This is my 2nd Passat; 1999 V6 5-speed Sedan was amazing for 10 years and 140k miles. Despite hard use, reliability was excellent(6,000+ revs common; 50/50 highway/backroads; fast cornering; some rough roads; stored for long periods). The timing belt was expensive, replaced radiator at the same time since front of the car has to be dismantled. Also had to replace control arms/bushings and CV joints. Valve cover gasket prone to leaking. Cracked oil pan 2x on steep driveways/bumps (likely somewhat my fault due to 1/2-inch lower European suspension springs). AC conked out in year 9. Still has original clutch. My other cars are BMW M3s which I race - but can't sell VW, I like it too much!
Handling, comfort, roomy trunk. Excellent reliability given usage. I have stock car except for European Sport Springs.
Better access for repairs to reduce high repair labor hours. Make European suspension a USA option.