I love this car. I am routinely getting 44 mpg in all-around driving, and have exceeded 50 mpg twice on highway driving. The manual transmission version is a must... when I test-drove the automatic it was a slug. I had a problem with the driver's side seat heater, which subsequently became a recall. One of the instrument panel lights doesn't work. Aside from that, the Jetta has been flawless. At 550-620 miles per tank, you can pass gas stations a whole lot!
The outstanding fuel economy is key. this car handles really well for its price. It is quite responsive. Its brakes are very good. With snow tires, this car will not get stuck in the winter, and even the stock all-season radials are pretty good.
Move the cupholder, it gets in the way of the radio.