My wife and I bought our Golf GLS four-door new in 1999. It only took a couple of months before bizarre problems manifested themselves. Windows that fell into doors, mysterious rattling, seatbelts that refused to work, a radio that went on and off by itself ... plus more serious issues such as transmission problems and sudden brake failure (that's right: failure!), blown head gaskets at 30,000 miles, fluid leaks. Good luck arguing warranty issues with your VW dealer. We spent at least $1000 a year fixing the Golf every year we had it -- factor that in if you buy one. Buy a VW if you're wealthy and/or married to a decent mechanic.
I bought the car new in 2000. Have had only a few minor problems. Yes, the oil issue is a pain but it improved over time. I've had the hatch latch repaired under warranty and the cruise control module was replaced, but otherwise no problems. Great gas mileage, still fun to drive. Hatch holds a lot of stuff. A great basic car.
i havent had my car for too long but so far it has been great. its my first car and it has been good so far. gas milege is great went to pa about 300 miles from my house and only used alittle less than 3/4 a tank. its comfortable to drive, half the time i dont wanna get out of it. the down side is that the glove box broke and the main driverside switches barely work. i cant lock the doors with it and the windows dont always roll down when i use them. overall its a great car and hopefully it doesnt bring me alot of problems. id buy another one in the future.
Love to drive it, hate to fix it. Had it for 2 years, been to the dealer 10+ times. All four windows have broken at least once (pass. rear broken 3 times), doors and windows freeze in a mild winter, vinyl on all four door panels melted off, rear cup holder broke (even though nobody uses it), both back brakes completely replaced, recalled twice. The best part: the extended warrenty I bought at the dealer in Canada cannot be redeemed at the dealer I go to in the U.S.!! What's up with that? Definitely my first and last VW.