The Golf II is probably the last real Volkswagen, a simple and easy to fix construction at low costs with reson'nable room for passengers.
My 2 door Golf has been owned by a 65 year old man before who was the first owner and took care about the car. It was absolutely rust free and the engine was dry.
Spare parts are ridiculously cheap, every scrap dealer has a vast amount of them, so it doesn't matter much something breaks.
The engine might have been some kind of modern in 1980, but nowadays it's a joke. For it's power output the fuel consumption is too high, about 8 liters per 100 km. New plugs and filters didn't change that. With the 55 hp it is absolutely lame, when you boot it just the noise increases.
The handling is OK, you always get a proper feedback from the road. Without power steering you have a direct feeling while driving, while parking it is hard work.
The seats are a torture. I couldn't find a position in which my back didn't hurt after 3 hours, and normally I don't have problems with my back.
The Golf offers enough room for 3 people and luggage, but has it's limits.
When you are looking for a low price car and are able to fix some things by yourself, get one. Even a lot of people aren't realistic about the worth of their Golf, you should be able to find a good one at a reasonable price.
But it is technically, ecologically and with it's safety features absolutely out of date Here in Germany it is rather expensive in insurance and tax as well, especially when you have a model with uncontrolled catalytic converter.
I wouldn't buy another one, for that prices there are better deals. Nowadays this car is just for fans.