Our guide here is Chris Gaskell, technical advisor at SciroccoCentral.co.uk. The first thing to know is that you’re actually looking at two different engines here – the R uses an earlier unit from the mk5 Golf GTI. The good news is neither has so far shown any major recurring faults.
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The R unit is often tuned – 300bhp can be achieved with a simple remap – but that makes it even more critical to check the service history carefully. It’s worth checking anyway – Chris notes that VW dealers often show post-warranty ‘goodwill’ if a car has a full Volkswagen history. (VW UK also offers extensions to the original three-year warranty.) The R engine has a cambelt, which needs changing at five years; the GT’s cams are chain-driven.
Both manual and DSG are proving robust, but the DSG does need its oil and filter replacing every 40,000 miles. Early GTs with DSG had a recall to address the transmission drive disabling, and early DSGs can also suffer a juddering clutch, due to wear in the Mechatronics controller. With the manual ’box, check that second engages easily and that the clutch is quiet in operation – some exhibit a ‘mooing’ sound! Tuning the engine to 300bhp+ can result in the standard clutch slipping, but generally it’s long-lived.
Suspension, steering, brakes
Check the switchable suspension is working in all three modes, and visually check the dampers (particularly the rear) for oil leaks. Tyre wear should be even – any uneven wear points to badly set-up suspension, possibly accident damage. The electrically assisted steering is proving reliable, though occasionally noisy in low-speed manoeuvring. The front hubs can suffer damage through kerbing or driving over potholes, so examine both edges of the wheels for signs of impacts. The brakes are more than adequate for road use, but some owners uprate them for trackdays.
Body, interior, electricsThe Scirocco 3 is too new to have any serious corrosion issues, so if you do find rust it could point to poorly repaired crash damage. Cars built between August ’08 and May ’09 suffered from rear hatch strut mounts rusting, but these should have been replaced. Colour matching of the plastic bumpers and rear spoiler can be poor, particularly with Salsa Red and Candy White. Light units, both front and rear, can mist-up. Check all the electrics, particularly on 2008/2009 cars, which are more prone to the odd glitch.
What we said
Scirocco 2.0 TSI, Oct 2008‘It feels properly well sorted from the word go, the low-slung driving position and wide track instantly reassuring, the 2-litre turbo engine and DSG gearbox snappy and alert. But what makes the biggest initial impression is the ride quality. The adaptive dampers have three modes – Comfort, Normal and Sport – and they do exactly what they promise. In Sport the Scirocco is firm and feelsome, but has enough give not to be thrown around on rough roads.’ (evo 122)
Scirocco R, eCoty 2009
‘Smoothly rapid is what the Scirocco R does best. It rides so well… it doesn’t even bother to tell you about the bumps the suspension is dealing with. You take clean lines through every corner, slicing the exact path you intend. It feels every bit as quick as the Focus RS, no doubt helped by the DSG ’box, which barely pauses for breath. It’s a hugely impressive car… but it is also strangely unmemorable to drive. You use the huge grip (but don’t go beyond it), extend the brilliantly punchy engine and travel very quickly.’ (evo 138)
2009 GT 2.0 TSI (R version in brackets)
Engine In-line 4-cyl, 1984cc, turboMax power 197bhp @ 5100rpm (261bhp @ 6000rpm)Max torque 206lb ft @ 1700-5000rpm (258lb ft @ 2500-5000rpm)Transmission Six-speed manual/six‑speed DSG optionalWeight 1298kg (1352kg)Power-to-weight 154bhp/ton (196bhp/ton)0-60mph 6.2sec (5.8sec)Top speed 145mph (155mph)Price when new £20,940 (£26,945)
(Parts prices for GT 2.0 TSI, prices from Vindis VW Cambridge. Tyre prices from blackcircles.com. Prices include VAT but not fitting)
Tyres (each) £138.59 (Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT) Front pads (set) £64.96Front discs (pair) £107.44 Front damper £169.56 Exhaust (cat-back) £544.88Clutch £263.83 (exchange)Oil filter £12.74 Air filter £17.86 Set of spark plugs £58.32
Servicing (Prices for GT 2.0 TSI, from Vindis VW Cambridge, including VAT at 20 per cent)Minor service (12 months/10,000 miles) £149Major service (24 months/20,000 miles) £299DSG transmission service (40,000 miles) £179
What to pay £10k is the entry point for early, high-mileage GTs. There’s a wide choice of average-milers from around £12k, rising to £14-15k for a low-mile ’09 car or an average-miles 2010 example. The rarer R starts at £20k. Value-adding options include DSG, leather, parking sensors, and hi-fi/nav with voice control.