I've had my GTI (4dr, manual, 18s) for just over a year, and I'm still enamored with the car. It's solid, speedy, handles amazingly well. Yes, could use more power, but I don't need it. Handling is what makes the car so fun. Ride is a bit harsh on bad pavement, but who cares? Buy a couch on wheels if you so desire. Stereo is fantastic but touchscreen is difficult while driving, shifter precise, engine note perfectly tuned and gas mileage good on the highway--26-28mpg on spririted freeway stints at 90mph; 33 best; 13 in city worst. Two issues: brake pad came apart at 4000 miles; rattles from pas. b-pillar at 8800 miles. No big deal--all replaced under warranty quickly. Can't wait for R20.
Overall handling for a front driver is simply a blast. Fit and finish is phenomenal. Engine note, stereo. Heated seats make winter okay. For the money, one of the best autos out there without a doubt--fast, economical, utilitarian, trendy with plaid; fun with helping of luxury with leather, nav and DSG. The steering wheel is stunning. Xenons are quite impressive. Traction control is not intrusive but helpful--allows for play. The car is quite good in snow on the 18 inch all-seasons; but it doesn't like slushy accumulations.
Test drive it. You will want one. It's addictive. Buy it. Find curvy, open roads. Floor it. Grin uncontrollably.
Fix the door sills--they collect tons of soap while getting the car washed which freezes doors shut in cold weather if you don't wipe immediately and is just annoying in the summer; I hate to continue preaching it, but more power....please? Even though it's already hard to not lose traction on a hard launch; update the Bluetooth; and why do the doors auto-lock but not auto-unlock? Plaid fabric can get dirty easily in corners and crevices where dirt tends to collect. I know I'm nitpicking but that's about all I've got.