I bought this Jetta two years ago from my local dealer, as a third car for my teenage boys to drive. It's a stick, with few options, but was in good condition. We've had virtually no problems with it and it's turned out to be a tough car, too. It provides superb basic transportation. It's fun for the boys to drive, but not too flashy either. We maintain this car and plan on keeping this Jetta for a long time.
It seems like the most fun-to-drive economy car out there. The whole driving experience beats the "appliance" nature of Japanese cars, and quality is much better than US economy cars.
For the low price we paid, it's been a great value and no necessary improvements come to mind.