I bought my TDI used with 20,000 miles on it. It now has 120,000 miles. The car is fun to drive and gets great gas mileage but that's all I can say good about it. I have had trouble with A/C 3 times, pwr windows, hardware falling off, engine immobilizer, light bulbs, radio reception, and ... The worst part is the quality of service. I have tried 3 different dealers. I've had 8 VW's over the years but this is the last one!!
Dealer network, reliability. 2 months and 3 dealers to fix anything.
Loved this car. Had 8 miles when I drove off lot, it was "retired" at 100K. Drove it like a high school kid and got 45 mpg. Took good care of it mechanically, synthetic oil changed twice a year, regular dealer maintenance (mostly). Went 90K miles on original timing belt (recommended at 60K). I tried "babying" it to improve mpg but got worse. It liked going to redline on every shift. I'd still be driving it and expected to go another 100K if my daughter had not totaled it (she walked away with bumps and bruises only).
Fuel economy, 600 miles on a tank, good handling, cruise all day at 80 mph, fun to drive for something that got such good mpg, stayed with the good Michelin tires and got ~25K miles on them.
We bought this car new in 2001. Since then, it has been in the dealer countless times. It has gone through several MAF sensors (expensive!), some turbo work, and plenty of recalls. The interior seems cheap, although the gauge color scheme is a nice touch. It has surprisingly sporty feel in the corners, especially for an economy car. We have the TDI version, which regularly gets 50-55 mpg. I would buy this car ONLY for the mileage, since it has more than made up for the cost of repairs over time - especially with gas prices these days.
Better reliability, TDI could have a bit more power if there is no mileage sacrifice, better designed interior. Cupholders get in the way of shifting!
This is my third VW. I've had one A3 and two A4 bodies. Both A4's have been TDIs. This one was bought 'certified' but I noticed the cruise control light indicator didn't work and headlight was out. The past two years have been okay. It had only only one engine hiccup - the master flow air had something wrong and the car wouldn't start. The dealer fixed it, no problem. However, I've had recent problems with thedealer (routine maintenance checkup rendered the brakes in operable - twice) and electrical issues with driver door abound! I can't get the alarm to disarm after unlocking door. So when I start car after opening door alarm goes off and then have to get out lock door and unlock it - sometimes I have to do this four times. The passenger door lock does not release, I have to manually open it.
I love the good fuel economy (but only when on highway and long distances). The around town fuel mileage isn't much better than a Honda.
Thie car needs better interior durability. Several breaks and seams giving out. The mirror control knob, drink holders (all 4), glove box, all broke under normal wear and tear. Also, it needs better electronics. The door locks and alarms are unreliable.