We bought it brand new off the boat from Germany, and we still love the car at 75,000 miles. These cars do require a little extra appreciation of the engineering and sophistication of the 1.8 turbo four with its low speed torque and light weight. Previously, we owned 3 Toyota Camrys, which also required more repairs as they got older. VW and both local dealers have been good about recall notices and anticipating problems. I started using synthetic oil changes at 5000 miles when VW offered the 80,000 mile warranty, and I think it protects during cold starts and gives a little better mileage, despite the extra cost.
Standard equipment in basic model, Precise handling with supple suspension and quiet ride. Good visibility in wagon with comfortable seats w/driver and passenger seats adjustable. Controls, extra lights, design for winter driving and rust prevention.
Better quality control on parts, design for easier repair.