There is an unbelievable difference between the 1.8L turbo (170hp) in my Passat and the 2.0L Turbo (200hp) in this GTI. It also feels a lot stronger than the 2.0L Turbo (210hp) that I had in my 2002 WRX, and overall is a much nicer car than the WRX, quicker off the line, better quality materials throughout, and you always feel in complete control of the GTI. This GTI wants to move out fast whether you have the DSG Auto transmission in normal drive mode, sport mode or manual shift mode. It shifts silky smooth in all three modes. The paddle shifters on the steering wheel are more toys than anything else, but really fun ones!
I love the 2.0L turbo engine and the DSG auto transmission that combine to make this one fast Rabbit. Also, like the four doors, which makes the back seat very accessible and usable.
The ride quality could be better. I guess that I'm spoiled by the Passat's smooth ride. It probably doesn't help that I have the 18" performance tires on it which make it handle so wonderful, but you feel every little imperfection in the road surface.