In the past month, at my expense, the front axle, water pump and timing belt all needed replacing. The car shakes in idle when stopped, a common problem with this engine from my research, but VW is in denial. The dealership cleaned the throttle body, fuel injectors and replaced engine and transmission mounts at my expense, car still shakes. This is my second and last VW, a car with only 41000 miles shouldn't have so many issues.
Wanted an A4 Avant but too expensive and Quattro slaughters gas mileage - I recently bought an 04 1.8T wagon 5 speed - all I can say is FUN. Came from a 05 Grand Cherokee at 14 mpg, the Passat has more room, is SO much fun to drive, and returns 23/30 mpg.
Leather is great quality, heated seats are awesome, trip computer great, sunroof goes all the way back, huge trunk, stereo buttons on steering wheel, gas mileage
Premium gas is no fun at $4.05/gallon, but it's worth it. It's stupid that you have to hit a button on the key to open the trunk, that it doesn't have Sirius from the factory, or an ipod cable but they've added these in newer models
This is my favorite car in over 30 years of driving. It has all the benefits of a wagon, yet drives like a sporty sedan. It has great mid speed acceleration, downshift to 4th or 3rd, floor it and you can, pass almost anything. It looks great, very European and the interior is very high class for a car in that price range. The gas mileage is so-so in city driving, but cruising at 75mph you can go 400 miles before gasing. I have had for 42,000 miles and have only brought it in for scheduled maintenance. Its reliable, sporty, looks great and practical, what more could you want.
The turbo is great - very smooth. It has great storage capacity and tons of room - I'm in a band and get lots of equipment into the back.
One can always ask for more horsepower, but it isn't really a big deal.
Wonderful car (wagon)! Comfortable and fun to drive with real performance when you want it. As a wagon the space is there if you need it and rear passengers have always been comfortable. Why VW stopped making this car is a question I'll never be able to answer.
I've had several Acura sedans and a VW GTI but none of them compare to the Passat Wagon. I got it after the GTI was totaled and never expected it to have such spirited performance. I have to admit I've driven it over 125 mph and it felt like a sports car. It was absolutely smooth and solid. I've never been so impressed with a car. My wife loves it. Our other car is a late model Toyota Land Cruiser, which is nice, but for driving, nothing beats the Passat. It's roomy, smooth and fast. It's the only car I've driven where I don't feel exhausted after 400 mile trips. It has had a few problems, thankfully all covered by waranty.