I got my Golf as a graduation gift in 2007 and have been fairly happy with it. The guy that owned it before me put a clutch in it after learning how to drive a standard, has some sketchy rust spots (originally a VT car), the engine cuts out at odd moments (due to the MAF sensor), and the radio died a silent death when the battery was disconnected one day. Also, the drivers door lock cylinder comes out with the key and the vacuum-powered locking system doesn't work. Other than that and some routine maintenance, I love my VW and plan on buying a Mk. 4 ASAP. All my friends envy me my sporty little car and want either a Golf or a Jetta now.
8-speaker audio system, the ability to take on just about anything at a two-lane red light, the gas mileage that goes 100 miles on a quarter of a tank, the look and interchangeability of parts with the Jetta (I put in seats and silver gauges from a '98 GT), the aggressive stance and the ride.
More wisely-placed front cup holders!! aftermarket mass airflow sensor, power windows to go with the power sunroof, more durable front spoiler, electric power locks instead of vacuum, and a less unpredictable radio would all be nice.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.