I'm not digging the exterior design at all. The lower portion of the front end looks way too busy/awkward. The lines don't match up evenly along the center and outer grilles. And the door-mounted mirrors + A-pillar triangle window combo makes the car look very cheap and Honda Fit-ish. The pointless creases along the hatch area also add to the cheapness of the design (Mk5 and Mk6 look more solid/unified visually).
The interior definitely looks like a big improvement though. Better materials all around, nicely bolstered seats, standard touchscreen, clean layout, better steering wheel, etc. And everything from a technical/mechanical standpoint is definitely a big step up. Glad to see the car finally start shedding some pounds! I just wish it wasn't attached to such an ugly exterior design.
I love my Mk5 Rabbit to death (fun and reliable) and I've got nothing but great experiences with the brand. But the design direction VW is taking its future cars is completely unattractive to me. The only VW I'd even consider getting at this moment is the Mk6 Golf TDI... and unfortunately I don't have $26k to burn. The 2012 Beetle is pretty awesome too, but it's suffering from a few quality issues and the base model doesn't have defeatable traction control (terrible move).
I'm still on the fence about the 2013 Focus. Looks like the SE model got a little de-contenting (no more standard fog lights unless you get sport package). And posts about problems regarding the 2012 model still seems to be pouring in. If they've worked out all the major PowerShift issues in the 2013 model I might consider it though. It's a shame because I think it's one of the best looking (and handling) compact cars available today.