I've had nothing but good experiences after buying my zippy 1.8t Golf. After reading reviews of Golfs from hell I decided to buy a used one from a dealership, as a precaution if anything were to go completely wrong (NY dealers give 2 months warranties). The only small problem I have is the hinge on the glove box was broken, this doesn't affect the use. I also got this car because of my growing fear of the behemoth SUVs on the road that would have totaled my little old Honda. The car has great acceleration and lots of passing power when down shifting. Overall this car is a blast to drive. By the way, it has tons of cargo space for such a little car.
The 5-speed transmission, auto windows when you put your key in, hatchback for hauling stuff, cute design - inside and out, peppy little engine, small size - makes it easy to park and drive in the cities.
6th gear for cruising at 80-90mph on long car trips, which would also greatly improve fuel economy.