I love my VW golf, Its the best car we have had! It's about 10-11 years old now but still seems pretty modern with electric sunroof/windows, built in stero/cd player.
We've only had 3 main problems with it:
1) an oil leak, which could happen in any car
2) new clutch, again could happen
and 3) there seem to be a technical fault on the dashboard and a light is constantly on telling us that the emissions need looking at, we of coursed got it checked, the emissions were fine, and the garage managed to turn the light off, then 3 days later it came back on! its been on constantly for 3yrs now.
The size of the car is perfect for me, and theres enough room in the boot for at least 2 dogs (or plenty of shopping) the back seats fold down very easily, providing a much larger boot for when needed.
I think the leg room in the golf is brilliant, espeically when compared to other cars like the clio which is tiny! I can get a 6ft bloke sat in the back with ease! I'm just saving the money up to buy a newer version of the golf!
It has never broken down in the 4yrs we've owned it- which I think is pretty good!
I purchased my Golf 1.4 E last May, after having owned two previous models. The reason for purchasing my fist Golf was that I am a fire fighter and have been to a number of road traffic accident where VW Golf's had been involved in accidents with other cars. I was so suprised by the lack of damage compared to other cars like Rover 200's, Ford Escorts etc. that having a wife and two children, I thought that this was the car for me. Since then I have had another mark 3 and now my present Golf mark 4. The build quality is the best I have come across, you can feel the weight in the doors when you close them and they just glid shut without having to slam them. The engine in the 1.4 is a 16 valve unit (the 1.6 and 1.8 are 8 valve) and just goes and goes without any problems. It is fuel injected and has most of its power low down in the range, once you get above 6000 rpm the acceleration is slower, but gets their in the end. Fuel economy is on average 39 miles to the gallon, wich consists of a lot of urban and town driving of short distances. Main dealer servicing is quite good, as a yearly or 9000 mile service will cost around £100 - £120. Parts at the main dealers are nearly always available, if not they can get hold of a part out of stock within 24 hrs max. I am 6 foot tall and this is the only car where my head does not touch the roof lining. The cabin space is first class, I have two teenage children and even with the drivers seat right back, they still have more than enough room. The cabin is well built with no sqweeks or rattles. The dashboard lay out is as good as you will get in the more expensive cars. The only point that I can complain about is that you only get the basic things, well built of course, but if you want air con or a sun roof, you will have to pay extra. The resale value of the Golf's are second to none. I have always been able to get a very good price when selling. At the end of the day,
you may pay a little more for a Golf than say a Focus and you will not get the same level of goodies, but for my money, saftey and quality out weigh the fancy bits of the other car companies, and when you come to trade it in the Golf will give you more back, than the extra you paid for it in the first place. So I would suggest that you give the Golf some serious throught.