Just turned 75K miles; a GREAT car for the past 5 yrs.
It's economical (23-31mpg), sufficiently fast, rides better on the highway than cars costing much more, big trunk, and top safety ratings.
It's a pleasure to drive every day, and it's just a base model car with the 150 HP engine.
I had the rear brake problem, but my dealer put new rotors on under warranty and everything seems to be OK.
I've put little else into the car - I do much of the routine maintenance myself, and without the dealer labor, the upkeep is reasonable.
I enjoy the little luxuries on the base car, like soft touch plastics, lighted switches, climate control, 1 touch windows, etc.
A great deal and reliable, too.
Road feel and handling.
This is my fourth new VW and I keep buying them because nothing else in this price range drives quite like a VW.
The car feels as solid and secure at 80-100 MPH as most cars do at 60.
There is sufficient power in the 5cyl for any driving, and will cruise at the elevated speeds already mentioned - all day.
Twice I've cruised at triple digits and my wife, reading a book, never noticed the speed.
Why aren't the seats made with the same foam padding as the German cars use?
The Golf/Rabbit of the same year had much more comfortable seats, and they were theoretically the same.