Why the Golf and cars like it aren't the best selling cars in the U.S. I don't understand. You have the practicality of a hatchback for carrying stuff, you have the performance of a hot rod for driving pleasure and the comfort of a luxary car (especially w/ the Recarro seats) for the price these cars sell at, it's pretty much a steal. I've got 160,000 miles on on with the original clutch and it's still running like gangbusters. Yes, you have to take care of them. They're not for people who don't know what a hood latch is. But, the amount of car you get in one package is awesome. It's worth taking care of this vehicle.
Last of the true GTI's. Nimble, Fast, and Handled like a GTI.. VW was able to also design this car with a comfortable, yet, communicative ride. These are the "just right" GTI's. Expect some issues. It is a VW. Not a Honda Civic. Electrical problems (rather minor, but annoying ones nevertheless). Also I have gone through 2 distributors in barely 35k miles. One had a defective seal, but Bosch didn't cover it. The seats are the nicest most comfortable I have, well, ever sat in stock in any car. REAL Recaros. I added a set of KW Coilovers & Neuspeed sways. and the pretty orig BBS wheels were too soft for USA roads, went with TSW 15". Handles+. Shift Kit, TT Exhaust. Grin, Repair, Repeat.