I bought my 2002 Passat wagon used with 23k on it. I was drawn by the styling inside and out, vault- like build quality, and the utility of a wagon. The only negative I saw was the lackluster engine power. Since then, I have replaced the convenience electronics module, turn signal flasher, brake booster pump, steering rack, one catalytic converter, and the other cat is now leaking and needs replaced. The transmission is dodgy, the climate control sometimes cuts out, and the rear window washer doesn't work. The sunroof drain leaks into the rear floor. I've spent about $5000 in repairs in 3 years. When the car is working, it's fabulous. When it's not, which is way too often, it's a disaster.
Amazing heated seats, Monsoon audio system, interior design, unstoppable all-wheel-drive, utter lack of squeaks and rattles.
There should be more power in the V6, or it should run on regular gas. It's odd to have to use premium for so little thrust. Reliability: It's sad that a car with so much to offer should fall so far short on this. This car has burned me for the last time- I traded it toward an Acura MDX today.