Last post on Oct 23, 2013 at 9:08 PM
You are in the Volkswagen GTI
What is this discussion about?
Volkswagen GTI, Coupe, Hatchback
#626 of 1617 A new member of the family
Aug 30, 2002 (7:31 am)
I just became the owner of a 2003 VW GTI 1.8 Turbo and I absolutely love it! The new body stlye looks great, the 17 inch alloys look awesome for stock rims, the car handles like my buddie's $50K M3, and the 4 cylinder engine has so much power and torque I would swear that VW made a mistake and accidentally gave me a VR6 engine !! .
I got the luxury package so the leather inside is really comfortable, the sounds system rocks and the car itself has much more room on the inside that it looks from the outside.
This is the first VW I have ever owned (been a BMW guy before) and I'm glad to I bought one now. I can honestly say this is the most fun I have had driving a car and with so many aftermarket options for this car, the fun is just beginning !!
I'm happy to be a part VW family!
Sep 02, 2002 (6:56 am)
I've had my 2002 GTI for almost a year - I still can't wipe the ear to ear grin off my face when I drive it. I've done a lot of aftermarket tweaks to it, it's at another level now. I terrorize my friends 2001 BMW 330 and 2000 M Coupe. I don't beat them but I can totally keep up. My GTI is slightly faster than the 330.
My 1.8t puts out about 240 HP and 235 Lb Ft of torque. Engine mods were simple and cost only about $1k to get this type of performance:
K&N air filter in the factory air box - replaces stock filter - this filter is cleanable and lasts the life of the car.
APR ECU upgrade - (www.goapr.com) by far the best chip tuner on the planet. All the attributes of a stock GTI - minimal turbo lag, etc - with a LOT more power.
Neuspeed: (www.Neuspeed.com) (www.greedspeed.com) Turbo air intake - increases airflow into the turbo by 70%, Downpipe - ditto for after the turbo, TurboXS diverter valve. Eurosport exhaust - reduced back pressure, nice mellow deep tone, not loud at all, noticable power increase.
You get a lot of benefit from allowing the turbo to breath better, increased flow in and out of the turbo has significant gains plus it really enhances the reprogrammed ECU.
Suspension: Neuspeed racing springs, upper front stress bar and 25mm rear sway bar, Bilstein shocks - handles like a go cart, no sway, very, very tight. I have the factory 17" wheels with Michelin Pilot Sports.
It's amazing what you can do with the GTI in the aftermarket.
#628 of 1617 rickrover
Sep 04, 2002 (8:58 am)
sounds sweeeeet!!! what happens to warranty with all of those mods? i am buying a silverstone grey GTI as soon as i find one,and would love to make some upgrades. i was thinking suspension first, power second. a little concerned with warranty since VW salesman told me they are cracking down on the chip tuned cars. is he blowing smoke up my a--? BTW, can anyone post a pic of the new 17's? also, how much did your suspension upgrade cost?
#629 of 1617 mpg5 Warranty with mods
Sep 04, 2002 (12:56 pm)
It really depends on the dealer -some are chip friendly and some aren't. The APR chip has a stock mode that you can switch to when you take it in. I can switch between chipped and stock mode using the cruise control button. I switch to stock when I take mine in even though my dealer has no issues with chipped cars - I don't want the service guys taking it for joyrides. APR is the only company with this feature- www.goapr.com.
As far as suspension goes you really don't have anything to worry about. My aftermarket suspension parts are warrantied for the life of the car - much better than factory warranty. Same goes for my exhaust system - lifetime warranty. My suspension mods cost a little over $1,000.
Silverstone is the tightest color - I would have gotten that color if it was available in 2002 - I have Reflex Silver (along with 1,000,000 other GTI's).
For Neuspeed products go to www.greedspeed.com - excellent prices and service.
#630 of 1617 silverstone grey
Sep 05, 2002 (8:51 pm)
Liked that color too, ended up with reflex silver w/ gray leather. Love my Gti as well. No real mods yet. High flow ITG filter, dieselgeek race short shifter, sunglass mod, and crystal clear bumper lights. Have fun with your 2003 Gti!
#631 of 1617 rickrover
Sep 06, 2002 (4:36 am)
thanks, i looked for a silver 2002 too late. tried to take advantage of the low finance rates, but i was shutout. it's for the better, though, as i really like the grey, and wife doesn't like silver (not that that would have stopped me though . didn't know you could switch between modes with APR chip (good post). my friend has a 2000 passat tuned by them and he kept his old stock chip to change them when bringing car in to dealer. any pics of the new 17's yet???
Sep 06, 2002 (7:20 pm)
Haven't seen the new 17" wheels, I have seen 2003 Jetta GLI's with the same 17's my 2002 GTI has.
My dealer really doesn't care if my car is chipped. If something went wrong they would have to prove that the chip caused it which is hard to do (according to them). Some dealers are totally anal about chipping. The 1.8t is overengineered in typical German fashion. It can take up to 300 HP without any internal modifications. I know a lot of people with 1.8t's with various mods and no one I know has had an engine failure of any kind.
The APR ECU upgrade is undetectable to the VW dealers diagnostic tool and it can't be overwritten. The only way a service tech would know it's chipped would be to drive it - very, very noticable. To put my GTI back to stock mode all I have to do is turn the ignition to the on position, turn on the cruise control, (with the ignition in on position the engine light is on)push and hold the cruise set button until the engine light starts flashing, one flash is stock mode, two flashes is chipped mode. There are more modes available - valet mode (disables the turbo completely) and racing gas mode for 104 octane racing gas. One other mode will reset the check engine light if it ever trips.
Silverstone is a great color on the GTI I bet it will be really popular on the 2003's. There are other 2003 GTI enhancements I really like - 3 spoke wheel on non-leather cars and the exhaust going through the rear valence - nice.
#633 of 1617 300 hp 1.8t
Sep 07, 2002 (4:14 am)
The 1.8t is overengineered in typical German fashion. It can take up to 300 HP without any internal modifications. I know a lot of people with 1.8t's with various mods and no one I know has had an engine failure of any kind.
As long as you have a mechanic on call to replace the occasional blown head gasket.
#634 of 1617 rickrover
Sep 09, 2002 (5:58 am)
yes i agree, the leather 3 spoke, shifter, and emergency brake handle are nice touches. didn't know about the exhaust change. thanks for the info. i like the option to change modes with chip. don't believe i ever saw 104 octane. do you ever use that? make any noticeable difference? really wanted 4 dr gls 1.8t (don't shoot me, i have kids), but dragged my feet and poof no more 1.8t gls option. i saw 4 door gti poll??? chances of that have to be slim to none, huh? anyway, i can't wait any longer, i need GTI speed!!!! one last concern; how is the airflow in the cabin while driving at speed with windows down and sunroof open? i have a minor concern that the rear windows don't open, as sometimes this causes quite a bit of noisy turbulence in the cabin.
Sep 09, 2002 (6:36 am)
I guess I'm the only one who doesn't like the standard leather stuff on the '03s. I always like the fact that there was no leather in the car at all unless you ordered leather seats. It makes vegetarians like myself happy.
It wouldn't keep me from buying an '03, but I wish VW hadn't made that change. The old way made sense...give the leather wheel/shifter/handbrake to the people who order leather seating. The people who like the thought of leather in their car would buy the leather-package cars anyway, right?
About the turbulence, I had the same concern, but a testdrive of a sunroof car left me being thoroughly impressed with German engineering. When you twist the sunroof dial to where it stops, the sunroof opens to a certain point which is pretty much the farthest it will open without turbulence. If you really want to open it all the way, you can twist and hold the dial even further, and it will do just that. Upon doing that, turbulence reared its ugly head (at 70-ish on the freeway) but twisting it back to where it was solved the problem. No need for rear windows to crack.