In the 10 months that I owned this car it was drivable maybe 2 months out of 10. The front axle snapped, a hole in the gas tank suddenly appeared, it ate oil like there was no tomorrow, electrical problems, smelled like exhaust fumes were coming into the cabin from the engine compartment to the point were I thought I would pass out. This car is a money pit!!!!
The most unreliable, expensive, money-hole of a car I've ever owned. This car, with care and repair, only lasted 145,000 miles. It was a Volkswagen Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle, and it was a rip off. And to add insult to injury, the Volkswagen folks are really rude.
My wife and I bought this car in 1998 b/c we wanted a safe vehicle for our first child. Fast forward to May 24, 2007. It now has 96,000 miles on it. It is on its 2nd factory radio, 2nd set of door locks (all replaced after 3 years). Both back doors were just partly rewired. The ignition system cost me $900 last year and now the turbo is dead ! Its $1710 total replacement cost is covered under the 10/100 warranty. Lucky! Overall, I don't recommend the car. Unless I have $20K to throw away every 2 years on a fresh Audi or VW, I won't ever buy one again.
Handling, handling, handling. It's a joy to drive. Our car has the tiptronic transmission and it works very well. I still prefer a manual because it is simple and immediately responsive.
Most were covered in succeeding model years. Most problems are electrically related.
I purchased the car new as one of the first VW Wagons to arrive in the US in 1998. The 4-cylinder turbo engine has been a dream. It has great responsiveness, just enough power with an average of 26 miles per gallon in the Washington, DC metro area highways. Overall my ownership experience has been a total pleasure. The car has never let me down and I especially admire how well the interior has held up over the past eight years. The mechanical condition of the car has been excellent and the motor and other subsystems have never experienced any problems. The paint has not faded and the tires have rarely been out of balance, even with the potholes in D.C. area roads. This is a great car!
I love the winter package with heated front seats and rear view mirrors. Also, I feel that the interior components are well designed and of superior quality as they have remained in like new condition over the past eight years.
I would improve the stock wheel covers as they were not very stylish. Also I would have enjoyed an option to have an optional 3rd row seats like the Volvo wagons can be fitted.