Forgot I also drove the VW Golf R... fun little car, especially in manual gearbox! A little bit too fun as I ended up getting a ticket on the test drive!
The Golf / GTI really has one of the best interiors in that price range, really top notch. It just didn't feel planted though, felt top heavy and unstable which surprised me for an AWD. VW really didn't have good lease/loan terms either at the time which made the car as much as the 335i to own.
Oh... and when you get the navi on the VW the screen size is SMALLER than the standard screen without the navi... WTF. lol