were flawless and the car still felt new when I left. I was glad to be out of that loaner Jetta! HAHA!