This car has performed very well for me in the past year and a half. I average about 31 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg during mixed driving. There isn't another 4-cylinder in this price range that performs as well. VW recommends premium fuel, but I haven't had any problems running regular, midgrade, or premium. Also, oil changes are expensive due to synthetic oil requirement. I hope the car remains reliable over the years, as some studies show that VW's can have reliability issues.
Engine - good start up speed. Seats - drove from WI to WA (2000 mi) in 2.5 days and didn't have a sore butt. In my Grand Am, the seat starting becoming sore after about 300 miles. Large fuel tank - 500+ miles on highway.
Could have a better stereo (don't understand why manufacturers can't put pre-amp outputs in the cd players). Also, engine is great at lower speeds but could use a little more umph at highway speeds (still better than other 4-cylinders cars), although this could be due to transmission or turbo- lag.