This has been a terrific car, very durable and reliable and looking good doing it. My kids don't ever complain about being cramped although I think they probably are. It's cozy and all their friends love it. With the sunroof and windows open, it's like a convertible, too, fun and loud, and like a party ready to go. Even though the car is now 6 + years old, it still attracts attention, and not just from kids, although kids really love it. It gets 45 mpg in mixed use, typically. I've never had problems here in Detroit with the cold weather and diesel. The diesel is quiet and pleasant sounding in normal use, and has a higher pitch singing sound when you hammer it to kick in the turbo.
My favorite features are the engine and the manual transmission. The diesel engine has tremendous power and runs like nobody's business even with a full load, including a loaded roof rack loaded up. Also, it is expertly nimble and easy to handle, and has a really nice 5-speed manual.
Those rinky dink cup holders jammed under the dash have to go. They take some getting used to, and you have to adapt to them - it's a skill that's learned, similar to the learning curve for tossing in the child seat. VW should figure out a way to have the seat fold down more neatly, too.