First let me say this car is a blast to drive. Economical on gas, although it requires premium. Almost Audi-like quality for a much lower price. The most entertaining car I have ever had. I looked forward to driving it. The hatchback versatility was great. Now the bad: the first battery lasted about a year and gave out in the middle of a road trip. CEL came on another trip for an intake sensor. At 50k miles the intake manifold had to be placed. At 55K the mass airflow sensor went. Dealership had poor service. I got the car back from them and sold it. I don't have time to sit in a VW dealership or be without a car for weeks at a time. Hated to see it go, though.
Awesome drive, hatchback versatility, gas mileage, the sound it makes under acceleration, fat steering wheel felt great, front seat comfort outstanding.
Reliability. I had been warned about VW reliability but took the plunge anyway. Not sure if I just got a bad car or what, but I got the GTI bug out of my system.