Our Sportwagen, automatic, has 17,000 mostly country/suburban miles. We routinely get 43 mpg and the mileage seems to have improved a bit, maybe 2-3 mpg since new. Top mileage is about 47 mph on the interstate, low is about 37 in combined in-town/suburban winter driving. For a car that is fun to drive and responsive at the stop light, this seems very good to me. Right now, diesel is at a premium compared to gas, but we still are saving money on fuel. Mileage on other brands of small wagons was much lower for the same utility. A friend with a new, 2013 Subaru wagon got 30 mpg on a long trip and was happy, but nothing like the TDI delivers.
This car has traditional, buttoned-down styling, not so much bling as we found on Fords, Toyotas and Hondas we looked at. Nicer finish than Mazda, too. Hyundai Elantras have nice styling inside, but not the mpg rating, and the wagon model was unavailable in our area. Subaru 4-wheel would be nice, but seats were not as comfortable and mileage was relatively poor.
We suffered one "no start" on this car when it was brand new - a software glitch fixed under warranty. Otherwise, the car has been flawless in the first 18 months.
This car has excellent visibility, better than the VW sedan I traded, because there is no thick rear pillar. The seats are a hybrid of manual/automatic, but my wife 5'8" and I 5' 10" have no trouble finding a good driving position. I like the telescoping/tilt wheel. The passenger seat has a nice power tilt feature and manual lumber.
This car has 16 inch tires, which I find much more economical to replace than the 17 inch tires they insist on putting on small cars these days. (Yes, the car will probably corner better with wider tires, but if you are a teenager bent on cornering, maybe you should drive something else?) I live on a country road with some extreme curves and this car handles it fine, plus the TDI gives you the oomph to climb a steep grade. (I can leave the trucks/suvs in the dust on grades and curves when feeling sporty....)