The mantra at the time of purchase was reliability. Now the mantra is how expensive maintainance will be to keep it from breaking down (again). My car has only 36,000 km on it, it has cost me a fortune in preventative maintainance and still broke down leaving me stranded about 600 miles from home (ERG valve). Dealerships have a monopoly and once you purchase they are free to charge you what ever they want if you want to keep your warranty. I do not feel confident driving distances after authorized service technicians have warned me of potential breakdowns. I will never buy VW again.
Handling is great! Very responsive with ample power on hills. Mileage is great! Did a road trip to California the second year and averaged close to 1000 km per tank
More straight forward maintainance. VW should put a cap on what dealers can charge for recommended service. Carburator on diesel needs some work. It is common for it to carbon up and owner is unable to start vehicle. Back seat is too cramped