After about five weeks, the transmission in my 2003 Volkswagen Passat failed (fortunately the warranty covered it, at no cost to us). Throughout the time that we have owned this car, we have had it in the shop for warranty issues more often than we like. There is always for some molding or other annoying piece that really has no business failing off. Despite the legendary quality of German engineering, little problems with this car have been getting to us, like the windows freeze shut at the slightest hint of ice and you can't open the rear hatch without unlocking it. It has been difficult as a family vehicle, particularly with two young kids and a dog. It is just too small for our family. Other than that, it has been a great car.
The engine is good and peppy. The driver's display is easy to read and functional. The LATCH system is great for the child seats. LOTS of safety features.
Give the rear hatch a mechanical opening mechanism, instead of the electrical lock/release that it has now. Make the exterior more ice friendly.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.