Don't confuse issues, please. VW does not represent the entire German auto industry, even if it is its biggest player. I've owned 5 BMWs and they were all reliable. In fact, my 5 series was more reliable than some Hondas I owned.
What I've found with German cars is that it's pick and choose. BMW 3 and 5 series seem to have good reliabilty. Mercedes C and (now) E class have decent reliability (something that wasn't true recently). Audi is questionable.
VW can't make a reliable car and I don't know why. I would love to have the new GTI, but really don't want to be at the dealer every week. Things wouldn't be as bad if they were as cheap as the equally unreliable American cars, but VW wants a premium for its vehicles, and that's insane - bad exchange rate or not.
Todays Toyotas are plagued by problems, most notably the VVTi engines burning huge amounts of oil usually resulting in a total engine rebuild or replacement short motor. Have a look on the UK Toyota forums at all the problems. Its not like the old Carina/Corolla/Starlet days of the 80's/90's, having owned lots of Japanese cars in that era I can testify to their reliability. That is no longer the case.
I have not had a single issue with my Seat so far, and that's 2 years so very happy with VW/Audi bits in this particular car thanks very much.
I had toyota vvti t3 1.4, 03 for nearly 3 years now, and I can say nothing went wrong. Serviced it regularly, it's is not the best on the fuel, but I guess it's because the car is quite heavy, and quality built. It's built very well, and I would recommend it to anyone.
People always tell you their car is the best thing ever when they have it, then as soon as they change it for a different one it's suddenly become a heap, wouldn't recommend it etc. You have to take these reviews with a shovel of salt.