2004 Volkswagen GTI

  • 2004 Volkswagen GTI Base Hatchback

    Base Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
  • 2004 Volkswagen GTI VR-6 Hatchback

    VR-6 Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.8L V6
    • MSRP
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  • Review

2004 Volkswagen GTI Review

Power and maneuverability that rivals some sport coupes.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The Volkswagen Golf hatchback has been a staple of the brand for decades. Many Volkswagen models are partially, if not almost fully, based on the same basic design as the Golf. The 2004 Volkswagen GTI takes the basic hatchback model of the Golf and focuses on increasing the performance. Aesthetically, the GTI looks like the Golf, but the performance and handling distinguish the GTI from its predecessor.

The Volkswagen GTI performs more similarly to a sport coupe, but without sacrificing practicality in the process. The GTI provides a quick, nimble vehicle that offers excellent performance and handling compared to others in its price range. The Volkswagen GTI offers the performance that the more pragmatically designed Golf does not match.

The Volkswagen GTI primarily appeals to drivers who want a high-performance sport coupe but still want something that can perform well for day-to-day driving. The resemblance to the Golf might be a turn off for some drivers. However, the combination of high performance and practicality makes this a good option for many drivers who can look past the exterior design.

The Range

Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 2.8-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, six-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Volkswagen GTI VR6

What's New

The 2004 Volkswagen GTI looks very similar to the 2003. The only changes involve the alloy wheels, which have been restyled, and a fuel cap warning light joins the lineup.


The Volkswagen GTI classifies as a hatchback that features styling similar to many other models in the Volkswagen lineup. It does not have any particularly unique exterior features. The 2004 Volkswagen GTI has the same overall size and appearance as the Volkswagen Golf. The only visual feature that distinguishes the GTI from the Golf is that the GTI has dual-tailpipes.


The Volkswagen GTI, despite the small size, actually has a surprisingly roomy interior. While it accommodates five total passengers, it better suits four. The most surprising aspect of the GTI involves the amount of cargo space. The rear section of the GTI has 18 cubic feet of storage space, which proves bigger than the trunk of many sedans. The rear seats can also fold down, increasing the storage space to 42 cubic feet. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the 2004 Volkswagen GTI offers more cargo space than larger vehicles.

Performance & Handling

High performance provides the entire basis for the 2004 Volkswagen GTI design. The GTI takes the practical body design and configuration of the Golf to create a fun vehicle. The more powerful engines used by the GTI increase the acceleration and top speed. A sport-tuned suspension helps at higher speeds, but makes normal driving a little bumpier in the process. The small size and excellent design allow the GTI to nimbly turn and swerve as needed by the driver. Overall, the GTI offers an easy, enjoyable drive and performs well in normal day-to-day driving and at higher speeds. Most sport coupes outperform it, but not generally ones that fall into the same price range as the GTI.


The GTI continues Volkswagen’s tradition of excellent safety. Dual front airbags, rear head airbags, side-mounted airbags, an engine immobilizer, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, and traction control provide standard features on the 2004 Volkswagen GTI. Stability control provides a standard feature.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen GTI 1.8-liter four-cylinder, five-speed manual: 21/28 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen GTI 1.8-liter four-cylinder, five-speed automatic: 19/27 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen GTI 2.8-liter six-cylinder, six-speed manual: 19/27 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Excellent performance
  • Excellent handling
  • Good fuel economy
  • High-quality construction
  • Large amount of cargo space

You Won't Like

  • Hatchback body design might not appeal to all drivers

Sum Up

Power and maneuverability that rivals some sport coupes.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Accord
  • Nissan Altima
  • Toyota Camry
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Volkswagen R32

See the New 2017 GTI.

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