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Q: What can I expect from my car as far as reliability goes?

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I am looking to purchase a Volkswagen GTI in the spring. It will be used to travel as a daily driver, and occasionally across the country for college (Utah to Michigan). I am selling my 2001 Jeep Wrangler as it will not be as advantageous to cross the country as the GTI would. Having a Jeep, I'm accustomed to having few issues, low cost maintenance, and problems that I can fix myself at ease and low cost. If I were to switch to the GTI, would I have the same mechanical reliability as I would with my Wrangler? What do I look for in the GTI to keep from getting one that's is going to be a money pit? My main target is a "low" cost vehicle that will give me the mileage and reliability that I need.

My car has 115000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. Buying a used car isn’t as easy a...

Hi there. Buying a used car isn’t as easy as it used to be - especially with Volkswagen Turbo’s made over the past seven years. In regards to reliability and the important issues you’re looking for, the VW GTI Turbo is hit and miss. Some of them are incredibly fuel efficient and low cost maintenance vehicles; while others can be rather expensive to maintain. Add this to the issues Volkswagen has with emissions testing with 2008 - 2014 VW’s passing emissions; and you could be looking at a lemon or bad ROI trying to resell it. This is why most VW’s are selling for low pricing now. My advice is to find a different vehicle to be on the safe side. But, make sure it’s either FWD or all wheel drive due to the snow in Michigan and Utah. Good luck!

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