Car was supplied with finger tight passenger seat mounting bolts, misaligned headlamps and a loose gear knob.
Various trim rattles.
Air conditioning compressor failed.
Two ignition coil failures, resulting in two breakdowns within the first month.
Driver's seat belt is slow to retract.
Fuel gauge erratic.
Engine management light sometimes came on and all performance disappeared. Switch off ignition and back on again, and it would be fine. "No fault found" according to the dealer.
Airbag light came on and stayed on.
Idle speed erratic when the engine was hot.
Front suspension started knocking at 13,000 miles.
Drive shaft joint failed at 16,000 miles. Car stranded (again!)
Gearbox became obstinate when cold.
Dreadful car. Looks the dog's danglies in the showroom with its classy interior, gorgeous alloys and body kit. I was sold before I took it on the test drive, but it drove even better than it looked. Smooth, punchy turbo engine, tidy handling, refined etc etc. I bought it there and then.
Within a week and 300 miles of taking delivery, a creak had developed from the trim on the B-pillars, and there was a slight misfire. This persisted (dealer "could not find fault") until one of the coils failed 1500 miles later and the car coughed and spluttered to a halt. This was fixed, only to have it happen again less than 600 miles later. Two breakdowns within 3,000 miles!
From then until I sold the heap, it was just constant visits to a dealership which didn't want to know, and fruitless phone calls to the customer service department who were even worse. VW as a company, and the supposedly high quality Golf model are both drastically overrated. The attitude is very much "we can sell as many cars as we can build anyway, so we don't need to look after our customers". Fine, you've just lost one. A friend who was about to order a V6 4 Motion has also gone off to talk to the competition.
My wife drives a base spec 1.6 litre Ford Focus, which she bought new two years ago, and it hasn't missed a beat in nearly 40,000 miles. I had to really work on her to justify my spending nearly £19,000 on a car at the time, and my excuse was "It's a VW and it will run forever". I'm still wiping the egg off my face. Hopefully, the Focus RS I've just taken delivery of will be similar. I've had it four weeks and nothing has gone wrong, so it's already one up on the Golf. Much more fun to drive too, but the interior isn't a patch on the Golf's.
The really sad (literally) part is that I was running around in a 120,000 mile MG Maestro 2.0 for two months before this, which was loaned to me by a trader friend as a stopgap, and it was rusty, it rattled, it squeaked and it smoked. But it worked. Oh dear VW, you really need help. Your nigh on £19,000 hot hatch flagship is less reliable than a £100 rusty Maestro.
I honestly loved the Golf as a product. It was fun, quick and handsome. But as a car, to live with daily, it was plain crap. There is no other word for it. I will never buy another VW, or allow anyone I remotely like to do so either.