The Golf R is a sad, sad car.. It suffers major engine failure (the failure was when VW decided to put a 4 pot in it instead of a 6 cylinder)
To answer your question: People like older VW's because they know how to wrench and fix their own cars. It's labor of love. And you heard wrong. Car's are as garbage as the owner's who take care / don't take care of them.
Who did you hear that from? From a Scion owner?
My mechanic teacher said the same thing lol he was like why does everyone like mark 4s and stuff they are price of junk cars and he has been a mechanic for like 50 years lol