Great car, period! But, great can be improved...my observations thus far...
. Slightly larger rear swaybar
. Increase front track width a hair or two
. Stickier tires - the stock fare are horrid especially in the rain
. Stiffen either the front or rear bushing - but not both - in the front lower control arms
. Steel braided brake lines...initial brake travel feels a little lifeless
. At about 15K miles a set of Koni FSD or the adjustable Yellows...but the ride is too good to destroy
1) Absolutely! They are available, and I've heard good things about the mod. It's on my list.
2) No comment, I'd just be talking out my ass.
3) Agreed. Which tires do you have? However, what did you really expect? Stock, OEM tires are supposed to be adequate, and stay within the OEM's budget. Compromise is the main word on those tires. My suggestion: find a buyer (someone may be willing to pay a decent amount for them), and buy a better set. Do it now, while they are still new.
4) Again, I'd just be talking out my ass on this. Why do you think the bushings should be changed?
5) I don't think the stainless lines will make as much of a change as you think. I may be wrong. I know my brakes seem to have too much take-up travel and lack initial bite. If I give them a quick pump the pedal feels like it's in the right place, and service says it is to spec. I do want to change pads to something with better initial bite.
6) I would also like a tighter suspension. It rides nice, and handles well, but I have bottomed the suspension on some intersection turns, and with stuff in the back I have dragged the mudflaps on some intersection turns as well. If I didn't have all the hills where I am I'd probably never notice. I'd thought about stiffer spings, but all the ones I've seen also lower the car, and that definitely will not work for me.
I have plenty of experience with Conti-Contacts...reasonable dry grip and not so reasonable wet grip...I expected them to be average. I was simply sharing.
Re the brake lines...although I have used steel braided lines in many applications, I was surprised only once by how little these changed brake feel...and that was on my 1989 Jetta GLI 16V. The stock lines resisted expanding nearly as well as the Steel braided lines. The brakes do feel a little spongy on the TDi but that can be caused from caliper/bracket or fire wall flex too.
Re bushings...very important area of tuning for me but I cannot say why yet...this car responds very nicely to throttle during a turn - it goes where it's pointed with moderate throttle and speed levels. But there is a little hint of indirectness somewhere.