After changing the 15 inch rims and tires with 17 inch all season performance Falken tires, this car can corner fast and not miss a beat. It has incredible handling, even without the sport suspension. It could use a little more power, but then again if it had more power God knows if it would stay on the road. I wish would have gotten the GLI VRS or GLS 1.8T. After 4 years though I'm going for the EOS in May 2007.
How can you go wrong with the prices of fuel? I get more than 1,000 km (600 miles) per tank and diesel costs 10% less than gas. I sold my '92 Explorer for an '03 VW and I am making money in the process. This was before prices got crazy, my saving are more now. The car is quality throughout, leather heated seats (great for Canada), heated mirrors, huge huge trunk space for clubs and such. The back seats fold down for even more trunk space. She rides like a dream and seems to be made of a heavier gauge steel than most cars.
The heated seats, once you have 'em you will be spoiled and never go back.
The radio station selection on the steering wheel. It goes to all channels, would only like it to go to the programmed favorite channels. Ice build up in the wheel wells, has to be chipped out or you get a rough ride. This only happens under certain circumstances.
I have purchased nothing but diesel vehicles since about 1993, and this one won't send me back to gas! Despite a few negatives (mostly the flimsy front end spoiler which catches on curbs and has cost me about $100 to fix on 3 occasions) we love this car more every day. 45-50 mpg is the norm, the only drawback being the need to pay about $750 to replace the timing belt every 100,000 miles. Its repairs have been minimal--a defect in the wiring harness when we first got it, and replacing the power steering fluid line due to a mechanic's error-- both covered by warranty. It produces none of the smoke that older technology diesels produce. My sole regret is that I didn't buy a Passat TDI in the mid-90s!
After the great gas mileage, the heated leather seats are my favorite feature. They are not as comfy as the seats in our old Mercedes, but they are easily worth the extra charge! It has a nice sound system too.
It needs just a few more inches of leg room in the back seat and a front spoiler that doesn't fall apart when you catch it on a curb!
I have had my vehicle for over two years and it is a workhorse. I haven't had any trouble finding diesel gas and even thought it is 10 cents a gallon more I get about twice the gas mileage. We took it from Chicago to Niagra Falls and on to New York City on only 1 and 1/2 tanks of gas. It gets a whopping 44 miles per gallon on the open road. We do all our own maintenance but have never had to do anything else. Even the tires have lasted.
The cup holder could be redesigned. Also, it should be raised up as the bumper runs into parking blocks if you aren't careful.