"I bought this car new in 2010 with HID headlamps and a moon roof (1st model year for the MKVI and the options were a la carte). This has been a fantastic vehicle. More reliable than my previous Honda Civic Si (1999) and my Acura Integra (1998) and has been a blast to drive for the near 6 years I've owned the vehicle. Other than the usual oil changes and routine maintenance the only issues I've had were the passenger side electronic module going bad (covered under warranty at 18k miles in the 2nd year of ownership) and the carbon build-up issue that affects all direct-injected motors (not just the VW GTI of this model year, but spans across all makes/models with a direct-injected fuel system). This caused issues with the engine's breathing ability and showed symptoms around 50k miles. I drove it to 83k miles before addressing the issue myself. After cleaning the intake ports myself the car has been running flawlessly and I'm currently at 95k miles. The 17-inch wheels make for cheaper tire replacements, but 18-inch wheels became standard on the 2011 models. The OEM rear brake pads are really soft and wear quickly, when you replace them definitely go aftermarket. The fuel economy has been great (about 28mpg average over its lifespan). Rear seating is fantastic and the cargo area should be sufficient for most people. After 6 years and 95k miles the interior is still in fantastic shape."
"In the first few months the radiator leaked twice and a pump failed. VW only loaned me a car once, and that was after a lot of unnecessary nonsense. That alone should steer the reader away from VW. Also, the stereo is supposed to be Bluetooth, but the control panel will not fast forward songs, select songs or select folders using my smartphone which is a Galaxy III. So if you want to function your phone, you still need to drive with your knee and operate the phone, which is so backwards compared to hands-free system of the Focus ST and other 2012s. Basically the "fancy German engineered" head unit is no better than just plugging an audio cable directly into your phones headphone output. The Bluetooth is also a pain to reconnect every time I start the car. It uses a little button on the turn signal behind the steering wheel to function the limited phone options, such as dialing. And entering the numbers takes so long you might as well just wait until you arrive at your friend's house and skip the call altogether. There is no text option. The key locks are a joke, usually only one door unlocks and VW won't change it even though I know they could. The gas cap will be locked but when you unlock it the car honks at you and locks you out while you are pumping gas. Sometimes I think it's locked when it's not. You never know. The power for my GPS turns off when the car is off, so if you stop for gas, or a drink, then restart the car you have to wait until the GPS turns on, hit OK, then reprogram your destination. The USB port is nice, but cost $40 to convert if you don't use Apple (which I don't), unfortunately you cannot change the USB while driving because of it's location so you might have to just listen to what you have plugged in already. And remember you can't choose what song is playing on your phone. The Audio input is in the drink holder so you have to choose either a drink or audio device. So overall it is very frustrating and inconvenient for commuting. If you are a grandma and need something for going to the store and aren't going to put alot of miles on this then it's ok, I guess. But if you want something more fun and reliable to commute in, I would look at the Focus ST. Check out the Recarro Seats."