After much research and test driving, I traded in my '04 Passat GLX 5-Speed for a '08 GTI 4-Door. I needed something more practical, but also wanted to upgrade slightly in performance. However, I also wanted to stay below (well below) $30k while doing it. With the current crop of hot hatches proliferating like bunnies (no pun intended), the GTI seemed to have the best mix of everything, features, performance, space and a well-executed interior. The Mazda3 was the only real competitor that gave the GTI a run for its money - especially in the value aspect. However, in the end, the GTI was more unique and hit a lot more design details that I appreciate (illuminated vanity mirrors for one).
In no particular order: -DSG -2.0 L FSI -Driving Position -Steering Wheel -Interior execution
I would have really liked to have the previously available dual-zone climate control in this car. It's not a huge deal, but something that you appreciate after having it. Also, I think every car should have the auto-tilt down feature for the passenger mirror when in reverse - just a great feature!