It was a very good drive for 10 years, but it was plagued with all of the typical VW problems of that era. I took care of the car, garaged it, but I was very disappointed in how well a $40k car held up.
Another major annoyance, every repair took 5 days due to the lack of trained techs and non-standard parts.
My extended warranty put in over $14k in repairs including Cam Adjusters and screens. I just couldn't hold it any longer for fear of more repairs.
Leaky seals body seals and moonroof drains
chronically bad control arms and CV joints
leather door panels coming undone
poor quality of switches
I think the idea of buying an expensive car as a means of having reliability is a falsehood. The more expensive generally means the more complex. For example, Mercedes and BMW are plagued with all sorts of issues because they push boundaries of engineering. A 4.0l 8 cylinder engine stuffed into a family sized sedan is pretty impressive, that and 6 speed transmission with AWD is almost unheard of in the market. If that's not pushing some kind of bounds for a production vehicle by a major brand, I'm not sure what is. If I wanted reliable, I'd buy a Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, or a SMART ForTwo. That way I could attach a rope to myself and pull the car instead of having it towed when it broke down.
More cost = more complexity
Less cost = less to fail unless design flawed
Sorry to see you go! Sounds like you went BMW. If you thought VW was expensive, I'd hate to hear your opinion on BMW in 10 years time
PS. This isn't a criticism directed at you specifically. Its just a general obso.
[I get this isn't criticism, just giving another perspective.]
Expensive != Reliable... but it should equal quality. This isn't a Ferrari where it is an expectation to rebuild the engine every year. I was fine with 10 quart oil changes and pulling the engine to replace the alternator. After my extended warranty expired in 2012, it became a nickel and dime car. $200 for a new sunroof control panel. $220 for a fuel controller to balance fuel across the multiple fuel tanks. $250 to replace a sliding armrest.
The fact that the leather door panels were all bubbling out and rarely used things like reading lamp switches and ashtray foldouts (I don't smoke) needed replacement multiple times is frankly pathetic in a car with an MSRP $40,000 in 2004. Nobody will care how wonderful the engine is and the fact that you can throw it into 4th gear at 80 to pass a BMW with ease... if the build quality is low.
I agree that this car pushed the boundaries of retro-fitted engineering with the engine and used some nice recycled Audi parts... but overall my life has changed in 10 years...and VW as a brand sure has changed in 10 years.
As far as BMW goes, I bought a pedestrian one. It will have issues, but those issues are common across the entire platform. The X1, 1, and 3 series all share the same base 4cyl turbo engine. Same steering wheels. Same gear shift. Same nav. Same controls. If I need work done, there are a fleet of techs and indy shops that have worked on those same components 1000s of times.
The next things on my car to go based upon all of the W8 knowledge I have made it the right time to get rid of it.
All of these have a high rate of failure between 80-100k.
Really would like a W8 but as I suspect it might be a mistake.
My 120K BMW 528i was a similar story.
It would have put a regular person having it repaired at a dealership into bankruptcy.
Lucky for me I could replace the head, re service the VANOs, swap out the ABS modal, replace the injectors.. among many other things.
A great car, but made me nervous every time it burped.