I had a Mazda 323 back in the day and it literally fell apart after 100k miles. It was great up until then. The engine and tranny had all types of issues. I don't think they've changed much. Do your research on Edmunds and the consumer reviews don't lie. I liked Golf's until the recent scandal. I am staying away until the dust settles. My Fit has over 150k miles and there is a story on the Internet about a courier with 500k miles on hers and it's still going strong with oil changes. I have no problems whatsoever and I've only changed oil on my 2007. Btw I love Subaru also. Check the reviews on engine and tranny for certain models.my $.02
Why? Unless you are buying a diesel, why waste a chance to badger the seller into a lower price over VW's current reputation problems that have absolutely nothing to do with the gasoline models? Dealers are probably sweating, and private sellers have probably seen a drop in demand too.