Bought the Jetta Wagon because we had just bought a Golf TDI and were impressed with the great interior and driving experience. Whoops! In two years we've had $6000 in maintenance. 22c/mile, more than twice any other car I have owned. And that's with just 100k on the clock. I've taken numerous Hondas and Subarus past 150k, and NONE of them has ever cost me more than 8-10cents/mi to maintain. Multiple cooling leaks, water pump (plastic impeller) failure (twice). Failed MAF sensor. Electrical, window and door latch problems. Last week a new ECU ($1000). It's not just the number of things, it's the parts cost (which Consumer Reports doesn't report). Example: cup holder broke. The PART was $180!
HUGE cargo capacity. Fun to drive, awesome handling. 8 airbags, safest in class. PHENOMENAL Monsoon stereo. 2.0 L gasser has good torque but loves to rev. Decent mpg compared to most wagons (I drive smarter than most people, and got 32/34 mpg), though still lame by small sedan standards.
Make it more reliable! With parts that mere mortals can afford. Better ground clearance. Better fuel economy. Ditch the TEDIOUS German rotary seat back adjusters. And make it more reliable! Oh by the way, mine was built in Germany, so don't blame Brazil and Mexico for all Jettas' problems! Blame VW!