2008 Volkswagen Passat Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Wonderfully performing car for the size. Took car for a day trip on winding state highways and the car was excellent, power and handling are superb. After driving many higher priced, less optioned cars, the VW was a no-brainer, just hope past reliability issues are non-existent. It is too bad VW is discontinuing the manual tranny after the '08 model, this might be the best manual tranny VW has produced. Gas mileage has been great so far, between 28-30 mpg for combined driving.
Manual tranny feel (compared to other VWs), engine power and efficiency, and electro-mechanical steering.
A no or less chrome option, mechanical parking brake, and smaller key (it is hard to run with the big key in running shorts and the using the valet key means removing a cover on the door handle and setting off the alarm to unlock the door.)