100k miles so far...
Purchased used S 5-speed manual with 33,000 miles on it about four years back. Just passed 100,000 miles last month. Only one problem so far, with the passenger door latch assembly. We get about 37 MPG mixed city and highway, and 45-50 MPG in interstate highway driving. FWD and snow tires work fine here in Wisconsin. The turbo motor and 5-speed provide all of the acceleration one will *actually* need, and also provide those great economy numbers. As part of the Golf platform, it's a solid car and the handling is good. The ride comfort is also good, maybe enhanced by the taller 16" tires on the S version. Simple controls, without an overly complicated radio / info system. Manual ventilation controls (knobs) are a huge plus. With the rear seats down, it has about the same cargo space as our 2009 Subaru Outback: little narrower but also a little longer. Good outward visibility. Driver seat can get a little tiring after a long drive (4 hours or more) but it's comparable with other highway vehicles we've owned. Reasonably quiet inside considering it's essentially an economy vehicle. A very nice economy vehicle, though. We like it enough that we're considering getting another one before there are no more good wagons in the market.
Incredibly peppy. Handles well in snow.
This car drives like a sports car. I know; I own a Cayman. This car has accompanied us on every vacation and has never lets us down. No problems!
My favorite out of 20 owned cars!!!
I have owned over 20 cars in my lifetime, this one has been the best value out of BMW, Volvo and GM. Great car and very reliable....if you service it as required