This car is junk! I purchased in 2009 with 65K for 8.5K. The car now has 95K - that's right , folks - only 95K - with original transmission/engine, by the way - and I've spent nearly 7K - in repairs and maintenance. A few weeks ago, I was told the right cat converters have to replaced (another 2K down the drain! The left ones were replaced - just six months ago so this car could pass emissions testing) but I've got car registered through 2017 so I'll put up with the annoying alarm reminder sound on the dashboard ("Emissions Workshop"/Check Engine Light), dragging my feet kicking and screaming before I actually get this repair done. I'll NEVER EVER BUY ANOTHER VW. Kudos to those owners who've got a great VW - but mine is a MONEY-SUCKING PIECE OF LEMON TURD!! Prevent your migraines...Save your 40(1)K...GET A HONDA, A NISSAN OR A TOYOTA!! I will state the car actually drives beautifully, like a Beamer or a Mercedes - but it has the maintenance and temperament of an angry, grumpy, arthritic Yugo!!
Update 6/8/16: My car's alignment was bad due to broken control arms and bushings - which I paid 1.7K - last week. I just got a phone call from the alignment shop: After completion of the alignment (or rather, re-alignment), the technician took my car for a test drive - and the left turn signal tail light FELL OFF. Are you kidding me??!! I have plenty enough to do on a daily basis - now I have to find ASAP a junkyard to replace the broken tail light - so I don't get a ticket from the police - and - I have to buy four new tires (another 500-plus bucks down the drain!) because the alignment wore the tires down, which, of course, tire warranty isn't applicable to this situation. The shop also said in the next few months something about the belt needs to be placed. I'm a lady - I have no idea what this "belt" thing this is all about. As the shop guy was talking in my ear all I heard was the sound of the cash register opening and closing...opening and closing...opening closing...which is code for: I have to write - another blank check - for another repair. The reason why I purchased this car was to have a device installed the passenger side for transferring my wheelchair-bound mother into the passenger seat. This device is powered by the car battery. (Google "Milford Lift". The product is from Pride Mobility). At the time of my car's purchase, I didn't want to pay nearly 18K for a used Toyota or Honda wheelchair van to take my mother out just once or twice a week - however, with the amount of repairs I've spent to date, add in the cat converter repair I have to do next year before my car is eligible for registration tags - I SHOULD'VE PURCHASED the Toyota or Honda wheelchair van because I can easily resell it without losing a lot of my purchase price as these brand names are always in solid, high demand due to their historic top quality and reliability. I'm afraid my car's transmission will go out in the next six months! If this happens - my head will explode! And I will take a hammer to this car!! It's been my worst nightmare!! Every time I walk past the car in my garage, I swear - it chuckles and farts at me because it knows it's been causing me such a headache!! This car is the elephant in the room that will never ever go away on it's own! Stay. Away. From. VW. Period!! UPDATE: AT ONLY 102,103 miles, it's suffered an electrical issue. The transmission and engine are the original. Also, the driver side door gets stuck intermittently. This is the WORST car I've owned. I donated the car to a charity. I'm now riding my bike - and loving it! STAY AWAY FROM THIS CAR!
It is a great car for everyday use. I have mine for 6 years and I drove around 55K miles and it runs like a champ. These V6 engines are strong and hard to kill. The only thing I changed besides suspension, is timing ( which is normal every car, so is the oil), gaskets, thermostat, and water pump. Yes these are expensive parts, if you buy original like you should. I am a mechanic so every part I buy, I change it myself. This car is great for hauling cargo inside. So if you're looking for a first car and know something about how change little things and have budget limit to 5K, I suggest you get this car. Now it depends on a person, if you're planning on modifying like boosting, get a 1.8T, if not and want to have the car as a daily drive, get a V6. Why a V6 for a daily drive, because turbos are very expensive to replace, and you never know what the car went through with previous owner. You may also ask how is the mpg, well it's not perfect. After I changed the fuel pump and the filter, I started getting 13-15 in city, and 25-30 on highway at steady 60-70 mph, on premium 93 (recommended)
Overall, this has been an excellent vehicle. To me the most impressive aspect of the car is how it drives so well in snow & rain. I did have a few issues with the front end suspension around the 135,000 mile mark, but they have not come back since. Fuel economy has been as advertised averaging around 23 highway & 17 city. The exterior fit & finish is relatively decent, and the interior is so well built, it still looks almost like new. I've never driven anything but VWs. (I also have an 04 Passat Sedan). Keep in mind, VW is not like Honda/Toyota, VWs require a little more work, but will easily surpass the 500,000 mile mark. As long as you take care of a VW, it will take care of you.
Exterior Fit & Finish
Interior Fit & Finish
Overall ride quality
this vehicle ran great first 80k miles. But the window fell out & a bunch of interior things broke while still considered a newer car. I read all the reviews on car. I got the car from friend knowing she was about to run into trouble with it. It was in good to fair condition. I bought it with another friend at a good price knowing we would be dumping a lot of $$$$ into it over the next few years who I knew could tackle the problems ahead. What I wasn't prepared for was everything happening at once AND PROBLEMS WITH the rack and pinion. I hope I spelled that right. If you are looking to buy a Passat 2000-2004 do a Vin history on it. If you're looking for a smart buy, this ain't it!
When in good running order it drives like a much more expensive sports car.
I usually don't dig wagon's but this is a nice looking vehicle and holds a lot of stuff in the back.
I love the night time interior dash lights.
They are purple.
clips for replacing the passenger side window are difficult to find.
The rear hatch we have to prop with a pole to keep open, cup holders are a total joke, everythings all jammed up too close to the front dash like bogus cup holder, plug for cell charger, ash tray and shift nob, etc..etc...
I'd say they need to use BETTER QUALITY PARTS USED in production that last as long as people believe VW car & parts will last.
My father had a VW beetle in 1965.
He sold it for more than he paid for it in 1989. Never had a problem with his "BUG". .
And most people believe VW is a quality product to buy.
Not in this case. Thank god my friendships solid with my friend I bought it from : )
Great handling, comfortable and firm seats: I can drive from Florida to North Caroina in one day. And I am over 50. Power is good (I chipped up the motor). Brakes very good. Visibility is super. Small on the outside but plenty of room inside. Heat is adequate. AC still works and well!
Handling, ride, comfort, visibility. Reliabiilty has been very good. Cost of ownership is low.
More power (by another 20 - 30 hp). Wind noise is noticeable at freeway speeds, but really not bad. Cup holders are inferior, but do i care??