I've had the car over five years, after buying it used in 2003. Within 18 months, the alternator went out and had to be replaced, the clutch went out at 16,000 miles and had to be replaced (believe me, I do not ride the clutch THAT hard), the hoses had to be replaced twice, and the power windows both had to be replaced. Later, the blinkers and cruise control failed and had to be replaced (though it was always fun to flip the blinker switch and see what would happen. It would blink in some pretty spectacular random patterns, until it was fixed). It handles surprisingly well in the snow, but due to the myriad electrical and mechanical issues - I will not be buying a VW ever again.
Improved engineering/electrical - needs far better reliability!