This is an excellent car. I deliver pizza, so I put tons of miles on it and it never shows. I did have a problem with the stock alarm, but that was fixed without any real expenses (loose bolt in the door). Its fun to drive and has great handling and brakes. The acceleration can seem a little wimpy, but you get used to it (Im used to my brothers 1997 GTI). I highly recommend this car, its reliable, cheap on gas, and fun to drive, great for sustained 80 mph+ speeds as well.
I am the original owner of this car. It has been a great car for 10 years over many types of terrain. Great mileage, minimal maintenance. The only problems are a hard to fix AC leak and door powerlock failure (can now only lock/unlock at driver's side but still functions--a little inconvenient but why pay to fix?!). These are minor issues for a car that has been totally reliable & fun to drive for 10 years.
After about 5 months of owning this vehicle it seems like everything was falling off of it. I was never rough on it yet somehow all of the exterior door gaurds managed to fall off (Amazing snap on technology). The alarm is terrible. Got robbed of my stereo right outside my house because the alarm never went off even after two windows were broken. The Emergency brake sticks in the winter which left me stuck in my driveway a few times, which didnt really matter because I wouldnt get a mile in the snow in this thing. Also, Winsheild wipers blow a fuse EVERY time it snows. The list really never ends, this car is terrible.
I purchased this car from a friend in December of '06 as a temp car while I hooked-up my Civic. It was the biggest mistake ever. The car ran fine for the first couple of weeks. Then it began to overheat due to the water pump giving out. The alarm never worked unless you used the key. Then then sunroof broke and began to leak. The rear view mirrors are a little hard to adjust. Now the car is beginning to backfire. The stock handling stinks. My stock Civic DX can run rings around this car. This Golf will make a great project car if anybody is willing to shovel the cash into it but beware, the car may be old but the parts are still expensive.