This is my 4th VW. I had two '87 Jettas (one was replaced after having been totaled), and a 1999 Passat wagon that I bought used. The '99 was the BEST, lowest maintenance car that I have ever owned. I bought the 2004 Passat Wagon because they were offering 0% interest. I thought I was doing right to get a brand new car for a lower payment. I regret it now. In 2010, I spent close to $3,000 on this car for crazy repairs, along with other repairs that were under warranty or recalls, but still required the inconvenience of taking it in. Right now it is in the shop again to the tune of $1,000. I've filed a claim with VW Customer Care. It's a lemon!
Comfort, controls, ride, mileage is pretty good for a car its size.
The engineering stinks on these post-2000 VWs. Everything is tied to the onboard computer and is hidden away so deeply that the labor is ridiculous. I was quoted over $500 to get rid of a short that was causing my turn signal tick-tick noise to pop up randomly! I can't replace my own headlamp bulbs like I could on the '99. Everything seems to be designed to earn the dealer the most money for repairs. It's ridiculous to be charged $160 for a gas cap! And the inconvenience of taking it in! For a headlamp replacement? Who do these engineers think they are?
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