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Used car test: 2002 VW Passat GLS Wagon
By carb5 on
Vehicle
2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Review
I purchased a CPO 2002 Passat GLS 1. 8T Wagon in April of 2004 for a cross-Canada trip heading west from Ottawa to Vancouver Island then North through Dawson Creek B.C. (mile 0 of the Alaska Highway) and further north to Great Slave Lake (above the 60th Parallel) and back. The trip totalled 17000km and took 205 hours according to the trip computer. The Passat swallowed all of our gear and never complained through a daily average of 6 hours on the road at speeds anywhere from 30 to 75 mph. We averaged 36mpg over the full distance in 32 days. Nothing went wrong. A flawless trip in a car that left me extremely impressed. I'd buy a new one in a heartbeat.
Favorite Features
Power and economy are each well represented and delivered with the 1.8T. Our route covered everything from prairie vastness to high snowy mountain peaks to twisty shoreline roads and this little engine 'that could' solidly delivered 35+ mpg day after day and never lacked get up and go.
Suggested Improvements
Firm up the ride a bit. While definitely 'not your father's Oldsmobile' the ride could be more taut through the curvy bits. The clutch pedal has far too much travel; my 94 Probe GT has better clutch feel and action. Improve the seatback tilt control (that knob has got to go).
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