I have 95,000 miles on my 2001 Jetta TDI. I bought it with 13,000 miles on it about 3 years ago because I wanted a comfortable car with great mileage as I am in the auto wholesaling business. The TDI delivers on these primary points. Handling and performance are great, the TDI while short on HP delivers great torque and acceleration for most situations. I am averaging 42 mpg consistently with the automatic transmission in combined (mostly highway) driving. I buy and sell up to 50 used vehicles a month, mostly late model and of all the Jetta models the TDI is tops for resale in this regard.
Handling, mileage, safety, and ride. I think a great combination in it's class. Get the heated seats if at all possible they work great even in mild weather for my sore back. Once you have them, you won't have a car without them.
Many postings complain of expensive repairs that my dealer has fixed for free (brakes / sensors) under recall or bulletins not released publicly, so satisfaction would probably be higher for most if they get the right dealer, who is trustworthy. I hate the velcro seat fabric it's a lint magnet. Volkswagen has changed this in later models already.