So far the car's been great. I was specifically looking for a black one with the 18 inch Hufeisen Wheels. It took a couple of days but a dealer found one and gave it to me for its invoice price ($24,000). I didn't get leather because leather stinks in the summer time. I love the performance and look of the car...and the xenon headlights are the Icing on the cake!
The DSG Transmission is quick and responsive! I love the 18 inch wheels. This car has solid build quality. It's also FAST! I love its xenon headlights.
The cloth seats aren't the best quality, but I do love the plaid design. The car stereo stinks, but they do give you a 6 disc-in dash changer. Also, there is too much wind noise when the sunroof is open, but this is nothing a sunroof wind deflector couldn't cure.
This car is awesome. From the quality interior styling, to the sharp, sporty body styling, this auto really impresses. Oh, yeah, did I mention it is fast? I have the black magic 6-speed and have been very pleased with this car. The only issue I have had with it has been with the radio, and that was minor at best. I would highly recommend the GTI to anyone!
The performance, seats, and potential for personalization and upgrades.
For the price, this is one of the best cars you can buy. I looked at a Civic Si and RSX Type-S, both of them had no low end power at all, both needed to be reved to the sky and you were ALWAYS shifting. The GTI has torque on tap all the time. It pulls on the highway in 6th gear with little trouble. The design on the interior is well done. The package 0 and 1 however aren't as good looking as the package 2 interior, but the cloth seats are great looking. As far as sound systems go, the GTI has nothing near a killer stock system, but that's not why you buy this car. Its ride is great for the every day driver, even for the driver with the sporty side to them. The 6-speed transmission shifts are short and distinct.
The turbo power, detail, driver AND passenger seat flexability, and Bi-xenon headlights (usualy found in $60,000+ luxury cars only).
Add a stock sound system (although mine is now heavily modified) and have the seats stay in the foward position to let people in the back rather than having them flip back on their own.
In 2004 at the Paris Auto Salon, I sat in a first-run European-spec 2004 VW GTI in Candy White. The quality of the interior and exquisite attention to detail alone convinced me that I had to have one. Two years later, VWoA released it and I picked one up the second day I was back in the States in Tornado Red (as my German friend said, "the only color of the GTI"). The driving dynamics, build quality, and powerful 2.0TFSI engine all combine to make a magnificent driving experience. I have yet to suffer a single problem (knock on wood) with 5,500 miles. I'm lucky to have a wonderful dealer in my area.
The steering wheel and feel, the pull of the engine anywhere on the tachometer, its tossability, the quality and design of the interior, the fuel economy, the styling, the little touches of attention to detail typical of a VW, and of course the price.
Bring over the European-market cloth seats! They're more adjustable, higher quality, and more bolstered. Improve the HVAC (it gets hot in southern GA). Make the center console ashtray liner removable for easy disposal of trash. Do the same for the cupholders for easy cleaning.