My 1997 Volkswagen Passat TDI drives well, and gets great fuel economy (50 at high altitude, 45 @ sealevel). However, this is the worst car I have ever owned in terms of non-drivetrain repairs. the quality of construction and materials are very substandard. I have experienced repeated component failures, and have had to make repeated repairs for same item. Owners of newer ones (2004-2005) have reported identical and worse complaints. this car has very shoddy materials and worksmanship. My '83 Toyota (340k miles) is more reliable than the VW ever was.
VW needs to dramatically improve its process engineering / QA, pay attention to failure mode engineering analysis and take prompt corrective action. There is no excuse for repetitive failures other than poor engineering. This is a fooled me once shame on you car.