I've owned a lot of cars, but none have captured my heart like my Red GTI, with the six-speed manual. Have had it for 5 months, and put on 9,000 miles, with not a single issue, other than too much fun. I have to keep myself from making up reasons to run errands. Versatile, balanced, beautiful, compact but solid, easy to park, it flies like a mother, and is equally composed when cruising in a 25 mph zone. More fun to drive than my old AUDI A4, comparable to the 3-series we had. I'm not sure I'll ever want to own another car than a GTI.
I thought it was funny what reviewers said about the steering wheel, until I actually drove this car, and then I realized what they were talking about. I love the way it looks--the honeycomb grill, the blade wheels, it's like a shrunken down X3. The clutch and gearbox are remarkably forgiving for a car of such a sporty nature. It's almost impossible to make a bad throw.
Nitpicks: because of the slope of the doors, when it's raining, the windows have to be up, or water gets in. The audio could be a little better, but then again, the overall experience of driving this car is so pleasurable, I can hardly complain. I've been spoiled by my Mark Levinsohn Lexus audio.