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(Newbie Alert!) Talk me out of buying a MK7 GTI! ...NOT ;)

reyoasian

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
TORONTO
Hi there, new member here and first time posting and have TONS of questions.
At the same time I'm googling, searching this forum, and searching the VWVortex forum, I was hoping the crew here can chime in on a few (lots) specific questions I have


My background
I come from a 2009 Lexus IS250 AWD (Okay okay...I know
) which is a lightly-modded daily driver. If you know Toyota then you know there's absolute no real performance mods for this vehicle.
As much as I love my car (currently, it's pretty much just down to suspension components and exhaust, everything else was taken off the car to keep it OEM looking), it's been 5.5 years and honestly time for a change.
Also added that the interior room is quite small; rear seats don't fold down, fuel-consumption has worsened, and as it ages I'm starting to hear rattles here and there.

What I want
A fun-to-drive daily-driver, that has enough interior space to accommodate me (6 ft, 184cm) and 3-4 passengers.
Driveable with no handling/traction issues in this Canadian winter (20-30cm of snow is quite typical); with snow tires of course.
Seats that fold down! (to carry 2 snowboards, or maybe I would just get a roof rack).
Possibly hit up Auto X and maybe slowly transition into tracking later down the road.
After tons of researching, visiting the dealerships; I've decided on the MK7 GTI.
I've originally driven the MK5 back in 2009 and walked out with a huge smile on my face but had no intention of buying anything at the time...I got that smile back yesterday after testing out the MK7 GTI (non-PP).

Question 1: Performance Package Brake Calipers & Wheels
The performance package here in Canada runs for $2,295 CAD + Taxes (13% for me :() ... it's quite high vs. what it costs in the US and UK. But, DCC does come standard with PP
- will I be able to run 17" wheels on the bigger calipers? I have 215/50R17 Continental EWC snowtires which I would like to use on this car
- what's the specs of the stock 18"?
- do the stock wheels take cone- or ball-seat lugs?

Question 2: Reliability
- oh gosh, not trying to start a never-ending debate but...seriously, how reliable is the GTI in general?
- I know the new MK7 is pretty much everything new, so this may be something still under a question mark right now?
- coming from a Toyota/Lexus background, and pretty much only Japanese cars in the family over the years; this will be my first German car and not sure how I will feel about that down the road.

Question 3: LOWERING!!
- I would love the get coilovers, but since the performance package in Canada comes with DCC (I wish it didn't, then it would be an easier choice for me), I will most likely get lowering springs to keep DCC in use
- I'm reading this VWR springs that seems very popular, and cut the wheel gap down to 1-1.5 fingers (0.8" front, and 1.2" rear in drop) -- is this an OEM performance product? I'm assuming VWR means VW + R (from Golf R?)
- I'm not into this whole slammage/static/stance scene anymore; just want a subtle drop (0 to 1 finger gap) to enhance the handling for a daily driver in somewhat shitty Toronto road conditions
- Any other options for lower springs that's a great product for the MK7 while not gonna cause the shocks to crap out after two years? The DCC shocks may be expensive to replace...
- Or just F the DCC and get coilovers...??
- How long after (time, mileage) should I get an alignment for MK7 GTI?

Question 4: HANDLING
- I'm reading with the performance package, the GTI will get an electronically-controlled limited slip differential in the front (highlight of this package), as well slightly thicker swaybars in the rear
- I also found H&R swaybars (28mm adjustable front, 26mm rear); are these a popular mod on the MK7? I ask because swaybars were a huge thing back in the Lexus community, that vastly improved handling, bodyroll, understeer, etc.
- Eibach seems to be making the sways for MK7 as well

Question 5: Remote Starter!
- Anyone done this, and anything I should know about?
- I only need a simple one-way starter

Question 6: Oil Catch Can
- Is this popular for the MK7 GTI?
- I had one for my IS250 as carbon buildup was quite excessive on it..

Sorry to flood the forum with so many questions for a first post but I'm excited for this big change
 
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