2018 Volkswagen GTI
The GTI drives a hard bargain. Even if you’re looking for something more fun, or at the other end, more practical, the GTI can do both — it’s hard to argue against the GTI if you’re anything close to an enthusiast. Its 220-horsepower turbocharged four is a hoot, either with the six-speed manual or the dual-clutch six-speed automatic. Yet the interior offers a grown-up minimalism that’s easy to live with, and utilitarian, since it fits up to 53 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats folded down. For 2018, look at the mid-level SE and Autobahn trims, since they both get an electronic limited slip differential and 8-inch touchs creens standard. There’s a reason that Top Gear host (and multi-millionaire) Jeremy Clarkson chooses the GTI as his daily driver: it’s just that good.
[2018 pricing not yet announced; likely from around $25,000 (est); vw.com]