What do you think of the VW GTi?

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
e12euro
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by e12euro »

Mike W. wrote: Mar 29, 2021 8:48 PM
tn535i wrote: Mar 29, 2021 2:41 PM Another point of view... US manufacturers failed to make smaller cars to compete with the Europeans and Japan NEVER. I think the imports figured out in the 70's how to make efficient transportation. Fast forward to 2020 and the US automakers have only proved that they can make bigger and bigger pick up trucks and realize it's their bread and butter.

So what it really comes down to is how will that GTI can out run and out maneuver in every situation before it gets run over by an F-150 or bigger.
I shake my head about that all the time, that even today, regardless of country of manufacture small cars=shitty cars. Now the Japanese in particular have mastered making them long term reliable appliances, and BMW 3 series aren't all bad, but not up to 5 series standards, but still, with rare exception small=shitty. Now lots of people don't care, they want something cheap to buy, cheap to run and reliable. Thrashy, gutless engines, A/Ts that endlessly cycle back and forth between gears on any sort of grade, uncomfortable interiors, painful seats, cardboard interiors and more is all they want to put in small cars. Once upon a time you used to be able to buy nice, by the then standards, European small cars for less than a kings ransom. Now small=cheap and shitty.

Of course now domestic manufacturers have almost entirely abandoned cars of any size, they just don't sell. Except for the tons of Camrys and Altimas and Corollas and Subarus and Hyundais and BMWs etc that are selling. They have hardly moved since the 60s, if their cars don't sell it must be the market has changed, not that they have failed to make cars that people like.
In some ways it seems the Europeans, Japanese and Koreans have taken a leaf out of Detroit's playbook of old, in making the smallest the worst. As you said back in the day the Datsun 1600, BMW 2002, original Honda Civic and VW Beetle showed that small didn't have to be low grade.

I would say the market for normal cars is only large enough for the Japanese, Korean and European cars you mention. No room for Detroit to enter, even if they had appropriate models. I think this is why they are so pro electric cars, they look at Tesla and see this area as a new Eldorado for high profit cars, except this time they are going to make 'em in China and bypass the UAW. :laugh:

As a side note, I have noticed that the 0-60 mph times of an ordinary 4 cyl Camry and Accord are in the 8-9 second league, which is about about the same as a 1979-81 BMW 528i, and I wonder if in real world driving those modern Japanese cars would be any more economical than a 5 speed 528i, considering the extra weight they are lugging?
e12euro
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by e12euro »

three5ives wrote: Mar 28, 2021 4:17 PM
e12euro wrote: Mar 28, 2021 12:51 PM
three5ives wrote: Mar 28, 2021 8:57 AM I just bought a 2017 GTI Sport 6sp 45K about 7 months ago from a friend who's an active vintage BMW enthusiast. I live in a dense urban environment in N. ATL, and the GTI makes every short trip fun and entertaining. As someone else mentioned, it has just enough power to make things interesting. The car is more refined than I expected, very comfortable and the controls are light and smooth.

Funny story. Back in the day I bought a 1984 GTI new. I had just gotten married, about to graduate college, and had joined the USMC. When I left for basic training at lovely all inclusive Parris Island resort, I left the car with my wife, she had a 1974 Camaro Z28 (A/T) that her dad (a master mechanic/shop Forman at a national freight company) had modded to his 'spec'. It's all she drove, she knew how to drive a manual, but just barely. That Z28 was a pretty hot car with his mods. Her dad aways laughed at the GTI - he was not a fan of German engineering. When I returned for 10 days leave after graduating from PI, the GTI was all my wife would drive. She had become a backroad terror in that thing. Her dad almost disowned her. :D
Goodness me, I would have certainly taken the Z28 over the Golf GTi. However, it is true that many drivers back in the day, especially women, wanted a smaller car because it was easier to control and park, and was thriftier on gas.

That said, the Z28 was always a great handling car, and the Firebird Trans Am even more so. :cool:
I had a new 1980 red T/A - screaming chicken and all, it wasn't that good, pathetic build quality. Sold within a year. She drove the GTI because it was just more fun - especially if turning was required.
No argument domestic quality was abysmal on average, but the Z28 and WS6 Trans Ams had a lot of grip and were very neutral on a smooth road. Did your T/A have WS6 and turbo 301? Acceleration wise the 1980 Z28 350, Trans Am Turbo and 528i 5 speed seemed about equal, but the domestics were automatic only and a lot thirstier, plus around 10 mph off on top speed. Not that it mattered given the 55 mph limit.
Mike W.
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by Mike W. »

e12euro wrote: Mar 30, 2021 1:05 PM
As a side note, I have noticed that the 0-60 mph times of an ordinary 4 cyl Camry and Accord are in the 8-9 second league, which is about about the same as a 1979-81 BMW 528i, and I wonder if in real world driving those modern Japanese cars would be any more economical than a 5 speed 528i, considering the extra weight they are lugging?
The E12 528i here was almost a watershed car, faster than most V8s with better fuel economy than most 6 cylinder cars with half their power and better than some 4s. Plus bulletproof reliable. Now I'm a big BMW and E12 fan, but there's no doubt in my mind they get much better mileage. And weight? About the same. But the late E12s are 40 years old now and technology has changed profoundly. Now try to imagine what cars will be like in another 40 years, 2060. :shock: I can't even imagine, although gasoline may be hard to find.
Mike W.
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by Mike W. »

e12euro wrote: Mar 30, 2021 1:11 PM
No argument domestic quality was abysmal on average, but the Z28 and WS6 Trans Ams had a lot of grip and were very neutral on a smooth road. Did your T/A have WS6 and turbo 301? Acceleration wise the 1980 Z28 350, Trans Am Turbo and 528i 5 speed seemed about equal, but the domestics were automatic only and a lot thirstier, plus around 10 mph off on top speed. Not that it mattered given the 55 mph limit.
Acceleration is gearing and torque, top speed is horsepower. The V8s even at almost twice the displacement still had torque on their side, but really didn't have the power the 528i did, which is why the 528i had a higher top speed.
e12euro
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by e12euro »

Mike W. wrote: Mar 30, 2021 4:26 PM
e12euro wrote: Mar 30, 2021 1:11 PM
No argument domestic quality was abysmal on average, but the Z28 and WS6 Trans Ams had a lot of grip and were very neutral on a smooth road. Did your T/A have WS6 and turbo 301? Acceleration wise the 1980 Z28 350, Trans Am Turbo and 528i 5 speed seemed about equal, but the domestics were automatic only and a lot thirstier, plus around 10 mph off on top speed. Not that it mattered given the 55 mph limit.
Acceleration is gearing and torque, top speed is horsepower. The V8s even at almost twice the displacement still had torque on their side, but really didn't have the power the 528i did, which is why the 528i had a higher top speed.
Torque was just about all they had, lol, around 300 lb/ft, but the coupes also weighed around 500lbs more.

Interesting differences, American sporty cars were 2 doors only, the idea of a sporty 4 door sedan was a new one. And the 5 series had unitary construction with a crumple zone. If you take the fenders and nosecone off those GM coupes there's nothing! Nothing up to the firewall. Scary!! :laugh:

On problems BMW was selling around 6,500 5 series annually in America against over 250,000 Z28s & T/As. So, when one person says they have a problem with their 5 series, it's given too much emphasis. What might be a case of something not being set up right is put down as a design defect, whereas on a high volume car like a Camaro a problem someone has is dismissed as an assembly line problem or a bad dealer prep issue. ;)
tn535i
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by tn535i »

When I first got my 535 and a friend rode in it his comment was... "It's like a 4 door Z28"
Mike W.
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by Mike W. »

tn535i wrote: Mar 30, 2021 6:11 PM When I first got my 535 and a friend rode in it his comment was... "It's like a 4 door Z28"
With my obvious BMW bias, and by the late 70s the CamBird twins did handle pretty well on smooth pavement, but I hear that comment and think insult! :laugh:
LarryM
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by LarryM »

By the late '70s I wasn't paying much attention to cars like the Camaro and Firebird, because I knew how far they had fallen from their performance peak almost 10 years earlier. It was downright depressing to see what they had become with their goofy tack-on graphics and wheezing, strangled V8 putting out less than 1/2 HP/Cu. In. The "malaise era" indeed. That's what first drew me to BMWs; they weren't nearly as quick as the muscle cars I grew up with, but at least they were fun to drive and unpretentious.
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by cek »

Voltswagen
Sparkeysf
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by Sparkeysf »

glowell222 wrote: Mar 04, 2021 8:53 PM I had a 2012 Golf TDI, one of the EPAgate victims. (Still waiting for anyone at EPA to be held accountable for not catching on to this at all).

It was a great car. It handled fantastic, clutch and shift action was just superb, got great fuel mileage, was hackable so I could turn off all of the stupid USA nags and nannies, was reliable, and was not ostentatious. I thought about and test drove the GTI, but it was too "boy racer" for me, trying too hard and I didn't like the interior: no choice in interior color or materials. It handled exactly like the TDI, a bit better with low profile tires, TDI had a better ride. GTI had more power, but so what? I wasn't driving on the Nürburgring, and the TDI got up to 80 mph about as well as anything else out there.
I had one of those EPAgate cars, a Jetta TDI Sportwagen. Bought it new for $32k, drove it for 7 years, then sent it back to the factory in exchange for a $26k check. Took that money, and bought a slightly used E90, which is now worth half what I paid. What I should have done was used that money for two more well sorted E28's, which would have held their value or appreciated at today's prices. Oh well....
glowell222
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by glowell222 »

Sparkeysf wrote: Mar 30, 2021 9:03 PM
glowell222 wrote: Mar 04, 2021 8:53 PM I had a 2012 Golf TDI, one of the EPAgate victims. (Still waiting for anyone at EPA to be held accountable for not catching on to this at all).

It was a great car. It handled fantastic, clutch and shift action was just superb, got great fuel mileage, was hackable so I could turn off all of the stupid USA nags and nannies, was reliable, and was not ostentatious. I thought about and test drove the GTI, but it was too "boy racer" for me, trying too hard and I didn't like the interior: no choice in interior color or materials. It handled exactly like the TDI, a bit better with low profile tires, TDI had a better ride. GTI had more power, but so what? I wasn't driving on the Nürburgring, and the TDI got up to 80 mph about as well as anything else out there.
I had one of those EPAgate cars, a Jetta TDI Sportwagen. Bought it new for $32k, drove it for 7 years, then sent it back to the factory in exchange for a $26k check. Took that money, and bought a slightly used E90, which is now worth half what I paid. What I should have done was used that money for two more well sorted E28's, which would have held their value or appreciated at today's prices. Oh well....
Similar here: paid around 25k, put 80k miles on it, sold it back for almost $19k. Used that to get my E28, update the garage, and fund all of the E28 refurb I have been doing over the years. I am happy with the E28, and I miss that VW as well.
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by rodpaine »

You might want to consider a used 2015 Golf R DSG if you can find one in very good condition. Ours has 35k miles on it and other than getting rid of the 19" wheels and going with 18x8.5 Neuspeed wheels and Michelin RS3+ tires, which significantly improved the 'R's country back road performance at speed, the vehicle has been great and is certainly a keeper. To date it has delivered 28.3 MPG and those of you who know me also know I have a HEAVY foot!

I am currently driving a 2019 Audi RS 3 also with 18" wheels/tires, also SIGNIFICANTLY improving its country back road performance. The Audi is superior, but the Golf R still puts big grins on this old face! and is an amazing vehicle in its own right... given the 30+ years I spent in my much modified 1983 E28!
-Rod
e12euro
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by e12euro »

LarryM wrote: Mar 30, 2021 8:42 PM By the late '70s I wasn't paying much attention to cars like the Camaro and Firebird, because I knew how far they had fallen from their performance peak almost 10 years earlier. It was downright depressing to see what they had become with their goofy tack-on graphics and wheezing, strangled V8 putting out less than 1/2 HP/Cu. In. The "malaise era" indeed. That's what first drew me to BMWs; they weren't nearly as quick as the muscle cars I grew up with, but at least they were fun to drive and unpretentious.
Road & Track tested the last of the carb Corvettes in 1981, with the 190 hp L48 350 and they got 0-60 mph in 9.2 seconds. The same magazine got 8.2 seconds out of their e12 528i. Both cars had an 8.2:1 comp ratio and 4 speed manual transmissions, both cars weighed 3,400 lbs and used 91 octane (RON) unleaded. So I don't know where the Corvette's extra horsepower and torque went? :? However, if you were to put the two cars side by side, many would think the Corvette was faster, especially with a 180 cube displacement advantage, and two extra cylinders! ;)
Kenny Blankenship
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Re: What do you think of the VW GTi?

Post by Kenny Blankenship »

Sparkeysf wrote: Mar 30, 2021 9:03 PM
glowell222 wrote: Mar 04, 2021 8:53 PM I had a 2012 Golf TDI, one of the EPAgate victims. (Still waiting for anyone at EPA to be held accountable for not catching on to this at all).

It was a great car. It handled fantastic, clutch and shift action was just superb, got great fuel mileage, was hackable so I could turn off all of the stupid USA nags and nannies, was reliable, and was not ostentatious. I thought about and test drove the GTI, but it was too "boy racer" for me, trying too hard and I didn't like the interior: no choice in interior color or materials. It handled exactly like the TDI, a bit better with low profile tires, TDI had a better ride. GTI had more power, but so what? I wasn't driving on the Nürburgring, and the TDI got up to 80 mph about as well as anything else out there.
I had one of those EPAgate cars, a Jetta TDI Sportwagen. Bought it new for $32k, drove it for 7 years, then sent it back to the factory in exchange for a $26k check. Took that money, and bought a slightly used E90, which is now worth half what I paid. What I should have done was used that money for two more well sorted E28's, which would have held their value or appreciated at today's prices. Oh well....
I have one of those Wagens. A 2014 I bought for $11k with 45k miles from a VW dealership in Salinas. Had the DSG serviced and lifted it on Tiguan springs and a GTI rear sway bar. Love it and even though fuel mileage is down due to the tuning it still gets 37-38+ on the highway. Now has 70k miles...a fantastic car especially at altitude!
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