I purchased this car used in 2003 with approx. 28,000 miles on it and I just turned 218,450. I would have to say it has been a good experience overall. Most of the maint work has been done with a local VW independent garage and they really know their stuff. I usually get 29 to 33 MPG depending on the season. (Mi. resident) Most of my repair work has been related to front suspension because of Mi. bad winter roads. I still have the original clutch and exhaust system, and have used synthetic oil with oil changes between 6-10,000 miles. I never owned a car for this long, but I find it's a blast to drive. I'll be looking for a good deal on a 4door GTI for my next ride.
1.8T and smmoth 5 speed. Very good MPG. Size and handling.
I love this little car! My brother talked me into a TDI (he has a Jetta). I get better mpg than my buddy's Prius, and a better looking car. Build quality is excellent. Attention to detail inside is unreal compared to US/Japan cars, like the tiny sun visor above the rear-view mirror. Only problems I've had: plastic window clips loosened up, had to replace MAF sensor when I upgraded the turbo, which I did in an afternoon on my own. Other than oil and tires, it just keeps chugging along. I love the heated seats, a must with a TDI in the winter. I drove from Indy to Virginia on one tank! I love the look on people's faces when I tell them about my 49mpg in town.
Fuel mileage! Easily serviced. Heated seats. Fold down rear seats. Huge cargo space with seats down. Clean, simple styling. Attention to small details.
Change e-brake area to make space more useful (they did in '04).
Although this car is somewhat fun to drive, it has been anything but reliable. On third set of brakes after 65000 miles. Several warranty repairs and recall work done in 6 years. Fuel economy has been livable but should be better for such a small car. These cars do not deal with cold weather very well. On third set of weather seals around doors and their still ripped and warranty is up and not their problem anymore. Ice gets trapped in door hinges. Electrical problems as well. Poorly designed car.
Rides well. Comfortable seats. Decent amount of room for small car. High quality interior.
Deal with cold weather better. Less maintenance costs would be nice. Why should brake fluid be changed every 2 years? Improve fuel economy. Highway noise is bad due to engine rev's so high. Better quality components such as brakes, battery and bearings would be a good starting point.
I have had many Toyotas. I have had many VWs but this is the best car I've ever owned! It has never laid down, cranks everytime. It has 248,000 miles on original engine, clutch, even brake pads with 50% left. It has never had an alignment and drives as straight as an arrow. This TDI gets 47-50 miles to the gallon avg for the life of the car. I have only used synthetic oil and rotate the tires every 5k. If you are thinking of buying one you should.
I bought this car new 7 years ago and racked up 110,000 miles. I had a couple minor sensor issues within the first year, and were all covered under the warrenty. Since that first year no major issues.
Extremely large cargo space. I can fit almost as much in the Golf as my brother can fit in his Ford Explorer SUV. Turbo is great! Cool interior design and dash board lights.
The clips that hold the window were made out of plastic and have both broken. A recall was given, but only if it breaks within the first 70,000. Mine broke after 100,000. Only problem I've ever had. Gas mileage really drops off after a few year too. I get only about ~24 mpg in heavy local traffic.