This is my very first love-hate relationship and it's with my TDI Golf.
VW clearly has design problems.
The most dangerous issue is the engine can occasionally lose all power under hard acceleration for 3-5 seconds followed by engine roaring to life with a cloud of white smoke out the tailpipe.
VW can not diagnose or replicate complaint, but NHTSA has many complaints of this for the 2009-2010 diesel.
The seat fabric is inferior and frays, the clutch on the 6 speed manual is very easy to stall with long clutch travel but very short engagement.
I also suspect inferior glass in windshield, as today I have a total of two rock chips and one huge crack...1st crack in 32 years of driving!
great value for the money, 40+ mpg is great, comfort, performance and handling are superior
quality control clearly needs to improve with VW.
The manufacture also appears to have a lack of communication with local dealers.
All the complaints above minus the windshield are very common to read about online in forums but dealership claims they never heard of these complaints...or they just don't want to do anything about it.
Also this car has a weird door rubber seal/weather stripping problem causing the seals to rub against one another making creaking sounds like a leather jacket.
lubricate the door seals, but it wipes/rubs off over time.
I traded my 2008 VW Rabbit 2.5L 4dr in on this car. What an improvement, the interior and exterior changes are great improvements over the '08. The diesel engine was the primary motivation for the change. Who would have thought that a car that gets much better fuel economy would be so much faster and more fun to drive.
I like that they changed back to the name golf and made the car more masculine looking.
The rabbit was such a chick car.
MPG.. I used to get about 18mpg in the gasoline version of the same car in mixed city highway driving.
Now I am getting 35 - 38mpg doing the same driving. 1800rpm on the highway.
The sound and performance of the turbo diesel engine.
This thing is a rocket around town and the manual trans is a joy to operate.
The suspension, tires and seats in this car make it feel like a GTI with a diesel engine, it's just the car I wanted and I'm glad they optioned it that way.
The blue tooth hands free system is great and I love the steering wheel mounted audio controls.
Touch screen stereo controls are easy enough to use, but have that typical german esoteric quality where I end up having to constantly teach myself how to skip to the next CD in the changer over and over. It should be easier.
Something in the door latch/jam area of the car is very noisy and rattly, I'm thinking there must be a TSB about it, I find it very annoying for a car that is so solidly built to squeek and rattle this much.
It takes a while to learn to move this car from a stop with the 6spd manual without stalling it.
The salesman at the dealership stalled it three times.
I have it worked out now, and it's probably just the nature of driving a diesel, they perform differently.
I bought this car with a six speed stick shift. I could not get used to the clutch, and sadly I returned it a week later. I test drove the VW and the Mini Cooper at the same time. Over all the VW had the mini beat on standard features, and comfort. The stick on the VW shifts like butter while the Mini seemed notchy. The mini cooper had a feature that the VW TDI absolutely needs! Hill Hold Brake Assist! This feature is only available on the Passat. If Mini can do this for $21000, then VW should be able to for $23K. The TDI is very easy to stall on hills due to the clutch, and low RPMs. My dealer let me trade the Golf TDI for a Jetta TDI with the dsg.
Standard Features. Bluetooth, Sirius Sat, Smooth Shifting Gear Box. Sport seats, 17" wheels, sport suspension. Comfort, handling, performance. Character! It is essentially the GTI with a Diesel engine. Gas Mileage. I averaged 34 City.
The clutch! Add the hill hold brake assist feature as standard. This car absolutely needs it. RPM's drop too low on hills, and the car is too easy to stall.
Test Drove Mini Cooper, VW Golf TDI, and Jetta TDI. I bought the Golf TDI with the six speed, and returned it a week later for a Jetta TDI with the DSG. Loved everything about the Golf except for the clutch. The RPM's drop so low when starting that the car is easy to stall on mild hills. Hill hold brake assist would really make the car an absolute perfect car to drive. This feature is standard in the Mini Cooper. If mini can do it for $21K, then I think VW can do it in all of their cars. Hill hold is only available in the Pasaat. Other than the clutch, the performance, comfort, and styling were amazing. Essentially it is the GTI with a diesel engine!
Styling, performance, handling. Standard features are amazing! Sat radio, lowered suspension, sport seats. VW's six speed shifts with no effort. In the corners the car sticks. No lean, and no diving when you hit the brakes.
Clutch! Make hill hold brake assist a feature on this car. The diesel engine is too easy to stall on a mild incline. On wet,snowy or iced roads the car would be a monster to handle.
So far I love my car! I bought this after driving a 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser to 330,000 miles, but needed a more fuel efficient car for my commute @ 90 miles/day. This has been a great little car, I average 50.5mpg per 15 gal tank - highway and city driving combined. It has a decent amount of pick up and go and it's a TON of fun to drive! The only real complaint I have is that it isn't completely sealed and it whistles > 45 mph, it doesn't leak water,just bothersome. The seats fold pretty flat and the cargo area can hold ~3 large bales of hay + 3 bags of feed with room to spare and the back seats are pretty comfortable even for people over 6'. I'd buy another for sure!
Sharp looking, intuitive, responsive and comfortable to drive, center touch screen is super easy to navigate, very little road noise compared to other cars I tried (except Toyota), great stock sound system and I like all the information available in the display between the gauges
There's a lag when you step on the gas pedal which is annoying (though not just a VW thing), qc seals before rolling to dealerships - air whistle should be an easy fix before distribution, an option for no pre-installed satellite radio would be nice