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I have had my golf for about 2 months and done around 2500 miles in it. I purchased the Golf as an ex-demo car.
The first thing you will notice when you compare the Golf to equivilent 3 doors (Astra Sport Hatch, Citroen C4 Coupe, Renault Megane) is the sheer space. In all the others cars I struggled to get in the back (I am 6ft 3in) and getting out was even harder! In the Golf I can hop in and out with ease and with plenty of head room.
The boot is also a good size - I have used the Golf to move out of my student house and was amazed at how much you can get in in one go when the seats are down. I also use the car for sailing and find I can get all my gear in the car easily.
The Golf TDI drives superbly, corners are fun again! The acceleration you can get is very impressive, with no noticable flat spots in the gears. If you drive quickly and accelerate hard then the fuel consumption isn't the best, but if you drive sensibly and change up as you would with a normal car then it seems to run forever! The 55 litre fuel tank is nice, it means you're not at the pump for very long. The fuel warning light also gives you an audible warnign when it first comes on, useful when you're driving fown the motorway and not thinking very much.
The only drawbacks to the car that I have found so far are that I have had two fairly big faults. Initially there was no drain fitted to the air conditioning unit- so it drained into my carpets until it pooled in the footwell. Not great. However, I took the car to the dealership - I had a replacement Bora within the hour, they ordered the parts from the factory and also offered, without being asked, to change all of the carpets in the car, even the boot which was unafffected (so that it was not a different shade after fading). They were truly excellent.
After this fault the CD player also began skipping every so often - though I think the two problems were related. Again VW were superb, replacing the enitre radio unit and being extremely helpful.
If you are considering buying a Golf I advise going at dusk and turning the sidelights on - the blue of the interior lihting looks very nice!
On my car I also have the "Protection Pack" fitted, which is an option. For this you get footmats, plastic covers over your headlights and also a boot liner, which is a thick rubber mat fitted to your boot. I hit a bird with my headlight the other week while doing about 80mph, and though the protecter chipped it was a 30 seconds job to replace it (free from VW), instead of needing a whole new headlight. The boot protector is great if you need to transport any fluids around as there are no worries about spillages, you can just lift the liner out and hose it down.
Overall: The Golf is mechanically reliable, functional, good looking and a true pleasure to drive - I recommend it highly to anyone who needs a medium sied, economical car that can still carry a useful load. Additionally, it is sporty enough to be fun, though remains safe due to a good safety package as standard - giving it a low insurance group for its power.