I traded in my 2002 M3 when it hit 100K miles as I new maintenance would start to get expensive. I have NO regrets 'downgrading' to the GTI. I gave up a good bit of power but the GTI is more nimble and fun to drive. The interior features are perfect to me, elegant and highly functional without tech gizmos that are usually not worth the time it takes to learn about them. We love the cloth interlagos (plaid) seats, funky and very comfortable. The exterior styling is a big upgrade from the 2009 model. The car looks more conservative than last year's car, while looking more muscular. And the car is a bit lighter which is always welcomed. This car is a great bargain!
The price is my favorite feature and the 2.0t engine is a close second.
I wish VW would offer a trim level with less options/weight/price. And I would like the manual transmission to be a little more notchy, like BMW's. This tranny is too soft and reminds me of a Honda.