I've read some of the reviews here, so I have chosen to write something positive. Dealerships are Robbing you! The Idea of these Tdi's Is to maintain them properly. And knowledge is your best friend. My Tdi is amazing.. Excellent power and fun to drive. Yes there are electrical issues, but that is a far shot from getting 400 to 500 thousand miles out of your engine life. Get a mechanic that is competent and KNOWS the tdi and you are set.. I do ALL of my maintenance myself, How? Research. And these cars are easy to work on. Don't let the vw dealerships take you hard earned money.
I love the low RPM torque the little diesel puts out. It requires only minimal changes in throttle settings to climb hills. My automatic transmission has been perfect. Timing belt changes are the norm for all current vehicles and this is an somewhat expensive procedure. Not the best build quality and lots of rattles and other noises have developed. Occassional "Check Engine" lights but VW's seem to have these and they usually go away on their own. This car should not be a daily driver for a non-mechanic. Too much trouble on the little things. Expensive to repair. Really bad CD changer in trunk. 600+ miles to the tank.
I have owned this TDI for 6 yrs and have been very happy. It has over 300k and is running strong. Every feature still works (heated seats). We get an adverage of 51 mpg. and we just purchased a second one for my husband.
Loved this car. Had 8 miles when I drove off lot, it was "retired" at 100K. Drove it like a high school kid and got 45 mpg. Took good care of it mechanically, synthetic oil changed twice a year, regular dealer maintenance (mostly). Went 90K miles on original timing belt (recommended at 60K). I tried "babying" it to improve mpg but got worse. It liked going to redline on every shift. I'd still be driving it and expected to go another 100K if my daughter had not totaled it (she walked away with bumps and bruises only).