Yea it's a good review, he really seemed to like the car. Seems like the only thing holding back from an A on the driver category was basically wheel hop. You can solve that with motor mounts though, right?
We get it, the MK7 GTi is the superior hot hatch in all measured categories...is it so hard to comprehend that a lot of people (myself included) just plain flat out don't like VW and don't have faith in their reliability? The mascot is a gremlin after all...
I still think the FoST interior looks great in ST3 trim...sure some plastics and gauges look a bit cheap but it's a hot hatch, not a Lexus.
Don't get me wrong, the MK7 GTI is a very well engineered car but the conservative styling, pretentious owner group, and expensive repair costs really turn me off.
I feel fine saying I drive a Ford (had a 5.0 coyote before this car and it treated me well) but I just can't see myself ever saying I drive a Volkswagen =/
The VW benchmark vs everything else debate is tired at this point from my point of view. I've owned both and i'm happier with the Ford.
Not knocking the author because what else is he going to write about but I don't pay much attention to comparison tests at this point.
On the interior gripes side, compare used vs used and see what holds up better from an interior standpoint. Between me and my inlaws we've owned 5 VWs and 2 Fords. Every single VW that we've owned has interior trim pieces that are peeling and are unsightly. Anything that gets touched by the occupants (Door Pulls, Window Switches, Radio Buttons, Steering Wheels). Looks good new but does not hold up over time. I'm not saying the focus has the best interior design but it works for a car that is less than $30k and in some cases as the author points out well below $30k.
Tough to talk about reliability in an article like this but of those 5 VWs, every single one has been back to the dealership multiple times for warranty and out of warranty work some as soon as 15k miles. Convertible roof replacement (Wife's Beetle), Tranmission (MK4 Golf), Camshaft/Fuel Pump destruction (MK5 Jetta GLI). Major repairs that left the cars stranded and most times without a loaner vehicle unless we raised hell. The 2 Fords (my st and a base focus hatchback) have never had a single thing break. Nothing but tires, oil changes, and brakes. The only time my car has been at a dealership is when it was sitting on the lot before I purchased it. At 65k miles I was on a first name basis with my VW service advisor having been there 4+ times.
Nearly 3 years later I still love driving this car and see no reason to try to replace it with something else. Its paid off and I will be keeping it until it starts to fall apart.