Based on the criteria above, I gave the Jetta 1.8T a good review. Overall, this is a very nice looking and fun car to drive. There are, however, a lot of little things that frustrate me. The check engine light comes on a lot. I read the code, and it's a problem with the coolant temp sensor. Not a big deal, but still. The interior rattles a TON. Pretty disappointing for a car of this caliber (read price). The gas mileage is okay. 25-26 mixed, 28-29 hwy. Now in winter it's 23mpg. Cost of maintenance is high. The ride is pretty stiff. On smooth roads is like butter. On anything less than smooth, you feel every bump (and hear it via the interior rattles). Not as worry free as I would like.
Power. It's not overly powerful, but it's pretty quick and fun. Handles well, brakes are good. Overall a fun car to drive. Looks are great with 17s. The interior is laid out nicely, everything is very uniform. Interior is also very functional, not a lot of superfluous nonsense.
Build quality. Excessive rattles in a car of this price/caliber? Come on, VW! Leather seats are pretty stiff, and they show wear easily. Check engine lights, rough idle, car dying once right after startup, hesitation when cold. These things are just not acceptable!