This is the best GTI ever. It is so much fun to drive. It has amazing handling. If you are over 40 years old - stay away from 18" tires - they make the ride too rough. If you don't want to spend on winter tires and change them before every winter - stay away from 18" tires. Other than that, this is probably the most bang for your buck in a long time.
The pickup, speed, hadling, and cornering - it just hugs the road.