Bad Battery: I had left my car with a friend in Canada for about 4 months (OCT 03 - FEB 04) and when I came back the battery was dead. It might have been because of the cold. But I personally think it shouldn't have happened. Fortunately VW has road side assistance and the pulled my car into the nearest dealer and I had my battery replaced even though I had bought the car in the USA.
There was a recall on this car concerning the two back doors. A part was defective and the dealer replaced it when I brought the car in for service.
Less than a month back Early August 2005 my engine temperature started read lining because of the overheating. I took it to the dealer and he told me that the water pump had died and will be covered under warranty. Also the brake light switch was faulty (the brake light would stay on after you leave the car). That too was fixed under warranty.
I have the monsoon sound system. If it hasn't happened to you great, but I have had to have the knobs replace because they would just break off, also under warranty.
I am scheduled for the 40,000 mile service and new tires. I recommend buying the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 205/55R16. They are about 140 bucks per tire, but they do have the best all weather rating and the best in snow. Something to think about if you live in NJ.
One think I love about this car is the awesome pickup. If you don’t know what a turbo is then listen up. The reason why Porsche, AUDI, Subaru and SAAB became popular in the US is because of their amazing pickup capability. This was due to the fact they all had turbo in their cars which gave a jolt of acceleration to give you the fast startup.
Also only put SHELL premium in the car. Believe me, and I have tested this, the higher octane does give it a boost.
It has ESP (Electronic Skid protection). When I came back from Canada to the US it was early FEB 05. I don’t know if you are aware, but at that time there was a snow storm in upstate NY all the way down to DC. I was probably the only person on the road doing about 65 mph and not killing myself. The fact is this car has amazing handling and coupled with ESP makes it a perfect fit for the snowy conditions. The only thing I would change in the car would be if it had 4 wheel-drive to give an even better grip.
This car is equipped with 6 airbags. All of which make it one of the safest cars on the road.
I bought the phatnoise sound system which its awesome. It has 20GB, but can be increased by replacing the notebook HDD inside the casing.