2006 Volkswagen GTI New 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Got a 2006 GTI after my 2004 GTI was destroyed by lightning. I don't like the non-linear response of the turbo, but after two years and 16,000 miles I no longer care. This GTI is more powerful, faster, and much roomier than before. Gets 23mpg in town and the low 30s @ 75mph with cruise. In mkIV GTIs the ESP (traction control) would slam on the brakes at the worst possible time. No longer. VW has transformed ESP into cornering ecstasy. Take a corner too fast, it scrubs off perfectly. Step on the gas in high speed corners, some wheels accelerate and some brake, the car digs in, and away you go. Only a computer can calculate and respond fast enough to do that. Just amazing!
Go with DSG if you just can't handle a stick, otherwise get the 6-speed manual, its great. The independent suspension is a major advancement. I took my GTI on a 3,600 mile road trip that was more pleasant than any long trip I have taken in any auto. The GTI's ergonomics and amenities are top notch.
Get rid of ridiculous stereo governor that turns down the volume when it thinks its too loud, even though it is not! More knee room under steering column. Busy gauges subscribe to today's trends rather that keeping the beauty and readability of the mkIV dashboard.