It is a great car for everyday use. I have mine for 6 years and I drove around 55K miles and it runs like a champ. These V6 engines are strong and hard to kill. The only thing I changed besides suspension, is timing ( which is normal every car, so is the oil), gaskets, thermostat, and water pump. Yes these are expensive parts, if you buy original like you should. I am a mechanic so every part I buy, I change it myself. This car is great for hauling cargo inside. So if you're looking for a first car and know something about how change little things and have budget limit to 5K, I suggest you get this car. Now it depends on a person, if you're planning on modifying like boosting, get a 1.8T, if not and want to have the car as a daily drive, get a V6. Why a V6 for a daily drive, because turbos are very expensive to replace, and you never know what the car went through with previous owner. You may also ask how is the mpg, well it's not perfect. After I changed the fuel pump and the filter, I started getting 13-15 in city, and 25-30 on highway at steady 60-70 mph, on premium 93 (recommended)
Let me just say that I went into my 2000 Volkswagen Passat from my college car (a Saturn) so naturally I was floored when I stepped on the gas and it actually went! This car is a still a head turner and gets parked in the front with BMWs and Mercedes at valet. The Tiptonic transmission makes this car take off like a rocket. Beware of repairs on this car that aren't under warranty though, they are COSTLY! Fortunatly I can't say I've had any issues with it mechanically. I intend to make my next car another Passat. It's fun to drive and looks great! You will also command a little respect when you pull up at the valet at Benihana! I was surprised to come out and see my car parked in front!
Handling! I've driven BMW 3-Series and my car has a better ride than that! The ride is excellent. Tiptronic WOOHOO. Being asked "What is that an AUDI?" getting compliments constantly by friends on how great the car looks.
Maybe it's just me but I really didn't get good gas mileage. It seems like I was putting $25 to $30 in the tank every other day. A kick up in horsepower would be nice and I noticed someone mentioned a delay when you accelerate. I do too.
At 65k miles I still think the Passat is a great car. I bought it as a family car and what sold me was the solid quality feel, excellent crash ratings, well designed little luxury features (eg. one-touch up and down front windows, one-touch rotary dial sunroof control). Many Audi features at a VW price. Sufficient power to blast along at 80+ with full load, yet decent gas mileage (low 20s around the burbs, 30 cruising @ 65, 27 cruising @80 with a full load). Fairly reliable problems have been: dead rear washer, dead rear speaker(s), faulty temp gauge sender, oil leak at valve timing chain cover (common prob); all were fixed under warranty although the rear speakers are now all dead.
The whole package - Excellent crash test ratings, comfortable ride, quiet, excellent front seats, roomy back seat, smooth refined engine (V6), GREAT feeling manual shifter, many well designed luxo features on a value priced car, solid quality feel and appearance
Reliability, total cost of ownership, body lean while cornering Cupholders? Not up to NA standards, but then stop eating and drinking (and phoning) and drive!!!
I thought we had found the perfect car. The clean lines, nearly perfect ergonomics, elegant interior and great road manners made me forget that I was driving a station wagon. Unfortunately, the car was bedeviled by endless quality problems that had us endlessly returning to the shop over and over. On 3 different occasions, it blew major engine or transmission seals with catastropic results. The electrical system shorted repeatedly and countless other little things went wrong. Thank God we had an extended warranty.
No car in its price range offers this degree of solidity, refinement and sophistication. The Passat feels every inch the expensive German road car.
Quality, quality, quality. Doesn't matter how nice a car is when it's always in the shop.
I have been very happy with my wagon, with basically no trouble.
Automatic windows with one touch, my husband's higher brand of a car lacks this wonderful feature! I like my rear view mirror how it flips down to check on the kids in the back seat, I haven't seen that in other cars that I have driven.