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I bought my Golf last year secondhand from a VW dealer. Ownership has very good apart from a few minor problems sorted by VW.
Starting with the built quality, as you would expect this is very good as No rattles or squeaks although certain cabin materials don't appear to be as good as the MK4 Golf which I had before.
The GT comes with a high spec such as Auto lights, rain sensors, CD, electric windows/mirrors etc but mine came with the optional Winter Pack. This includes heated sports front seats, heated washer jets and rear parking sensors. A valuable option and although not a big car it does help. Dual climate control is a nice feature too and allows the passenger to have control of the heating on there side.
Best of all is fuel consumption. This is a 2.0 150bhp car and I manage a combined mpg of 36-41mpg. Performance is great for a non-turbo 2.0 helped by the 6 speed gearbox. So you can have a lot of fun but without the high fuel costs. Insurance is cheap too for group 13. So if you can't stretch to the GTi (like myself) this is well worth considering.
Dealer servicing can be a bit pricey but the GT runs on Longlife service intervals (every 20,000 miles) so it balances out.
If you're looking for a quick, econmical, safe and reliable car I recommend the GT anyday. Note the diesels are stronger on mpg but cost more to buy and are more expensive to maintain and are not as fun to drive.