At 160K, my Passat Wagon is proving to be quite the reliable workhorse. I may have lucked out, I realize, but she has been running nearly flawlessly. Annoying stuff along the way but has been limited to mostly quirky VW stuff. The module in the driver's side door was a MAJOR bummer 3 years ago ($1K+). Was rear ended very hard recently and frame didn't budge. The Ford Focus that hit us -- front end was utterly destroyed. Body guys were quite impressed. And so is my mechanic. The 1.8T is one of the best European engines (sad it's no longer) -- fun, reliable, fairly efficient. I will drive this car into the 200K's -- because I can hardly find another Euro wagon in stick! Again, sad.
Driving control (no 4Motion but my Anti-Slip Regulation handles Northern Vermont snow formidably), visibility, cabin space, build quality, safety, 1.8T manual great power plant, Monsoon sound is better than my Bose system at home -- no joke.
Premium gas and fully synthetic oil adds up the operating costs. Annoying flaws with the little stuff at times, but hey, it's about picture items for me.