The GTI is fun to drive. The handling and power are average. I recommend the '02 and up GTIs (30 more HP). All the rumors about the electric and use of cheap parts are true. The sunroof drainage tubes are cheap rubber hoses that will leak on you. The power windows will go out on you. The cheaper stock turbo hoses will leak or bust. Get use to seeing the check engine light on. stock suspension is too high and loose for the handling one might want. I recommend upgrading to the 20th/337 GTI suspension. I am on my second oil pan and second fuel pump. Get the timing belt done as soon as possible. If that goes out it takes the whole engine with it. Poor design!!
Turbo engine. Interior layout. Exterior design.
Electric wiring, more horsepower, better suspension, better parts, cheaper retail of replacement parts, and better aero design!