I am posting to give a favorable thumbs up to my Passat Wagon, which I purchased new in June 2002. Sure it has had a few mechanical failures, and the usual maintenance any car needs. But other then that it's been very reliable, practical and fun to drive. A couple of the issues I have had relate to CV boot joints tearing (normal) and the passenger seat heater going out. I agree that headlight bulbs do burn out more often then normal and that regular maintenance prices are a bit higher. However, it has been and still is a blast to drive, I have great fuel economy (27- 30 mpg, being a wagon is a huge bonus and it beats the compact SUVs or Crossovers any day of the week. It's a keeper until the end.
5 spd manual tranny, cargo capacity, fuel economy, roomy front seats with seat warmers.
headlights that can be turned off during daylight or bulbs that last longer, reat seat warmers, windshield wipers that work better in all weather.