Bought my tdi Golf new in 2004, and currently have 156,000kms on the odometer. The car has always been serviced as required, and only synthetic oil changes every 8000 km. The car is peppy around town, and great on the highways. I drive approx. 40,000 km per year, mostly highway, but also a good portion in city. The car is very reliable, I have never had any problems with it at all. Just had the timing belt replaced as per the schedule. Never had a problem with cold starts. Runs every time. Very reliable even with a full load, and no problems passing going uphill. Great car.
The 5 speed is sporty, and makes driving more enjoyable. Passing the long lines at gas stations is also fun!! The savings from using diesel are also good!!
No problems to speak of, however, maybe a navigation system would be useful.