I have two Veedubs in the family now, and both have been bulletproof. It seems the dependability of VW in general is pretty variable, but if you can score the right car, as we apparently have, they are very trustworthy. I am going to get jumped on for this, but it seems to me the vehicles that come from Germany, i.e., the Touareg, are more problematic than the ones built in Latin America. Anyway back to the TDI - the car amazes me, and most people who ride in it instantly want one. Accordingly, TDIs get snapped up real quickly around here. The power and handling, while not quite sports-car caliber, are simply much better than you'd expect from a car capable of 50 mpg. No more gas-cars for me!
The TDI engine, fit and finish, and Monsoon stereo. The roof rack system is the best I have seen.
The seats attract dirt like crazy and are difficult to keep looking nice. Leather would be nice, but most TDIs aren't that well optioned. The ground clearance is very low. A 4Motion version would be perfect.