The car is fun to drive, AWD 4motion is amazing, and it does deliver fantastic MPG vs other models released the same year.
Here's the issue. Read all other reviews, It's a maintenance lemon! Below I've listed the problems occurred after owning my car for 3 years (2009 - 2012, 54k - 96k miles)
1) Timing belt replaced - $320
2) 2 Coil packs - $240
3) Oil sludge recall - covered fortunately
4) 3 CV boots - $750
5) Oil Cooler failure - $1,600
6) 2 front axles - $360
7) 2 Cylinder Oxygen Sensors - $400
8) Clutch - $800
9) Fuel pump - $800
10) 4 tires - $450
11) 4 brake pads, calipers, rotors - $600
Total repair costs = $6,320
not including routine oil change, tire balancing, etc: $400/year
The best features include:
-great MPG (average 25 mpg mixed city/highway)
-turbo offers great acceleration
-AWD 4motion delivers outstanding traction and handling
-heated front seats great in winter
-audio system above average
-Reliability!!! Problem occurs every 3-6 months after 50k miles.
-Engine design: Very difficult to make repairs yourself.
-Too many recalls
-Does not retain high Kelly Blue Book value
-Costs for yearly maintenance/repair way above average.
-Owned 5 separate vehicles and this gets my lowest value rating.
-Would not recommend to friends/family
Once warranty was over my Passat started to fall apart. In it's fifth year I spent over 5,000 on service and maintenance. VW service after recent inspection informed me about 2 additional things that need to be done in the nearest future (additional $2,000). I won't buy Volkswagen again and I recommend you to stay away from Volkswagen
fun to drive
Improve quality, improve service (VW dealership charge me few times for thinks that were not done)
Most writers seem to have complaints but that is not my experience. I wrote about this car at 42,000 miles and am doing a follow-up. I still like this car as much as I did then. I've had to replace the headlight bulbs, a couple relay switches, and the rear lights. The timing belt replacement ($600) is usually done at 90,000 miles but I'm doing it at 80,000 to be on the safe side. I've replaced it in other cars so don't see this as an unusual expense. Slightly more expensive total repairs than my wife's 2005 Camry but it's a lot more fun - we always take this car.
I have been down the coil road with VW. They will not admit that it is a major problem with their car. I have almost been stranded twice with the coil problem. Once I was at the dealer & they told me I would have to wait until the following week to get it fixed. It is a really simple thing to replace . I called a friend (Mechanic) & he knew right away & told me to buy a coil at the dealer & he talked me through changing it. It was a trial & error method because I didn't know which one of the 4 was bad. It turned out to be #1 coil. 2 weeks later # 2 died. I replaced it & the other 2 & have solved my problem. I hope the new ones are more reliable! Also had to replace a front axle
Not many---I do like the Dashboard lighting.
Increase your Warranty & upgrade your coils. I probably would never buy another VW.
We are 4 years and 50K miles into our Passat. Overall, it has been reliable and a supremely comfortable highway car. Have has some service niggles: front under spoiler has fallen off a few times, roof gutter came loose, and most recently, drivers side seat heater burned a hole in the seat. Besides this, the feature set of the 2004 now seems a little limited. Despite all this, though, the Passat still proves to be reasonable fun to drive transport for my family.
Beautiful interior, TipTronic automatic allows for manual control, auto locking doors, wide trunk pass through, trip computer, multilevel heat seaters.
With the slush box and AWD, the car needs more power and is too thirsty for Premium unleaded. VW needs to revise the design of the front under spoiler. Swap the steering wheel controls positions ala Honda.