I looked for a new car off and on for over 2 years and have never been a "VW guy". In fact, everything I've owned previously has been Japanese. When I test drove this car, the drive won me over. It is not the fastest or best handling car I considered, but it is the only one that made me grin uncontrollably every time I test drove it. I love the way the car looks inside and out. I love the way the controls feel at hand/feet. It sounds good. It gets good gas mileage (averaged nearly 32 on a 3 hr interstate trip with less than 1k miles on the odo). It has fantastic legroom front and back. Even with the 18" wheels, I don't mind the ride quality. There's simply no other car like it.
Perfectly engineered engine and transmission. Lowered ride height for 2008. The 18" wheels fill the wells nicely. So many thoughtful controls (all windows one-touch up/down, rear wiper turns on when you shift to R, front wipers slow down when you stop, blinker flashes 3 times when you tap once).
Make the car easier to self-maintain. I liked the bluish window color of the previous years.