Now I know why Golf is so popular in Europe after driving a while. The car is not fast; engine not quiet and the looking not sharp. Overall it has nice build quality, comfortable ride, and good handling. Very solid in and out. Many upgrades and detailed features not mentioned in specs. We had plenty of time researching before final decision. Extensively compared with Toyota Camry and RAV4, and compared within VW models. Passat feels so heavy, GTI is too dear for a collage kids; base Tiguan model looks plain and higher model is expensive. TDI does not have many benefits in America since diesel is expensive. Prefered waiting for the next generation Golf, but wife insisted buying.
I've owned this Golf for 3 1/2 years and the only problem, which is a big one, is the well-publicized diesel emission control scandal. I get low 30s gas mileage in town and nearly 50 MPG on the road, which is great. I'm probably going to trade it for a gas powered VW since I've had great luck with the VWs and Audis over the years. I still don't know for sure what VW is going to do about the emission problem. If an inexpensive fix would be available, I'd probably keep it. It's a blast to drive. Update: In April, I traded my Golf in for a Passat SE. The dealer gave me a great deal in light of the emissions litigation. The Passat is more comfortable, but not nearly a fun to drive. Gas mileage is so-so. I miss the torque of the Golf, especially, even though the Passat is turbo charged. I'm reasonably satisfied under the circumstances.
Such a fun car to drive and a real value. Sport mode , tiptronics are a couple of my favorite features. I have driven through intense rainy weather and serious flooding and the Golf is sure footed and relatively comfortable. Cargo is reasonable, I can fit my bicycle back after taking off the front tires, works fine for regular supermarket runs. No mechanical issues after 4 years and 60k. The only thing I would improve is the seat height for tall drivers- I have to lean to the side to see some headlights. Not great visibility on a road trip , can't see much over all the trucks and SUV's.