I love how the 2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T handles and the overall compact design. Its gas mileage is good, though not as good as others have said (27 to 30 mpg). The big problem is the seats - they are too narrow. I am 5 foot 9, 175 pounds so I consider myself average. After 1.5 hours in this car, my thighs have had it. I bought a seat pad from Brookstone that elevates me slightly (watch that headroom!) and relieves the pressure. My wife and all of the passengers I have had in it have noticed the same problem. Volkswagen offered no assistance saying it was "the design." I notice the new Jetta advertises more hip room. Go for the new one, leave this one to the sub 150 pounders.
The turbo performance and tight handling.
Improve the seats. Also, the radio reception died after a year, I have yet to see if VW will address that.