Simply amazing car... the 2.0 Turbo is quick. It is strong all through the rev range, very little turbo lag. I drive a considerable distance on the interstate, and it revs high at 75-80 mph (turning over 3000 rpm). As such, I have to work to get 30 mpg out of it, although at 60 it gets mid-30's easy. It has an Audi-grade interior and fit/finish, love the plaid seats and they are very comfortable (and heated!). The gauges light up white/grey/red and match the upholstory well. This is the only car on the planet that I prefer the automatic over a stick; the DSG is brilliant! My car also has the Pirelli tires as opposed to the Dunlops. The GTI is a ball to drive, but civilized, too.
With over 2 dozen cars in my personal history, the 4-door GTI is the only one I've bought two of in a row. I usually like to "try the field", but found my level of perfection with GTI. Bought a CPO 07' in 10', and had no hesitation with replacing it with a top-of-the-line Autobahn model in 2013. $30k does put you in a different altitude for car choices, but a 4-door GTI is unique and perfect. Fits 4 adults, fun, useful, and respected by those who are higher up the food chain. I get several compliments from BMW and Porsche owners on mine. The DSG transmission really "makes the car". Sure, manual is probably best for the purist. But the DSG is simply fantastic.
I've had my 2013 GTI for nearly one year. Love driving the car, performance, economy, styling, are all excellent. My car went in for a 10K Service at the Dealership and came away with a clean bill of health. Then 6 weeks later, the coolant light came on. Dealership diagnosed as a fault with a new water pump part on 2013 models. Significant work removing and reinstalling engine bay parts to repair. While it was at dealership, they identified an additional fault - apparently through engine diagnostics - and it required a replacement intake manifold. More engine bay parts removed and reinstalled. I am now very concerned about the long-term reliability proposition for this vehicle.
Final update on this car: I have had almost three trouble free (well, after the initial "out of the box" problem) years of driving this car, and put just over 48K miles on it. Replaced the original Pirelli PZero tires at 46K miles. All other maintenance has been per the book - the only exception is that I changed the oil at 5K mile intervals vs the factory recommended 10K interval. This has been a great car to drive both in town and on extended road trips. Gas mileage has always been excellent - low to mid 20s in town (with spirited driving) and low to mid 30s on the highway. Handles very well / feels very stable on the road in all conditions. No significant rattles or squeaks yet. All finishes inside and out look factory new. Great performance, great value.
Had a Mark I for 12 years, base Mark VI for 3 and now this one. Switched from manual to auto and 2 door to four. Great car. Came from a string of BMWs (Z3, Z4, 3 series) and honestly prefer GTI. Especially in Autobahn form. Very Germanic. Solid, well crafted, highly competent. Excellent fuel mileage and very good performance. It's not a rocket and that's fine with me. I love the silence of the cockpit, the Dynaudio sound is great and the telematics work very well. I'm honestly surprised I like the DSG as much as I do, having been in a manual for 35 years. But it truly is a lot of fun, and when in bad traffic, great to have.