Three weeks and two tanks of gas later I can say I have loved every minute in this car (especially at night ... you'll see). Although I do have to say it's been a real challenge driving moderately to break in the engine. Three weeks without redlining or driving full-throttle is absolute torture in this car. You can get up to 50 mph in second gear (and it's hard to keep it under that speed). I'm happy to report that the car's gas mileage is better than expected. The first tank of vigorous city driving achieved 24.7 mpg. The second tank I drove moderately (which equals somewhat aggressive driving to me), about 30% / 70% city / hwy driving. I achieved 30.3 mpg. This car has solid handling, performance, and a reasonable price.
The exterior styling is more refined than the previous model Golf. And the interior is a class above the Honda Civic. This car is made from sturdy, modern materials like you'd find in a BMW or Mercedes. All of its buttons are intuitively placed. The speedometer / tach displays are very sporty and refined, not gimmicky.
The thick pillars create a blind-spot on the driver's side (2-door). The cruise cruise and turn signal are too close (but you get used to it). A sunroof is not an option on 2-Door model. The 17" wheels shown in ads were not available at the time of purchase.