The car is a rock. Tight bodyworks. Firm but complacent chassis and suspension tuning. It wants to charge forward, not just run. It gobbles up highway asphalt effortlessly. It has made a number of trips between Chicago, IL and Greensboro, NC - it inspires confidence at any speed through any terrain including the Blue Ridge Mountains, while returning gas mileage in the 30MPG range at average speeds of 75-80MPH. Overall, a wonderful drivers experience everytime you spark the 5- cyl to life! The car seems to improve with age. Gas mileage was initially very mediocre (18-25MPG), but has improved dramatically (22-30MPG). Seats were rock hard, but are now comfortable on long trips.
The 5-cylinder engine is fantastic. Infinitely smoother than any 4- cylinder. It has a somewhat rough but likable exhaust note. Love to run it to redline. The 6-speed manuauto trans provides tight shifts in automatic mode. Love the dash lights - red needles with purple backlighting.
Improve the quality of the interior switchgear - the plastic seat lever broke in the 2nd week of ownership. The manual mode of the automanual trans is obnoxious - it constantly overrides the driver's selections. Too many proprietary parts - wiper blades from dealer only? C'mon VW!