GOLFMK8
GOLFMK7
GOLFMK6
GOLFMKV

How to choose the right ECU upgrade

mrmattolsen

Autocross Champion
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Car(s)
2015 GTI DSG
My extremely humble opinion: All things considered, if you’re wanting more power but nothing ridiculous and great driveability, it’s hard to argue with something like this:
956043CC-A6D5-4117-9EB3-897D61065A8A.png

This is APR’s stage 1 low torque/high hp tune. I rode in a GTI with this and I have to say it’s a dream. It feels very OEM+ and polished. Not overly raucous but still fast as hell. I’ll probably be moving to this tune before too long. It’s programmed to hold 300wtq for as long as possible. It’s very consistent and pulls really hard all the way to 6k.

But there are so many great tunes for so many different needs and preferences. We’re very lucky to have so much support.
 
Last edited:

bentin

Autocross Champion
Location
Austin, TX
Car(s)
18 GTI SE - 3 Pedals
That’s actually pretty interesting. I’m debating doing EQT stage 1 but know that the torque increase will challenge traction and of course my stock clutch. Does APR have a better interface yet, or is it still only possible at the dealer?
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
That’s actually pretty interesting. I’m debating doing EQT stage 1 but know that the torque increase will challenge traction and of course my stock clutch. Does APR have a better interface yet, or is it still only possible at the dealer?
Dealer only.
 

mrmattolsen

Autocross Champion
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Car(s)
2015 GTI DSG
That’s actually pretty interesting. I’m debating doing EQT stage 1 but know that the torque increase will challenge traction and of course my stock clutch. Does APR have a better interface yet, or is it still only possible at the dealer?
Dealer only. It’s one of the main drawbacks of APR for many folks. Not an issue for me personally, but I understand it’s not ideal for people who like to tinker and try other tunes. They do have a refund policy if you don’t like it.
 

mrmattolsen

Autocross Champion
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Car(s)
2015 GTI DSG
Also I’m not advocating for APR or any other tune provider. Just providing that example as a tune I really like, and to illustrate they’re not all the same.
 

shovelhd

Autocross Champion
Location
Western MA
If you want an Audi style OEM+ refined power curve, then go low torque whatever. You'll get your Golf R without the stink. But that's not what the GTI is all about. It's a rabble rouser. A go kart on the edge. Yeah, with a high torque tune like the EQT Stage 1 93, you've got to manage the power off the line and then some. Isn't that the point? Isn't that what makes this platform so special? When I'm in the gas at 50mph and the front end starts steering by itself, that's what I paid for. It all comes down to expectations.
 

mrmattolsen

Autocross Champion
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Car(s)
2015 GTI DSG
I don’t think you can tell everyone what the car is or isn’t. The beauty is we have a lot of choices! That’s the point. It’s a rabble rouser for you and others. For me and others it’s more refined. That’s why there are different tunes.

And then when I’m change my mind next year, I can rabble rouse for a bit before going back. Such an awesome platform.
 

bentin

Autocross Champion
Location
Austin, TX
Car(s)
18 GTI SE - 3 Pedals
If you want an Audi style OEM+ refined power curve, then go low torque whatever. You'll get your Golf R without the stink. But that's not what the GTI is all about. It's a rabble rouser. A go kart on the edge. Yeah, with a high torque tune like the EQT Stage 1 93, you've got to manage the power off the line and then some. Isn't that the point? Isn't that what makes this platform so special? When I'm in the gas at 50mph and the front end starts steering by itself, that's what I paid for. It all comes down to expectations.
Haha. Fair point. I just came from rwd, not really as amused by sudden losses of steering. I’m fine with the back letting go, it’s still a little alarming when the front waves goodbye, especially mid turn.

But yeah, will still likely order EQT this month
 

Daks

Autocross Champion
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
GTI PP
That’s actually pretty interesting. I’m debating doing EQT stage 1 but know that the torque increase will challenge traction and of course my stock clutch. Does APR have a better interface yet, or is it still only possible at the dealer?
A slightly harder orgasm in your car will slip the stock clutch. If you tune, you have to upgrade, no questions asked.
 

branman1

Go Kart Champion
Location
DE
Car(s)
2019 GTI
I just came for the crazy comments on who is better. Y’all let me down 🤣.

In all seriousness though everyone has given really good feedback and options. It’s all about your personal situation and what you plan to do. Most people always want more so plan ahead for that itch. Stage 1 on almost all of the tuners mentioned will be fairly close in performance and drivability.

Ive always ran APR on my cars and never really had a reason to try someone else. They don’t make the most power and are not user friendly as a dealer is always required to switch tunes. I also have a very local dealer which is where I purchased the car as well. So it’s hard to pass that up. My car was tuned before I even bought it new. I’m currently is38 and tuned with APR. It’s great I love the car and is a blast to drive but it’s also where this ends. I either have a choice of stage 3+ I think through APR or basically switch to a more user friendly tuner that uses the Accessport or something like IE tuner.

I’m not regretting my decisions but just maybe giving an example of how my choice kinda limits me on future upgrades if I’m looking for more power. If I would have went with someone like EQT in the beginning the sky is the limit to how much power I could make (within the limits of the engine of course). This also comes with a much less of a set it and forget type of option. You would need to run logs and tweak the tune to get everything right. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this type of scenario but most are positive.
 

StockblockGLI

Go Kart Champion
Location
Northeast
Car(s)
2019 GLI
IMHO, custom e-tune (unless you live close to a reputable dyno tuning facility) is the best way to go. If it was my car and I did not care about warranty, I would go with a custom tune from EQT. If I had to go OTS, then APR low torque.
 

shovelhd

Autocross Champion
Location
Western MA
I don’t think you can tell everyone what the car is or isn’t. The beauty is we have a lot of choices! That’s the point. It’s a rabble rouser for you and others. For me and others it’s more refined. That’s why there are different tunes.

And then when I’m change my mind next year, I can rabble rouse for a bit before going back. Such an awesome platform.

I'm not telling everyone anything but my view on the topic. Sorry if I offended you.

No matter how you view the GTI, it's a special vehicle. VW better have a suitable replacement when it's time to retire the platform.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
I'm not telling everyone anything but my view on the topic. Sorry if I offended you.

No matter how you view the GTI, it's a special vehicle. VW better have a suitable replacement when it's time to retire the platform.
It will almost for sure be electric.
 

Dents27

Ready to race!
Location
Bolton, ON
Car(s)
'19 Autobahn GTI
I'm probably going to go Unitronic Stage 1+ for two reasons, first being a linear powerband and just giving the R power in the GTI. Secondly being a Canadian company I like to support local as much as possible.
 

Daks

Autocross Champion
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
GTI PP
I'm probably going to go Unitronic Stage 1+ for two reasons, first being a linear powerband and just giving the R power in the GTI. Secondly being a Canadian company I like to support local as much as possible.
Don't do it - there is so much better out there
 
Top