The car has great pick up and cruises solidly at high speed. However, it is quite noisy as the transmission is geared too low. A high, sixth gear is greatly needed. My car has had a "popping" sound when cold and a very unstable idle. No distinct cause has been found. There are tons of squeaks, creaks, and rattles that will never be solved. I sold my TDI because of these to get my present 1.8T. And both cars were made in Wolfsburg! The door latches have been replaced, window regulators, mass air flow sensor, injector seals, turbo boost valve, and diverter valve. If you want a Golf, get the TDI.
Turbo torque. Decent mileage. Lots of cargo space with rear seats down. Excellent instrument cluster. Firm but supple ride.
Make it lighter! Better balance, too heavy in front. Overall better build quality. A higher, sixth gear for all 1.8T and TDIs. Better hinges and latches for doors. Stiffen the car. Firmer brakes.