I was in the market for something that was a) more fuel efficient than my 2002 Civic, b) had more power than my 2002 Civic, c) have something more environmentally conscious, and d) drive something more fun. The VW Golf does all of this, but does it better than I could have imagined. The clean, simple exterior belies the well assembled interior and its turbo diesel engine. Getting where you need to go should not be as fun as this car makes it (but I'm not complaining =p)! DISCLAIMER#1- For me, this car is totally worth its premium price, but it is nearly the same price as a GTI (budget beware!). DISCLAIMER#2- Diesel can be a task to find, but VW has a locator on their site.
The car makes driving fun. The acceleration is quiet and powerful (you can easily be above the speed limit and not notice due to the torque). Doors have a "good weight" to them. Braking is precise, but not jarring. A more eco-conscious car with plenty of attitude. ^_^
With the length of the "switch blade" key fob (when fully extended), getting to the ignition can be a bit too snug for some. Heavyset people may have trouble fitting into the front seats comfortably. Touch-screen radio can be a fingerprint magnet (as you would imagine).