Coming from Acura, I don't miss a bit of luxury. Actually the GTI makes much more sense. It's extremely well-built with a logical and spartan/germanic layout. Navigation and ipod integration work smoothly and fast. The leather seats are very comfy and supportive while the interior is much more spacious than you think. I left the powertrain last. It's a blast to drive the GTI. Whether commuting or playing, it just brings a smile. I had a VW in 2003, so I was afraid of VW's reliability...
But GTI has come a long way. It's not as reliable as my 2009 TSX but it's quite close. Actually you wouldn't want GTI to become Japanese... you definitely want it to stay German: a toy and a commuter.
engine, manual transmission, understated but elegand looks, simple and high quality interior, navi
18" wheels are not for everybody and every road. While I prefer a firm ride, a 17" choice should be default