After one test drive, I was won over by the mechanical refinement and supple, elegant interior. It makes competitors (I will not name names here) feel like cheap, crude toys. The GTI offers a satisfying balance of zip & zoom, price, comfort, and luxury.
Powertrain harmony and chassis refinement, interior materials, the tactile and aural sensations from every move it makes. Interior switchgear and trimmings are up there at BMW or Audi level...which is to say "first class". The steering wheel alone is a delicious piece of craftsmanship and design.
Hmmm. No automatic headlamps. But that's a tiny, tiny omission.