Bought new. Had 3 previous Jettas and a 93 Passat VR6, so we're worried about reliability but liked the car. Overall only one real problem. Water pump began slow leak at 65,000 miles so had to do timing belt prematurely, and then the replacement water pump leaked 6 mos later. Dealer had to redo job for free. They showed me the part -- a $65 plastic piece of junk that required a $1600 repair. Otherwise, our has held up well. No other problems, no deterioration. Still looks and performs like a new car. Routine maintenance, brakes, tires, etc. not bad if you use an independent shop.
Ride and handling especially at high speed. Real world 29 mpg at 80 mph. 32 mpg at 65 mph. And 22-24 in mixed suburban driving, which is not bad overall on a 200hp V6. Giant trunk. Smooth powerful engine.
Obviously they used some cheap parts in all these cars. Then again, we had a near catastrophic failure of a similar plastic water pump on a Mazda Protege, which is considered a very reliable car and has been for us. They all seem to do the same thing.
I have been very happy with this car. I drive a lot since I am in sales. I get good HWY mileage 28 to 30 MPG. Very good looking car. Leather seats holding up well. Outside of timing belt replacement, I have only had one other major repair expense in 2 years I have owned Passat. Keep good tires on it.
Just plain fun to drive. Great power. Handles great on HWY and high speeds.
This has been my worst vehicle I have owned,first Wagon sold in Oklahoma nothing but mechanical problems. Electronic sensors contnue to go out which are expensive to replace, 82000 had timing belt replaced plus other repairs, $1200.00 now all cylinders misfiring, another electronic sensor,$800.00 plus. The timing chain behind cam loose and chewed up plastic shield making shrill sound when running, cost to replace $1100 plus. If I had taken it back to dealer would be much more. If I can sell it after repaired for what it is costing me to repair it will be gone and replaced with an American made car. If you have more money than you need by a VW it will soon be gone.
Purchased for my daughter thinking it would be a safe reliable car.Had 90,000 miles drove great and took dealers recommendation "it will be a great car for her" In the first year each month we averaged $500 in repairs.I have a 1990 BMW for the past 5 yrs it's only cost me $500 in repairs. Now a sludge problem that could cost over $2000 to repair Would never buy one again. Loved my bug in the 70's but VW has to work on reliability and reduced pricing for parts before I would buy another.
Fun to drive when it runs
Car that will last at least 150000 miles without costing a fortune!