I've owned many VW's in the past, but gave them up after leasing a 1995 Jetta that was nothing but trouble. Gave the GTI a chance as a summer fun car. It has a little over 5K on it. It's a blast to drive, awesome stereo, great seats, solid and stable. Fuel economy is disappointing. I've got the 6 speed manual, and a 13 mile drive to work that is mostly highway, and only get around 26 mpg. All highway gets me up to a mere 27.2 mpg. I see others getting better than 30. My driving is spirited at times but I suspect no more so than most others getting higher mpg.
Stereo, Xenon headlights, heated seats & mirrors in cold weather package, red interior lights that illuminate the gearshift at night - nice touch VW.
VW's tend to have minor electrical issues that remain unresolved, so you need a sense of humor in dealing with that. The VW information center in the dashboard is troublesome. Gas needle often drops to empty when it's not true, and dealer says it tests out with no problems. Whatever.