Well first off let me just clarify that I knew the car needed work when I bought it, and that the cost of ownership would be more expensive with my VW than with, oh say, a Honda. Also that the car has never failed to start. But this is my list of faults.
1) The front drive axles and CV boots needed replacing at 123K.
2) The exhaust pipes were rusted through at 123K.
3) The left front inner and outer tire-rods went bad very suddenly around 150K.
4) Half the fuse box fried and needs replacing currently. This left the headlights, blinkers, windshield wipers, horn, and AC blower motor useless.
5) The ABS will kick on needlessly in regular non-panic stops.
6) From time to time (normally when it's cold) the driver side window will go up when I push down, and go down when I pull up.
7) The CD changer randomly will not work and read *CD ERROR*. Sometimes in the middle of a song on a brand new CD.
8) When it gets below 40 degrees, it's almost impossible to get the car into 1st. Even after letting it warm up for 20 or so minutes.
9) The defroster SUCKS BIG TIME!
10) The leather is cracked and ripped on every seat in the car, along with the shifter.
11) The paint seems thin and fairly easy to scratch.
12) Oh yeah, and my driver side heated seat never worked. It's irritating to have your passengers 'ooo-ing and aahh-ing' in the seat next to you while you're frozen stiff.
OK, so now that I've said all the negatives on this car, let me get to some of the positives.
This car never fails to make me smile (when I'm not dropping a thousand dollars to keep it on the road). And it's very attractive to look at... for a wagon.
The 5-speed mated with a turbo really makes this car fly after about 3000 rpm's, and it handles very playfully for a station wagon. It also has the best brakes I've ever had in a car, I mean this car stops QUICK (which is handy in stop and go Atlanta traffic). It's tons of fun to flip through the gears at night on a windy road while going double the limit and feel like you have complete control of the car at all times. And the stock stereo is AMAZING! It's extremely crisp, clear and loud.
It's got tons of features I didn't expect to find, like an air conditioned glove compartment.
The insurance is dirt cheap because it's got the 'best pick' rating in crash tests. I'm 20 year old guy and I pay $98 a month for full coverage. I have clean record though :P.
The car is very sturdy and feels like the body and interior will last faaaaaar longer than the drivetrain. I actually got rear-ended buy some ugly Chevy Equinox fairly hard and got out expecting a lot of damage, yet I only had scratches in the paint.
This car has served me well for the past 30k miles and I love it to pieces. I just can't continue dropping a thousand dollars in it a month to keep it running. I feel like I'm in a losing battle with it. It just always seems to be needing something else fixed. I hate it because I love the car so much. I'm in the process of getting the fuse box fixed (approx. $500) and will heave a sigh of relief and sadness when I see her drive away with a new owner. Not only because I love the car, but because I wasted so much money keeping it driving down the road.