On paper the Golf is awesome and this is reflected when driving it. Performance and comfort are both flawless in my opinion. Though things aren't as good when you move beyond the road tests and go on to be an owner.
Firstly fuel consumption. It comes down to physics I'm afraid; if a car does 0-100 in 8 seconds then it uses fuel like a car that goes from 0-100 in 8 seconds. If you feather the accelerator (granny style) then yes you can get decent fuel consumption, but using the accelerator normally then you'll be using fuel like a six-cylinder. In normal driving I am getting about 10 litres per 100km, well below the claimed 6.6.
Once you get 18 months in, the real issues start and that's the regular visits to the dealer for repairs. In the last 18 months of warranty I have been without the car for 4 months due to the time it takes for significant repairs to the engine and gearbox.
At first dealers are happy to provide replacement cars but this dries up pretty quickly. I suppose when so much is going on in a small engine then there are trade offs, and reliability is one of them (inc engine rebuild, new clutch, new mechatrinic).
Also it would seem that every time there is a problem with the car a part has to be flown out from overseas and this can take ages. Eg, the car currently needs a new set of injectors and it is taking 4 weeks to get the parts.
I really regret buying this car; the car itself has turned out to be very unreliable and VW have been less than helpful. This is not information you will receive in new car reviews and whoever gave the engine "engine of the year" should be forced to buy one and suck up the frustrating moments I have experienced.