I've had my 2011 2.5l Jetta Wagon for about 70k miles and it's been a great, reliable wagon. The size of the car is perfect. You can fit 4 adults and their gear or fold the seat down if you need to haul anything big. I've never run out of room in this car. Its a not performance car but the 5 speed transmission is fun to row through and the 5 cylinder engine has enough power to have some fun on twisty roads. Its also a very practical car for the price - the standard features are great (bluetooth, heated seats), I average about 30 mpg and this little car will handle bad weather with proper tires. My wagon goes with me on many ski and mountain bike trips and its never let me down.
-one of the few wagons where a true manual transmission is available
-reliable - some say VW's have reliability issues but mine has been perfect
-great car for the money, long list of standard features.
-fun to drive - great steering, strong brakes, decent power, slick manual transmission
-huge cargo space
-for a FWD car its great in the snow with a good set of snow tires.
-If VW made the Jetta wagon in AWD, I'd be the first in line buy one
-while the engine has adequate power, more torque would be nice for climbing up hills and highway passing.
I've had the car for 3 years now. Used it for pretty much everything ->
Haul cargo ( 500+ miles ), furniture from ikea. With the rear seats folded, i was able to completely assembled computer table in it. Although i wish the car was a little wider.
Commuter car -> I use it to commute 30+ miles daily and it is a quiet and smooth ride. the standard seat heaters help in winter.
The car was covered under the factory free maintenance until now, so i haven't had to spend any extra money on it. The car averages 28-32 mpg ( city - highway ) for me. The highway ride is smooth and comfortable. I haven't spent any money on repairs so far and have 45K+ miles on it.
cargo space, mileage, ride quality, Standard Bluetooth, standard seat heaters, safety, value for money.
back seat can be a little cramped for tall people. a higher body would help fit wider stuff into cargo compartment.
Checked all small SUVs and most sedans out there. With my home minister we settled down for this peppy, refined wagon. An SUV would be more comfortable but no way near as sportier and fun to drive, and I'm not willing to give that up. Obviously fuel economy is also better for a wagon. However I didn't go for the Diesel everybody's favouring, as I like more this well known 5 cyls one.
Rattles, wind, noises & road & insulation are a big concern to me and this wagon is up there with the best about this. Known issues are very few in comparison with other options. Quality and attention to details is abundant. The sound is pretty good, VW has gone crazy with stock speakers in ammount and quality.