Build or Buy: Jetta GLI

It’s Build or Buy time readers! And this week we have two examples of the pinnacle of the Jetta lineup; the Jetta GLI. One is a pumped-up show car and the other is completely stock. If you’re looking for your own GTI-with-a-trunk, you have two choices: build or buy?

Argument: Build
Article: 2004.5 Jetta GLI

So here’s a sweet little ride. Halfway through the 2004 model year, Volkswagen updated the standard Jetta with some chrome bits and new wheel designs. But the real news was the entirely different GLI. The first MKIV GLI had the VR6 engine, some snazzy wheels, and…that’s about all. The 2004.5 GLI gained the 1.8T engine, a 6-speed manual transmission, a body kit, 18″ BBS wheels, Recaro seats, and a whole bunch of other bits. It really was something special.

This 2004.5 Platinum Gray GLI has been out of commission for the past 4 years. The seller, member ghost_swg, wanted to get this Jetta out on the road, but life happened, and now it’s time to let it go. It appears to be in very good condition but will need new tires, it has an exhaust leak, and new gas at least. On the good side, there’s almost no rust, the car is complete, and it has a new clutch, new transmission (not sure what’s up with that), and a new water pump.

The best part: ghost_swg is asking only $1800. The car is in Austin, Texas. Act fast: the car may go a mechanic friend soon. Check out the ad in our forums.

Argument: Buy
Article: 2004.5 Stage 3 Jetta GLI

Stage 3 says it all: this GLI is not only a showstopper, but it also has the performance to back it up. VWvortex member JPAIS193 has put a ton of time, energy, and money into this car.

It really has it all: shaved engine bay, painted and powder-coated engine, APR Stage 3 kit, upgraded Clutch Masters clutch, Airlift suspension (with notched frame), Scirocco R steering wheel, Schmidt wheels, and much much more.

Of course, all these upgrades come with a price. And that price is $14,000. But if you’re looking for a complete ride that’s ready for the show circuit, this could be the car for you. This custom GLI is in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Take a look at the ad in our forums.