As the owner of a pre-turbo 1986 VW diesel I was certain of the car I wanted. I found it online, bought it and test drove it on the way home. The two big tests came when I approached the 45 mph S turns and the long, steep hill I travel frequently. My older diesel struggled to crest the hill at 50 mph after down shifting. The TDI sailed through the S turns at 65 mph and easily maintained 65 up the hill in 5th gear using cruise control. The power, handling through curves, and smooth transmission have made driving a fun experience. VW also seems to have improved the interior plastic parts problems. I hope I can get 18 trouble free years from the TDI just as I did from the '86.
The good fuel economy (48 mpg every time I check); plenty of power; handling stability; quiet diesel engine; smooth transmission; interior look and convenience; plenty of trunk space; and fold down back seats.
It needs more leg room in back seat snd less expensive oil (though only having to change it every 10,000 miles makes up for the expense per quart).