I bought my 2005 GLS TDI new after test driving a base gas model. At the time, the gas and diesel models were the same price, the diesel mileage was far superior, and the cost of diesel was quite a bit less than gasoline so this was a no-brainer. Now, diesel is often more expensive than gasoline, and sometimes even 15-20% more, so the diesel advantage is not what it once was. Still, I like being able to go almost 600 miles on a fillup, and I love the power, reliability and longevity of this engine. I have 175,000 miles on my Passat and have not had a single repair bill outside of scheduled maintenance. The most expensive maintenance is the timing belt replacement every 80-100K miles. The car has excellent pickup, not as peppy as the gasoline Passat, but much better than most cars that I've driven, including V8s. The 10,000 mile interval for the synthetic oil change offsets the higher costs associated with changing the oil. This service, like most, is best performed by the owner, the dealer, or a shop specializing in German autos. Maintenance costs are slightly more expensive and servicing establishments more limited than Japanese, American, Korean or other cars, but the Passat spends very little time in the shop. I think that this has been an extremely economical car, but it drives as well or better than cars costing quite a bit more to purchase or maintain.
Best used car I have ever owned. Had it for over six years now I just had my first problem and it's the AC. Hoping it's just freon. I was looking into perhaps buying a new TDI wagon and they are smaller. Love my 05. Great power, smooth handling, keeps up with anything on the road. Rear seat room is far greater than the Jetta or Golf wagon.
Purchased this car in 2010 with 67,000KM from VW as a pre-owned certified vehicle with a 40,000KM or 2 year bumper to bumper warranty. It has been exceptional for me during this time. I am now at 200,000KM and have serviced it regularly as required. I still enjoy the drive as I commute up to 2-3 hours daily doing sales.
However, just had a major recent issue. My transmission quit completely out of nowhere. It is a self sealed unit and very difficult to service, nor does it say it requires any routine maintenance. This is a $4500 issue to get a factory repaired/replaced transmission from VW. Luckily I had a friend who rebuilt and swapped it for considerably less.
Fuel economy is excellent for the age, size and weight of this car. Diesel engine pulls very well, tons of torque.
Handles quite well in the snow.
Comfortable interior gets the job done, even after years of driving.
-CV boots and joints are prone to wear.
-Transmission can have major issues after the 150,000km mark
-Seat material is not breathable and makes your back sweat profusely
-Minor electrical issues could be addressed
Overall, I would buy this vehicle again and recommend it.
I wrote my last review of my wagon almost 2 years ago. My car now has 55K miles and is better than ever. Since the stock suspension is very wallowy I replaced the shocks & springs @ 50K with H&R springs and Bilstein shocks from the Tire Rack. Wow, feels like driving a brand new A6. A worn CV boot was found and replaced during suspension work. Thats it, no other problems. This car had the Upsolute ECU reflash done to it over two years ago and not a single problem. It adds an extra 30HP and 50ft-lbs torque. This thing pulls like a freight train and gets 38 MPG on long trips. Replaced stock stereo which stinks with a $250 (installed!) Sony from Best Buy. Way better even w/ stock speakers.
300 ft-lbs of torque from Upsolute ECU reflash. Amazing feel of the H&R springs and Bilstein shocks. Compliant but firm and paired beautifully to the motor and chassis. Great MPG. Lots of room for kids and stuff. Great exterior styling. Interior stying is always good in VW/Audi no matter what model.
Some plastic surfaces peeling. Tan interior not good with kids. Ages poorly and stains easilly. Work on interior electrical.
Up to 2009 car was great. Volkswagon decided to recall att TDI models for a R8 recall for the glow plugs. Being on top of recalls brought car in for recall and had it done in the spring time period. Well summer went by and winter was setting in (getting colder) my wife started complaining that the car was hard to start sometimes. I of course egnored it till I drove it. Well the problems with the dealership and Volkswagon began. Called Volkswagon direct and knotified them of a possible problem with thier recall. Brought it in and more than 6 months later. I got my car back with original plugs and waiting for volkswagon to find a glow plug that will replace problem plugs. Good luck to tdi owne
Get engineers that can fix the problems on the TDI's. As they told me the original glow plugs may fail and destroy your heads on the car if not addressed. Volkswagon is still working on a fix. So far the manufacturer paid 6 months rental and 2 heads for my car.