I've owned my 2-door since Sept 2014, and love it. Great balance between performance and practicality, especially on the performance side of the equation. I find no greater joy than hucking it into a corner at a slightly irresponsible speed, and coming out the other side going even faster. Seats are super comfortable for my 6 foot frame. Took my car from New Hampshire to California and back, and at no point did any part of me hurt in a 600-700 mile day. My average mileage sits around 28.7 MPG on mostly 93 octane fuel. There have only been three weak points I've found so far: The car has an appetite for summer tires (expect a new set every 25-30k miles or so), the reliability hasn't been perfect (so far I've had to do the water pump and fuel pump, which are common failure points on the 2.0 TSI motor, in addition to new ignition coils), and the insurance has been on the pricey side. Other than those minor things, this is my favorite car I've ever owned.
I drive sports cars. I frequently end up selling them due to not being able to use all their power and features on the road. The GTI Gives real world performance. You can utilize all the gears without committing a felony. Well balanced. Powerful but not too much. Power comes on smoothly from about 2000 rpm (when boost is entered) all the way up. No need to keep it up at redline all day. I finally have a car that is comfortable enough to commute in yet still sporty enough to take the twisty way home. If you're a number racer, buy a Ferrari. If you love to drive pick up the gti. Easy real 4 passenger commuter near mini s performance. Corners near red territory.
Smooth power application across band.
Base model gets only those extras that are industry standards.
Ditch the stock all season tires.
No audible feed back.
Good performance for a golf, horrible for a GTI.
Slick, soft side walls, poor, but reliable traction.
No warning when you're on the edge.
Rear camera should be standard.
Rear visibility bad for parking.
But not so big as to be problematic.
Car comes with a noise maker in the firewall (apparently a German sport standard now, even on Carreras ) makes fake engine noise.
Hard to get to, but easily disabled.
Makes car quieter and real.
Aural version of a fake hood scoop..