...a car that compares in many ways to the 3-series, albeit a really different class of automobile.
I'd be seriously lying if I said I didn't like the GTI a lot. Haven't driven one yet, but I like the looks of it (I'm a hatchback fan, too) and have heard many good things.
With very few bad things in comparison to outweigh the benefits.
As I've said before, I love the 323. Can't wait to test drive one. I've now added the VW GTI to my short roster of possible new cars. (BMW 323, the GTI or the new version of the Acura Integra, if I like it.) The only serious downfall that I can see it its size. Smaller even than the Integra (one of which I drive now), when I was hoping to go up at least a little bit. Rear drive or front doesn't matter; rear would be a fun change, but is not necessary. For a car its size, however, it's quite roomy. I sat in one inside a nearby VW dealer, just didn't take one out yet.
Anyone here own, or have at least driven the '99 GTI (VR6 only, I wouldn't consider the 4)? It's different than the previous generation car, so if anyone has opinions on its performance, thanks much!