15 years ago lots of Subarus had head gasket failure and many other maddening and expensive issues.
VWs, more than most brands, appeal to an enthusiast demographic. Those folks may be more likely than the average car buyer to stick with a car they like, even if repairs are a heavier than average burden. That is generally the case with VW over the decades.
Over the decades repairs have generally been less a problem with Toyota and Honda vehicles. That’s a factor in their initial popularity, and in people keeping them for longer than average.