Bought Golf GLS M/T new Jan/2006. Had a great run for the first few years. It handles great, is a lot of fun to drive and looks good.
But, once it was out of warranty, the problems started. At about 44,000 miles/7 yrs., the master cylinder (brakes) needed to be replaced, and rotors. Internal engine oil leak - new transmission needed before 50,000 miles. Hood latch broke 2x. Strange front thumping noise that cannot be diagnosed began in 9th year.
Around year 6 the armrest latch broke. Around year 8 the glove compartment latch broke. And this is from a single driver - hardly ever passengers, no kids - so these things were hardly ever opened.
Loved the car but would not buy again.
materials appeared to be high-quality
-better internal materials
-fix the hood latch that doesn't hold up
-use better quality engine parts or offer a better warranty
I bought this car expecting good milage, in exchange for weak performance. Instead I got weak performance and 20mpg on the highway. Worst automatic I've yet encountered. Decent little car apart from the powertrain, though. Just keep off the highway and expect SUV-like gas bills.
Handling is great, especialy going downhill on twisty roads.
Better transmission, better fuel economy. No reason for a 2.0 4 to gobble fuel like a V-8
What a disappointment! The engine is pathetic and sad, and gets only half a mile per gallon more than the supercharged 3800 in my 2001 Buick Regal GS when driving the same commute. It's decent for surface streets, especialy if you live in a flat area, but woe betide the poor wretch who tries to accelerate going uphill. And I thought that, in exchange for any hope of good performance, I might at least get decent mileage. Ha! The handling is OK, and the interior space is all right, though the cloth seats seem to be made from the same material as lint brushes, never seen seats pick up so much hair and dust. In short, if you have a short commute in flat land, go ahead. Otherwise, avoid.
The new generation seems to hit most of my problems, adding a decent transmission (worst automatic I've yet driven) and better engine. Styling also left much to be desired, but not much you can do with a hatchback.
While this is perhaps the smallest and least powerful car I have owned since my days as a Triumph driving bachelor in the very early sixties, it is without a doubt the one car I have truly loved. It's stupid to love a car, but there it is. Of course this love does not detract from the love of family or country or home town, but don't anybody ask for my keys. This is MY agile little baby and like Silver and the Lone Ranger nobody drives it but me; my black beauty is a one-rider horse. So this is a fine man/machine love affair, a strange love affair more intense than all the affairs I've had with high-cost high-powered babes...cheap, too, like a good tart.
The car's agility, cornering, and snappy little gear box.
Improve? Why? If I wanted a faster car I'd have bought one. Bigger? There's plenty to chose from. Better? Can't be done. OK, maybe one little improvement. Can you build it so it never gets dirty?