This car is just amazing. Four door hatchback practicality with sports car driving experience. Every other weekend i do a 325 mile round trip drive to visit my daughter, mostly on curvy back roads through beautiful land. It was time for a new car, and I wanted something that would make the drive fun, while still being a good all around vehicle. I had always been curious about the GTI, so I set out to test drive one. My local Carmax had a gorgeous red one in stock with decently low mileage. I drove it and loved it. I drove a few other cars, including a turbo Mini Cooper that I loved, but settled on the VW. I've put several thousand miles on her and am still in love. Highly recommend the DSG transmission and paddle shifters!
Good car that is great on gas and fun to drive.
I am so very impressed by this car! The level of performance, comfort, quality and "surprise and delight" features is really high, and yet it was very affordable. I get many comments on how stylish it is, and I love the utility of being able to just throw my bike in the back (both wheels still attached) and head out for a bike ride. As far as performance, the turbo 2.0 is smooth, quiet,and very torquey, pulling easily from 1500 RPM yet smoothly winding to redline if I like. It has LOTS of power; passing on a two-lane road is easy. Fuel Economy has averaged in the high 20's, with the best tank at 33 mpg. Handling is in nosebleed territory. It goes where I point it, period. It doesn't wiggle or slide out, and the ride is decently smooth in the firm, German sort of way. I was pleased to find an iPod adapter hiding in the console, complete with a plastic bag of fittings designed to accept iPods of any flavor. I was even more pleased to find a working Sirius radio, in the standard factory unit. How cool is that? Add to that the various power assists, cruise, 8-way adjustable seats, smart seat folders that get out of the way to load the back seat, then go back right where you had them set, a tilt/telescope sterring wheel with a fat leather rim. Very luxurious! Driving this car is a real pleasure for me. As an engineer, I enjoy machines that work well. This one does, in every way from the click of the turn-signal lever to the clunk of the closing doors to the quiet whir of the turbocharger as it spools up. All this adds to the pleasure of the driving experieince, and I keep coming back to it costing roughly HALF of what BMW gets for a 1-series, which I didn't like nearly as well when I tested it. VW has screwed together a very nice package, and if you are interested in a performance car that has some utility as well, it is very much worth a look.