I was hoping for a less expensive vehicle, but the test drive of my 2004 Volkswagen R32 sold me. The car rides like it's on rails even when I punch it, but has a nice refinement to it as well. I'm driving it in the winter in the Finger Lake area right now, and it handles better than my Jeep Grand Cherokee in the snow! However, I can't wait to pop the summer wheels back on and open up the windows and throttle! It's sporty but classy, fast but not furious. Even though I was looking for a smaller car payment, I still get giddy every time I sit behind the wheel. I would highly recommend this car without any reservations. If you want Golf fuel efficiency however, stick with the TDI.
I love the "burble" in upper gears when the exhaust note changes; racing seats; lack of tacky touches like an obnoxious oversized spoiler; all the subtle touches. I'll be keeping my eyes open for the next gen R32 (or R36?).
Better headlights; electric seat adjustment; a navigation consol like the Euro version has; even more of a slightly different body styling to set it apart from the GTI. Generally, not much ... I'm incredibly pleased with the way it is.