The 2.0T is a very strong engine overall. There is moderate turbo lag, but once it spools up there is a lot of midrange torque. It pulls very hard in first and second, and even accelerates pretty hard in third. It fades a little at the upper end of the rev range (above ~4500 rpm), but overall for the money this has excellent straight-line performance.
The handling is fairly neutral and you can definitely feel the RWD character of the car. It feels very planted while cruising, but also pretty lively on a back road. The handling is not as chuckable as many smaller cars, but the cars limits are pretty high.
I average around 26 mpg in mixed driving, with a moderately heavy right foot. On a long, flat roadtrip I averaged ~32 mpg with speeds ranging from ~70-80 mph. Even in city driving and stop-and-go traffic I rarely dip below 20 for a trip.
Reliability & durability
I have not had any issues in 10,000 miles so far.
Materials & workmanship
The interior feels quite nice for a car under $25,000.
The 6-speed manual isn't a great gearbox. The ratios are very well spaced, but the actual shifting is mediocre at best. The shift action feels rubbery and engagements aren't positive. I haven't missed a shift, but it doesn't encourage shifting just for fun. The clutch is also somewhat numb. This combined with the on-off nature of the turbo engine can make driving smoothly challenging, especially in low speed, stop-and-go conditions.
The engine sounds decent for a turbo 4 (maybe not saying much, but the exhaust has a nice growl...). However, the engine drones a bit at highway speeds. It also doesn't sound refined.
Rear seat room & comfort
There is very little headroom in the rear. Anyone over 5'3" is going to have their head either touching or nearly touching the roof/rear glass. Pretty much anyone over 5'7" is going to have to cock their head to the side. The rear seat has decent leg room behind my seat (I am 5'11"). Access is also decent for a 2-door due to the long doors.
Driving position & visibility
The driving position is decent, but I could use more thigh support. Visibility is good to the front and sides, but fairly poor to the rear due to the wide and steeply-raked C-pillar, and tall rear end. The mirrors are helpful when properly adjusted, but a rear-view camera would be very handy when backing up.
I purchased this car because I felt it was a great value. It is fast, fun to drive and I like the styling. It drives like a much more expensive car. I'm happy with the purchase overall. There are definitely some compromises (shifter, rear seat room), but at under $25,000 I think its a great buy.