interesting. my Jetta TDI was a Mexico car. i didnt know there was a reputation for varying quality. i would have assumed VW stayed on top of quality control fairly well but also never dug into it very deeply.Last mustang was 6 years old, and the interior was like new except for drivers seat.
The edges facing the door were showing fading from rubbing getting in and out.
Fuel economy - hear a woman comment she loved driving her truck, and $10/week more in fuel was nothing compared to the feeling of security if she had an accident. VW isnt going to survive a pickup. BTW I had about a 20 year span of VWs. Great cars while made in Germany. Last was Mexico - and thats why it was the last. Rust, and mechanical issues.
My last mustang was a V6, and I'm only about 1.3L/100 more in economy with the 8.
American cars these days last 10 years on average before issues come up. reading about issues in a forum, you are looking at a small percentage of people - even in the forum itself. Worked in an assembly plant ... we built 1300 pickups every day, 800 on Saturdays. If there was a high number of repairs after sale ... the volume would bankrupt the manufacturer. You dont hear from the folks that go 100K miles routinely without an issue, you hear about the one that had an issue in the first 5k.
Manual is fun - but 98% of my driving involves stoplights and traffic. Working a clutch has become a drudge. The auto will spin the tires just by hititng the gas - dont need a clutch to be a hooigan. Paddle shifter is great ... the little burst downshifting for the rev match feature is a nice sound effect. Theres things to like about the auto too.