I got my black Passat when I was a sophomore in high school. The thing I love most about VWs is the German prestige that comes with the car. Theres something about the way European cars carry themselves as they sail down the highway. I previously owned a 2000 VW Jetta that I absolutly loved. The Passat is technically a superior car, but I think I'll buy another Jetta in the future. If you are thinking of buying one with the turbocharged engine, you MUST MUST use fully synthetic oil and change it every 3 thousand miles.
First of all. I got the GLX v6 4motion I bought this car when it had 110,000 miles on it. Sounds crazy, but I bought it for 5k. The carfax showed that the previous owner had already taken care of the major maintenance stuff that starts popping up at around 80k. I can imagine, if I had owned the car during that time period I would have thought it was the worst car in the world. But I didn't. All I had to do was normal maintenance stuff. I brought it up to 210k miles and was still driving like new. So fun around corners and handled snow really well. Until... I was going to school and the street was flooded. Yaris and cruze made it through, Passat died. I really will miss this car.
Initially by spending all the money on repairs at stealership, i thought it is bad car. But once i started doing by my own with help from www.passatworld.com, not expensive. Or get information from the above website and find a trusted cheap mechanic. If you follow the simple rules like 40W full synthetic oil every 5k, change ATF at every 60K (Castrol import ATF is fine - from AZ) clean combi valve once in 2 yr, will run longer than a Toyota or Honda. Once you cross 100k, gaskets, hoses, Fuel filter and Timing belt (at 80K). Overall reliable car, decent MPG and most importantly safe. Premium fuel is bad side and don't need to use OEM expensive parts. My car close to 100k going strong..
First let me say, I have NO complaints about the 1.8 Turbo 4-cylinder engine. It has been a wonderful, reliable, engine. I have always used synthetic oil and its just been great. My only nitpicking would be that it "sounds" like a 4-cylinder when idling (sewing machine?). Next: The Aisin automatic transmission. WOW!. About a year ago, the car (long story short) got bottomed out and the transmission got slammed into the road. I didn't think anything of it as it continued to work fine. When I took it for servicing much later on, the mechanic discovered that the transmission casing was cracked and like half of the fluid was gone! The transmission still worked fine! (but i did replace it).
I love my passat's looks but sadly it ends there :( It drives like a dream when it is not in the shop. If I can say one thing it would be to find a mechanic who knows something about a VW. That has really been my problem. It has been one expensive thing after another but I am hoping now that I have got all the bugs out it will take me on down the road. I did find a good mechanic finally but seriously this thing has had issues at only 80K that cars with 200K don't even see. Motor mounts, oil pressure problems, AC problems, I have replaced every single hose on the thing some even twice and I keep up on the service faithfully. There is a reason rich people own these cars!