I bought my 2005 Golf TDI brand new in February 2005. I love the fuel mileage - average of 46-48 mpg and I don't visit the gas station very often. It is a really fun car to drive with what feels like lots of power due to the torque. It is, however, expensive to maintain and not always easy to find a good local VW mechanic. VW dealer service always seems to be sub par (I have been to 3 different dealers for service). I still would not give up my car because I do love driving it!
Fuel mileage, fit and finish of interior, car feels very solid, quality of materials used (original battery and brakes on my car at 106,000 miles and nearly 9 years - AND it just passed state inspection on 12/6/13). Handles extremely well with quick response, very smooth ride and fairly quiet. LOTS of fun to drive and holds the road extremely well. I feel safe in this car because of it's solid feel and the air bags everywhere.
VW could do a better job at standing behind the quality of their vehicles. I've had to replace the hood latch twice in 8 years - and I've heard others having to replace theirs. The last time the dealer actually broke the latch in November 2013. I contacted VW about this obviously defective part and they refused to acknowledge or do anything about it. Also, the cost of repairs on this vehicle are outrageous and it seems every time I go to the VW dealer they have to keep my car for at least a few days and then charge me at least thousands of dollars (I'm not kidding!) to get it back. They once returned it to me with a damaged hood after it was there for 9 days. Dealer service needs to improve!