The TDI engine and the handling of this car were certainly the highlights. Reliability was horrible, making me wonder why they emphasize "German Engineering". Overall, the car was very fun to drive and solid over my 60,000 miles of ownership. I sold it due to having to take it to the dealership over and over: bad wheel bearing, heater coil, heated seat caught on fire while I was driving, each light, f/r went out within 20K, flickering lights, shudder in clutch, creaking sound from suspension, rear washer fluid tube plugged, just to name a few, there were many more issues, but can't remember all. Sorry, VW, but your premium price has lost me as a repeat customer.
AVG 47 MPG, use of Biodiesel (B20-50) depending on weather, great handling, very stable, smooth shifting 5 spd manual, great looking wagon. solid feeling car.
improve quality, very small rear seats, and hard to fold down (wagon), water would drip from door seal after opening the door (design?)
I bought this car for the fuel mileage. When I compared it to other fuel savvy cars this by far looked and handled the best. It might not win any races off the line, but in an endurance race it would blow them away. It's very fun to drive and it looks sophisticated, unlike other gas mileage vehicles. My only complaint is they could've used better materials on the interior, and bigger cup holders. I don't know what kind of drinks europeans use but most american cups are bigger than a soda can.
Fuel mileage! I average over 500mi on 1 tank of fuel. Once drove from Salt Lake City to Vegas to Phoenix and had just under an 1/8th of a tank left, over 57mi/gal. Exterior design and quality are great too. I have 95,000 mi on my Jetta and it still looks relatively new.
Better quality interior. The rubber coating is peeling off around the center console and headlight switch, places you touch often. And bigger cupholders.
While the TDI engine is more expensive to purchase, the original great gas mileage - 49 MPG/HWY with the automatic transmission, continues to improve (now 52MPG/HWY). This car is quiet (running at 2,000 cruising at 70 MPH) and cleaner than my Passat 1.8T (approx.1,500 lbs. less CO2 pollution/yr.). This turbo-diesel is a joy to run and drive. It has great torque! The many choices for fuel just tops off its versatility (standard diesel, biodiesel and with a few adaptations, vegetable oil and waste vegetable oil).
I love the great gas mileage - 52 MPG hwy (automatic!) and how fun this car is to drive. It has great torque! I also like the heated seats and the included tool kit.
I purchased the vehicle used with 33,000 miles. So far I have not had any major issue and have been very satisfied with the economy. I knew it wasn't a large vehicle when I purchased it, so I can't complain that my 6'2'' figure is somewhat cramped on any trip longer than two hours. I realistically get about 42 mpg highway and 40 city. It is always satisfying to get 500+ miles to a tank and every once in a while put in a tank of biodiesel. My only complaint is that at 38,000 miles it developed a creak in the suspension that only presented itself after I had driven for a while. It did not affect the performance of the suspension, but did annoy me a little.
I like the simplicity of the cruise control and the placement of the radio buttons. The instrument lights are always impressive at night as well.
Nothing they didn't improve upon in the new model.