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What comes after the GTI?

STL11

Passed Driver's Ed
I apologize if this is in the wrong spot, but I’m facing a midlife dilemma (not quite a crisis). I love my GTI. With the EQT S1 tune my only regret is I don’t get to drive it enough.

That being said, both of my kids are in boosters and we will be getting a dog soon that will eventually grow into a 60 lb med/large dog. When the dog is fully grown, it’s likely the GTI will just be too small for my family, Even with a roof box, the dog crate will take up all of the boot/trunk, and it’s just not going to be practical I don’t think. I’ve got about 18 months to decide, but right now it looks like I’ll need to be ready to move into something else.

Here‘s the question I pose to all of you. What comes after my GTI? Ideally, I want to be at:

-$30k or less (prefer to pay cash minus trade, not finance)
-no older than a 3 yr old vehicle
-less than 40k miles
-FUN to drive
-Significantly more cargo room than GTI

Is there anything in that range that’s close to as fun as the GTI but with more room? I greatly prefer something with a hatch, so hatch/wagon/suv. Initial thoughts are possibly an Alltrack with a tune (not sure it adds that much extra room?). I’m kind of stumped here.
 

Ghost GTI

Go Kart Champion
Location
Cockpit
Car(s)
'19 GTI SE DSG
Honestly only thing that comes to mind is the Alltrack. You'd have to sacrifice performance for more cargo space at that price point. There are options for more cargo space, but not enough to justify the trade.
 

swcrow

Autocross Champion
Location
Virginia
Go over to NASIOC, look for an built engine Fozzy (Forester)
 

tigeo

Autocross Champion
The Sportwagen or Alltrack could be the way to go for a little more room and maintaining your GTI-fun if you are willing to do some mods. TBH, it's not much bigger though - you just get the back end/cargo area. Back seat is probably close in terms of room for car seats etc. Many folks don't realize that the GSW was offered in the base S trim with 4Motion and the 6-speed stick or DSG - that's what a lot of folks have used as a the basis for tuning/bolt-ons b/c the value was there - new OTD for $20K so used have to be well under $15K at this point. The Alltrack has more "stuff" but is the same vehicle with just a bit more height. I have the IS20 on mine but just ordered an IS38 yesterday. They make great power set up this way and will stomp the GTI guys (tuned) from a dig if that's your thing. Handling (to me) is v. good with springs and a RSB. Basically a poor-mans Golf R wagon. Something to consider.
from the rear.jpg
 

tigeo

Autocross Champion

swcrow

Autocross Champion
Location
Virginia
They do a great job - they are installing my intercooler and IS38.
Nice! Tuning through Uni then? I'll be headed out there to talk with them about Fortune Auto coilovers here shortly
 

riceburner

Drag Racing Champion
Location
West Chicagoland
my plan is to get the wife to get an SUV and keep the GTI for a weekend (without kids/dog) car... not an option for everyone, i know, but those are the cards i am trying to get dealt

not many fun SUV type things... maybe a tiguan with a tune and is38 lol
 

STL11

Passed Driver's Ed
my plan is to get the wife to get an SUV and keep the GTI for a weekend (without kids/dog) car... not an option for everyone, i know, but those are the cards i am trying to get dealt

not many fun SUV type things... maybe a tiguan with a tune and is38 lol
This is definitely on the table for consideration too. :)
 

Ramon64124

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Kansas
Drove the tiguan last week. It absolutely sucks. Steering sucks, Cabin is loud, Third row is for ants, Engine feels underpowered, Pedal is jittery, Transmission Drones. Stay away. my LT 2019 Equinox is a much better car for much less money. We currently are looking at a used Buick Enclave(2018+), can be had for under 28, extremely nice, i mean, Go drive one. Interior is well put, engine is the tried V6, You can hear a pin drop at 80, 9 speed transmission is buttery, Captain 2 row, bench third.
 

Charlotte.:R

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Charlotte
Car(s)
'18 Golf R 6MT
my plan is to get the wife to get an SUV and keep the GTI for a weekend (without kids/dog) car... not an option for everyone, i know, but those are the cards i am trying to get dealt

not many fun SUV type things... maybe a tiguan with a tune and is38 lol
We had a Explorer Sport with a Livernois stage 1 tune. It was fun. In a straight line lol.

Fortunately my kids are in booster seats now, and we're down to one dog, and she's only 14 pounds and she can sit between the kids, so wifey and I both get fun cars :)
 

swcrow

Autocross Champion
Location
Virginia
Get a Ford Edge ST.
 
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