I've owned German cars since the 70's, Audis, Porsches (way back in the 70's), a short unhappy flirtation with MB, VW's aplenty. The Gti Mk 5 (I snagged one of the first in 2006) isn't the most luxuri...
I've owned German cars since the 70's, Audis, Porsches (way back in the 70's), a short unhappy flirtation with MB, VW's aplenty. The Gti Mk 5 (I snagged one of the first in 2006) isn't the most luxurious, fastest, most capacious, or lightest on its feet. I'd have to hand out separate prizes in each category. But it pulls together everything I want in a car better than any I've ever owned.
It is the first car I've owned with an AT and haven't regretted the decision ever. In sport mode it is really an electrically assisted manual, especially with the paddle shifters: you'll shift faster and more precisely than any performance driving instructor. With its different modes the car has several personalities on tap: nice in-town runabout with plenty of cargo space and enough spice to make it a lot of fun (wife loves it that way); thrifty very safe highway cruiser (30mpg at 80, with snow tires and all assists on beats 90's-era Audi AWD's hands down); great expressway commuter with assists on and AT set to auto-sport - at any speed a slight tap will have you pressed against the seat; and a grin-producing beast in the twisties in manual-shift/ ESC off mode (it's not completely off but lets you slide to the edge and saves your butt when you go beyond it). No matter how you're driving it you've got gobs of torque just waiting to be called on, no delay, no calculating how long reaching full power will take.
In short, the wife having specified a comfortable ride and lots of cargo space, I thought this would be a nice compromise. What I didn't expect was that this would be the best car either of us has ever driven - and on cars, we've never agreed on anything, hard to get used to.