I bought my Golf after my 2002 Corolla was giving up and I needed a new car. I originally looked at a Corolla, however I wasn't very impressed and I'd heard VW had some good deals going.
When I first test-drove the Golf, I was amazed at how it felt so solid, quick and fun, yet was reasonably priced. I adore the looks on the outside and it always puts a smile on my face. And inside that just continues with the solidness of the cabin and really intuitive technology. I opted to get the nav', and had heard from my aunt who has a Corolla that hers wasn't great, however the nav' in the Golf has been dependable, and always gets me to where I need to be.
The build of the car has been thought out precisely, and there is quality at every corner. The car feels so solid on the highway, yet is really easy to drive around town too. The transmission is a little jerky at low speeds, however it's nothing I would call an issue.
When I bought it I was amazed to have auto lights, wipers, sensors both front and back, and a reverse camera, when the similarly priced Corolla I looked at only had the camera. I love how the camera folds out of the badge when you get into reverse.
There are so many little things I appreciate about my car, such as auto lock when I start driving, flat-folding seats, how the left-hand mirror moves down when I go into reverse, and so many more things.
I was surprised when the salesman told me the engine was only 1.4 litres, as it feels a lot faster. It's always so quick from the get-go, yet the fuel economy is always amazing. With a mix of around town and highway, I can usually count on 900km out of the tank, which is more than double what I got in the Corolla!
It's been a very reliable car for the past four years, with only a very small issue with the start/stop system (something the Corolla didn't even offer), which the dealership rectified immediately. The services have been very reasonable and I recently had a major done for $400, which when you consider the convenience of only needing one service a year is great value for money.
I did consider upgrading my car to the new Golf or Polo, however I don't think I could part with it. It has been such a good and dependable car, and you can always put a smile on your face when you need to. I have a rule that I am the only one allowed to drive it, because I wouldn't trust anybody else with it.
If you're after an upmarket-feeling car without paying the big bucks, this is the one for you! I can't think of any improvements needed to be made, however I'm sure VW has made many improvements to the current model.