I looked at many different cars, but found none to be more fun than the GTI. It's well built, well priced and is truly a joy to drive. The transmission is easily the best automatic that I've ever driven and the F-1 style paddles make the manual mode fun. It's also as practical as a station wagen. In short, for the money, I'm could find nothing better.
The manual mode on the transmission; the wonderful engine; the seats.