Reading review after negative review I wonder whether I was just lucky, or whether my experience is more representative of the norm.
My Passat was totalled last summer when a tree blown over by a storm crushed my garage (of course the Passat was in the garage).
95,000 miles with only 2 service matters.
Fuel pump failed at 88,000. Parts and labor < $300.
Replaced one CV boot at same time as a precaution. Parts and Labor also about $300.
Outstanding performance and handling. Understated but elegant interior. Good ergonomics.
Seats were firm but wonderful for long trips.
5 speed stick combined with rev range and torque band.
Consistent 31-32 mpg cross-country at 75 + mph.
Confident handling extended well past 100 mph.
Excluding 0 - 60 times, there might have been an outer 10% highway performance envelope of what a 3 series could do that the Passat couldn't match, but that was outside of anything I would have the stones to do, anyway. Thank the stars there weren't any police around during some of the back road cross-country flights I made in my Passat.