Build or Buy: Big Power GTI

How’s that old saying go? There’s no replacement for…horsepower? Nope? Let’s say you’re craving a high-powered car. And you want something a bit out of the ordinary. Something clean and classy; a car that’s modern, yet a little older. Then you want a Mk4 Volkswagen GTI. And to get a whole bunch of horses, you have a simple choice: build your car yourself, or take the easier way and buy it built. So which will it be?

Argument: Build

Article: 2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T

Ah, the venerable 1.8T engine. Also known as the “Nevah Lose,” it provided tons of tuning potential in a lightweight engine. It also marked the beginning of a new era of engines; turbo-charged small-displacement motors can be found today in all sorts of everyday cars, not just hot hatches.

The fourth-generation Golf has one of the most passionate fanbases of all the GTI models. If you’re looking for a low-priced, and perhaps the lowest-priced Mk4 GTI out there, here is an intriguing option. This 2003 silver GTI has 115,000 miles, is silver with 17″ Long Beach wheels, and is a mere $995. That will leave you lots of room in your budget for upgrades.

Now we’d love to tell you more about this car, but the classified ad is very short. About the only other concrete thing we can say is that this ’03 GTI is at Island Honda in Kahului, Hawaii. Take a look at the ad for more information.

Argument: Buy

Article: 2001 Volkswagen GTI 1.9T

You read that right. According to the ad, this Matchstick Red 2001 GTI has a 1.9-liter engine with many upgrades. What kind of upgrades? Let’s cut right to the chase: there’s a Precision Turbo & Engine PT5558 turbocharger under the hood. Along with fuel delivery enhancements and a custom 3″ turbo-back exhaust, this GTI is pushing 650 horsepower.

On top of the engine goodies, this Mk4 has a modified 02M transmission, Porsche big brakes up front, and much much more.

And all these horsies come at a price: VWvortex member SpOoOling1.8T is asking $14,900 firm. The car is in Long Island, NY. Take a look at the brief ad in our classifieds, or the Facebook Marketplace listing for more details.