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Looking for some advice before I purchase a Golf GTI Mk 7. Manual gearbox, 14, 15 or 16 plate. 

7.5 is out of my reach. Private purchases attract me because they are generally cheaper.. but come with more risk? As you generally get a warranty from a dealer.  

 

Any years to stay away from? 

 

Do they have timing belts or chains? Changing intervals? 

 

Advice on service history? 

 

Do they all come with the interactive centre console which allows you to change driving mode? 

 

Are the engines the same? 

 

 

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Just coz I’m a nerd.  Read this to help; https://www.pistonheads.com/news/ph-buying-guides/volkswagen-golf-gti-mk7--ph-used-buying-guide/42305 Look at other Buying guides from Autocar, Car

Fantastic feedback NRW.    I will take a look at thoes links.    Thank you. 

4 hours ago, Leroy said:

urchase a Golf GTI Mk 7. Manual gearbox,

Just coz I’m a nerd. 
Read this to help;

https://www.pistonheads.com/news/ph-buying-guides/volkswagen-golf-gti-mk7--ph-used-buying-guide/42305

Look at other Buying guides from Autocar, CarWow etc for info.

My view fwiw,

GTI Golfs are great cars, popular, well regarded and sought after.  Sellers know this, so don’t expect many bargains.   You’ll either pay for a decent one, or spend ££ bringing a so-so car up to scratch.   Or lots fixing a dog. Don’t forget this.  Avoid dogs. Make sure you can afford the insurance and servicing costs. 

All the nicer bits were cost options - Metallic paint, bigger alloys, leather seats, Sunroof, Dynaudio , Nav upgrade, DCC,  Performance pack, likely to be more ££.
Make sure you know what you’re buying.   Many cars are modded and tuned. 
Regular services, oil changes best.  These cars benefit from regular scheduled maintenance. Yearly is preferable.  Check discs and pad replacements.  Check service history - have the required things been done?  -also miles and MOT records. 
Manuals need clutch/flywheel change.   Manuals Cheaper to repair, replace than DSG Box.  Decent 18” tyres best, £320+ per set. Watch for water pump, thermostat replacement evidence.  Always look for accident damage , poor repairs to a car.
Engines have Chains. Not belts.
Performance Pack gives small power hike, welcome.

DCC (variable dampers) an option..   Engine modes standard. 
At 7,8 years old you may need to budget for tyres, as well as servicing, brake discs/pads, maybe suspension parts and clutch too.

 

Get clued up. Look at and drive a few.  Then search for your ideal GTI.  Find a good un and have lots of fun. Look after it well and you’ll be rewarded at sale time. 
Good luck, hope you’re soon behind a GTI wheel.

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Golf GTI only real issues are water pump failure, I believe. About £650 independent and £1000 VW. I would go for 2016 over 2014, better MIB car stereo. Things like 6.5” screen and nav built in. Good chance you might get heated seats too, they change the spec every so often. My sister has a November 2015, which is nice but had the water pump issue. Just changed all the brake pads at 50k. No other issues. The later the car the more likely you are to get Android Auto/CarPlay.  They are all timing chains so all good there. Just look for good service history and you should be fine.

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