I have nothing but high praise for my 1996 VW Jetta. 'Nothing but normal maintenance or repairs was ever needed on it, exhaust, tires, battery, etc., etc. For the first several years, it got a lot of miles, about 40,000 in year one and it had gone to 100,000 by year three. Its front brake pads had to be replaced at 93,000 miles for the first time and then pads, rotors, shoes and drums needed replacement at 131,000 miles although they were still legal. Now my Jetta needs some more repairs, but nothing unexpected. VWs like higher RPMs than Japanese cars so I've pretty much always driven it in the torquey sweet spot. I can't imagine the abuse others have given this fine car to have had such problems with it. I still have it and just bought my 10th VW. I'll still drive it 6,000 miles a year.
The Bauhaus seats. They are just cool.
For the price, performance, handling and a boatride from Europe for the Wolfsburg, it was a great price. No improvements needed.