My last two cars before this were Porsches. I wanted something practical and fun. The GTI fit the bill. Out of the box the GTI's handling is sporty but not overly reasurring. The shocks seem a bit soft. But when pushed hard it really does very well. It is predicatble, powerful, controllable, tossable, and fun. The limiting factor in the performace is definately the brakes. Extended hard driving will lead to noticble brake fade. It will seat adults in the back seat comfortably; has lots of cargo space; has power everything (almost); and is FAST. The GTI proves to the US that a hatchback can be a luxury car! Finally the motor. It just loves to go. It's all about the tourque! Wow.
The Turbo! Leather. The monsoon stereo is the best factory stereo I've ever had, though I'm sure it is not enough for all the bass addicted kids out there. Nice ride. General fit, finish, and feel. Cool wheels. ABS.
Suspension is designed in such a way that lowering it significantly detracts from handling. This is unfortunate for people who feel they must lower their cars. Get a Honda. Brakes, though much better than in my '86 Golf are not enough to balance the incredible motor.