2006 Volkswagen GTI New 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Well, I'll admit I never even test drove a civic si, or any other "competing" car in the same segment. I already know the GTI handles great, has very easy power (especially with mods), and that the looks were leagues ahead of other hatchbacks (interior and out.) I love the plaid seats, the subtle yet aggressive lines, and most of all the motor. With a 2 liter I'm making 260 wtq and 230 whp with just chip, exhaust, and intake. I find that more then enough for a daily driver and equal or better then any other stock hatchback out there. I've had only one problem with the car, an airbag light I got fixed under warranty. I've watched other hatchbacks come out, and am very glad I chose the GTI.
Easily moddable engine, great chassis, love the interior and always get good comments on how nice it is inside. It also sort of puts you into a very hospitable community of VW diehard fans I never experience with other marques.
Needs an LSD first, and with that it should come with more power stock. With just a chip these cars make a considerable amount of power/torque, proving just how detuned the motor is from the factory. I also would love to see an awd 2.0t gti/R20 (R32-esque). Could easily compete with the WRX.