The GTI it a true pleasure to drive. It is so good in fact that I look forward to my drive to work so that I can get behind the wheel. I seldom take the interstate just so I can play on the backroads. I have a Miata as well and the GTI handles almost as good. It is very flat when cornering, and when the turbo kicks in the car flys out of the turn. Really the only complaints I have are the seats and rougher ride. I believe the ride quality is mainly due to the 18 inch wheels, but the seats are very hard and I feel like the lumbar support is just not right. This is a sports car though, and the seats are designed to hold you in place, which they do very well.
The VW GTI has been my favorite/dream car since I was in middle school. It is the perfect combination of power and an affordable/reliable car. This go around I traded in a Ford Ranger I have previously purchased from Carmax about 3 years ago down south. The Ranger stopped fitting my needs and was looking for space for my 2 dogs combined with a good looking car. Tina at the new Gainesville Carmax location helped me out and did a fantastic job. She made the entire care buying experience smooth, easy, and friendly. From test driving the GTI to cleaning the car for my ride home, Tina was with me to the end. My wife and I are very pleased with the entire purchase process!
I have the SE with lighting package and performance package 6 speed. It was the car of the year and has won a lot awards for good reason! Beat out the Subaru WRX, Audi A3, BMW 2 series and Mini Cooper. That is some serious competition. The interior is phenomenal. The ride is sporty and still comfortable, room for four adults no problem. Excellent on gas. Fold the rear seats down and you can stuff a 7 foot Christmas tree in the car. It subtle and classy. This car has all the boxes checked. Just a well rounded car that is appealing in many ways. Did I mention fun to drive and fast!!!