Overall this car has been a lot of fun to drive. I liked and still like the design, the looks but I think the Mexican assembly really did this car in.
I have friends with German-made Golfs in Europe and those are rock solid. At ten years old they have less rattles than mine!
I've enjoyed driving this as it is a very sporty car and it hugs the road (killer Michelin tires!), and it actually feels more responsive than my friends 325 BMW from the same year and pretty much anything I drove in this price range.
The Monsoon stereo has been amazing. The trunk is better and fits more stuff than cars twice this size, and the back seats are easily taken out for more space when hauling things.
Overall - the car could've been really nice if the dealer support was friendlier and less costly. I'd have to say if I can pair this car with the Ford dealership support I've had in the past, this car could've been a total winner.
Overall VW dealer support in my area is abysmal. Every time I walk in their service department I feel like a dear in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle. Very sleazy and unfriendly management. They even tried to blame the door sag on my then new car to an auto accident that the car was never in. Anything to avoid paid repair!
VW then follows up with a customer service rep/ sales rep scoring system that only lets you give marks and not give any overall essay type answers. When you rate your rep badly they get combative and drop you, or screw up your repairs and then drop you. So far none of them tried to fix the problem. Apparently this is tied to the VW bonus system or dealership incentives, so the management is really on their toes for these reviews.
While your car is in repair you can forget about getting a loaner vehicle. Out of the 10 or so recalls that VW did under warranty, I managed to have a rental/loaner maybe 3 times. The dealership always tried to make it really hard to get one or would decline after you've reserved a vehicle with them.
I am really angry with VW for nickel and diming their clientèle, especially with the interior peel and paint peel problems - pretty much all VWs of that year and newer that I've seen have it, and so far no recall and surprisingly no class action lawsuit. Hopefully someone will pick up on that!