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Hello all, my name is Chris and I need help choosing a new car. I know that the opinions will be biased here, but I'm willing to take that chance. I am in the market for a new GTI, and was also thinking about getting a 325xi. Today I went to my local VW dealer to just check the GTI out, later on the salesman allowed me to drive it. Well, one thing that i noticed RIGHT away was that this thing is F#$%!&G FAST!(VW wasn't kidding) When I first heard that it had 200 HP and 207 TQ (correct me if I'm wrong,) I thought it would be a slug because of it's weight, but boy was I wrong! This thing is a rocket ship on wheels, much faster than my current 96 Audi A4 Quattro which is going to be sold soon, and it "felt" quicker than my Mom's Infiniti G35 which I use more often than the A4, my Dad's Infiniti M35x, and definitely faster than his Mercedes-Benz ML350(it's an SUV). One thing I loved about it was the gearbox, silky smooth, and ever so willing to downshift and hold third gear goin 50 MPH, and the gear changes were so rapid and fluid that aside from the increased revs from the engine the shifts were imperceptible(I tested a DSG equipped GTI.) There were a few "downsides"though:

1) The steering felt a little lighter and "looser" than I had expected. It felt like the slightest nudge in either direction would send it flying into the opposing lane and it felt a bit lifeless aswell, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt that the wheel and seat adjustments weren't how I prefered it. Maybe I have to get used to it (I'm used to driving the G35 which has VERY heavy steering)

2) While on the drive I also noticed that there was a little hump bulging out on the side in the footwell, and it was SO annoying to have my knee resting on it because it I'm used to having a footwell that is perfectly straight and not with a little hump on the side. Once again though I will give it the benefit of the doubt that my seats weren't adjusted to my liking.

3) No AWD was a relatively large downside for me because I live in Northern NJ and although it doesn't snow as much as in say, Buffalo NY, I still feel safest in and AWD vehicle like the A4(which is unstoppable in the snow with Quattro), but I can get away with just putting winter tires on it, right?

4) My experience with Audi service hasn't been a pleasent one. My Audi, when it used to belong to my mom had the A/C crap out in the middle of one of the hottest days of the year, bot to mention a host of other problems in it's lifetime. The car literally had 20,000 miles on it when that happened, and the response from Audi after about 4 hours of waiting at the serviec center was was that the evaporator, compressor, and all of these other thingys had to be changed. Well, the total amount to fix it was hovering at around $3500, so we brought it to a family friend and he took a quick look and said that all that needed to be done was to have two cables be plugged back into eachother! After he did it, it started to work again, THOSE F'ING SHEISTERS! I just hope that VW doesn't do something stupid like that to me!

5) Although this is an "Oh my God, can you quit with your whining?!" nitpick is that although this is a GREAT overall car the BMW has the well...BMW factor. It carries a lot of prestige, and is a status symbol, but with the VW, at the end of the day you are driving a VW, but with the amount of fun you have driving the GTI, I think that I can live through it :)

The BMW is a great car. If you want to know what steering SHOULD feel like IMHO I think you should test out any BMW. The one thing I remember while driving was how perfectly weighted the steering was, and how exact the handling was. It felt like the car was on rails. Also the sound system and Navigation system were pretty nice too (some people don't like the imfamous "I-DRIVE" command unit but I thought it was pretty cool!) The power was well, underwhelming to say the least. Especially because of the X-Drive AWD system draining precious resources form the engine. Also the rear end of it is well, "okay" and nothing more. Before the E46 platform stood out and said BMW, but now the E90(2006+) just seems to blend in except for the front which IMO is actually pretty cool looking, especially with the trademark "halos" The seats were also very nicely bolstered and were very comfortable, I couldn't make any judgment on the GTI seeing as the one I drove had cloth and not leather which I plan on getting. But there were things I didn't like on the BMW either:

1) Although the BMW "factor" as I stated earlier is a pretty nice plus side while it sits at home in your garage, and while driving, it can catch the attention of others who might be jealous and make them want to key your car, pop your tires, steal your valve stem caps(that has happened SOOO many times and is so irritating) or just plain screw up your car, which makes the BMW more prone to vandalism and such.

2) Insurance for me is high enough for my parents already (I'm 17) but a bimmer would take a huge toll on their wallets. And especially now with college coming up for me, higher insurance won't help my cause.

3) The almighty Gasoline God's have begun to become even greedier and charge a lot more for gas than a few years ago for example. The BMW isn't all that great on gas being that it is a 3.0 liter I-6 which as of now is limited to just Cold Air Intakes for modification, as opposed to a very powerful and VERY upgradable 2.0 liter Turbocharged 4 banger found in the VW.

These two cars are both great, they are both fun to drive and are both handsome looking cars. The BMW screams sport and sophistication, while the GTI screams youth and just driving like a mad man(I'm a pretty cautious driver though... ) My problem is WHICH ONE? Please help me out in my decision making process. Oh, by the way my VW dealership has a MY07 allocated to them next Wed. It has everything I want (PKG 2?) except it is white, which is okay, but I prefer United Grey/Gray(I dont remember how to spell it) or Black. Should I take it because a MY07 PKG 2 may be scarce for the next few months as they claim, or take that as a sign of pressure to make a deal quickly and hold off for a color I want? Do you think they will be discounting the 07's soon? Thanks for reading my VERY FIRST POST! albeit a tad long, but if you have gotten this long I apologize for wasting your 5-20 minutes:) Thoughts and opinions are more than welcome.
 

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Welcome to the boards,

Although I'm kind of a lifer here at MFG and a huge fan of the GTI, go with the BMW. BMW is the ultimate driving machine. If your parents are willing to foot the bill, absolutely take the bimmer, hands down. As much as I love the GTI, BMW is simply a better car. Now I'm probably going to be ridiculed for telling you this, be called a traitor etc. but I personally would rather have the BMW over the GTI. If you've test driven both the cars, and liked driving the BMW more, why wouldn't you take the BMW, you're going to have to live with it for a while.

Now, as a fellow 17 year old, I know it just seems like an obvious choice, but notice what I highlighted in the former paragraph, that's the most important thing. ;)

Good luck, enjoy the boards, and keep us updated on your progress.
 

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When I was 17 (in 1998), my father bought me a 1988 Jetta and compared to the rest of my friends I was rather spoiled. They had to work first and save up a few hundred bucks to buy lemons. I had a fully functional car with most of its original paint that didn't break down quite as much. Sure are a lot of spoiled kids here on this forum. "I can't decide... which car should my parents buy me, a GTI or a bimmer?"

How is it that an Audi with only 20,000 miles on it wasn't still under full warranty?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thalo said:
When I was 17 (in 1998), my father bought me a 1988 Jetta and compared to the rest of my friends I was rather spoiled. They had to work first and save up a few hundred bucks to buy lemons. I had a fully functional car with most of its original paint that didn't break down quite as much. Sure are a lot of spoiled kids here on this forum. "I can't decide... which car should my parents buy me, a GTI or a bimmer?"

How is it that an Audi with only 20,000 miles on it wasn't still under full warranty?
The reason the Audi wasn't under full warranty was because it was over seven years old and the warranty at that time I believe was 4 years/50,000 miles->which ever one comes first. My Mom is a doctor and we live literally 3 miles from the medical center! Everyday she drives 6-8 miles depending on whether or not she goes to the supermarket, which can lead to a very low mileage car. For example her car now the G35, has 7100 miles on it, and it only has that much because of a trip to boston and now I have been driving it. An average driver should have put on at-least 25,000 miles on it in the two years she has owned it.

I appreciate your opinions and you all make valid points. My only concern is with the BMW, it'll make me a target at school for vandalism. I've seen it happen to friends of mine before, it's irritating and frustrating owning a car that is such a target, but with the VW it will "blend in" more with the other cars at the school. Also if someone bangs their car door on the BMW and leaves a dent I would be pissed. If someone bangs their door on the VW, I'll be equally as pissed but would get over it sooner....I think. One thing that I was literally dreaming about was rocketing down this really long stretch of road in the GTI because to me it feels so nimble and willing to take you to warp speed! The BMW on the other-hand had a more subdued and underpowered(IMHO) compared to the GTI. My best example that I can think of off of the top of my head is the BMW prefers to stretch itself out before going out for a light jog, while the GTI wants to go full out all the time in a never ending sprint. Stupid analogy, I know, but it's the best I can think of! Oh and I forgot to mention that I can get the GTI within the next 2 weeks but the BMW is still a few (3-5)months away (retake the SAT's) which makes the GTI very tempting. Should I get the GTI now or hold off for the BMW? Decisions, decisions! More opinions please :)
On a quick side note, does the GTI have a full maintenance program like the BMW(4 years/ 50,000) $0 for any repairs and maintenance?
 

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If you want the full maintenance program, get the A3.

I would say in your case the GTI would be a much better decision. Lower ego emissions. Nobody at my old high school drove a brand new BMW to school but if they did, they would have been asking for trouble.
 
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