I was driving an '08 HCH, and I couldn't help but think something was missing- any sense of driving excitement. I then test-drove this car, and that was it. I can't believe that I'm achieving the same frugality as my previous car, only with a healthy dose of fun-to-drive, freeway-passing torque to go with it (I describe it as "my old car, but with stones (edited)"). I've heard stories about VW reliability, but at 4,100 miles (and a lead-footed average of 40mpg), I have yet to see something go wrong. From the solidity to the materials to the robust powertrain, I find it hard to believe VW is making a profit at this price. It's an excellent car that covers all points of debate favorably.
Overall value, diesel torque, sport seats, genuine comfort, hatchback versatility, German sense of solidity, Audi-grade materials that are bolted down tightly. And of course, all that fun-to-drive torque combined with hybrid-like mpg.
More storage in the center console, but that's it. If you're an eco-conscious driving enthusiast, and you value your car as a driving tool (rather than an A-to-B political statement), then you can't go wrong. Truly having your cake and eating it too.