I see many reviews ment std maint as a repair. I've owned my VW for 11 yrs and spent $2,500 for rep. Repl brake pads (30K mi), spark plugs, dist cap, & rotor (15K mi), fuel filter (15K mi), clean K&N air filter (15K mi), repl belts, gask, & hoses, tim belt 70K-80K mi, etc. My eng & man trans have been great (orig clutch, but slips on occ). The elect & cool syst are horr! I did repl the throttle body asmb 2X, ign switch, starter, driver's side lock to disable the alarm (still arms random), driver's window reg, MAS air-flow sens, etc. I have NO A/C, heat, or defog (switch melted) & NO cruise & horn. Key doesn't work in trunk lock & pass door. Temp, fuel, spd, & odom guages work on occasion.
Great handling, reliable manual trans, good gas mileage, lots of space to work on parts under hood, sunroof (been reliable), dashboard in great condition, huge trunk with excellent, fold-down, split rear seats, good body design (no rust and little faded paint), extremely rugged (even off- roading).
I think that VW intentionally produces parts which will malfunction after a certain amount of miles. I have maintained this vehicle myself, with some outside help from a reliable mechanic. To have a plethora of elect & cooling components go bad is a disgrace! This occurs in their newer cars, too.