Excellent car, I would recommend it to anyone
A small hole has worn in the rear seat below the headrest where it rubs against the seat frame when you fold it down flat. The dealer won't do anything about this under warranty, just told me to pay for a new seat. I'm not happy about this, but it was probably my fault for not being diligent about moving the passenger seat far enough forward every time I fold the back seat.
Car gets creaky and rattles in very cold weather (-10 to -30C).
Door seals get creaky as well, but as long as you clean and lube them a couple times a year, this is not a problem.
Interior cabin blower fan gets a buzzy bearing noise in cold weather.
After 2 year of owning my Golf, I have to say I still really like this car a lot. The only thing I have had to replace on this car since new is one rear light bulb. Fuel mileage is fantastic (I usually get 1000 to 1200 km on a 55 L tank, about 50/50 hwy/city driving), it handles and performs well, and I have had no real problems with it at all. I don't baby this car, and take it on frequent long road trips and into Northern Ontario, plus Ottawa winters give it a pretty good beating. I would recommend it to anyone.
While it doesn't have a block heater, it still starts right away in the winter, even when it gets below -30C. My previous vehicle was a 1982 Mercedes 300D, so this is a nice change from old-school diesels. Yeah, it's no sports car, buy the GTI if you are looking for that, but it has a lot of zip and is fun to drive.
The car looks nice, the seats are comfortable and roomy (no aches on week-long road trips), lots of room in the front (I don't know or care about the back seat -- I'm not sitting there!), my only ergonomic complaint is that the cup-holders are awkwardly placed.
Winter handling on ice and snow in this car is fantastic, especially after getting a set of Pirelli winter tires from the dealer.
Oil changes are crazy-expensive because of the 100% synthetic oil ($80), but worth it for the winter-starting and longer wear of the oil.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th March, 2006