Bought used in 2003 w/ 32,000 miles. First day off the lot vacuum hose broke. Like many others who reviewed engine sludge problems. Had to replace timing belt at 75,000. Car has been in for work 12 times in 36 months even with manufacturers suggested maintenance. Don't ever buy a passat!
93 Passat GLX, 97 Audi A4 and 02 GLX Wagon, not one could reach 90K mileage. Wagon blew water pump, blew head gasket, bent valves $5,000 to fix. This all happened in 2 minutes on the highway not a chance to save the car and of course is outside of extended warranty. Good bye German Unreliability Hello Japanese Reliability!
I bought my 2002 Passat wagon used with 23k on it. I was drawn by the styling inside and out, vault- like build quality, and the utility of a wagon. The only negative I saw was the lackluster engine power. Since then, I have replaced the convenience electronics module, turn signal flasher, brake booster pump, steering rack, one catalytic converter, and the other cat is now leaking and needs replaced. The transmission is dodgy, the climate control sometimes cuts out, and the rear window washer doesn't work. The sunroof drain leaks into the rear floor. I've spent about $5000 in repairs in 3 years. When the car is working, it's fabulous. When it's not, which is way too often, it's a disaster.
Amazing heated seats, Monsoon audio system, interior design, unstoppable all-wheel-drive, utter lack of squeaks and rattles.
There should be more power in the V6, or it should run on regular gas. It's odd to have to use premium for so little thrust. Reliability: It's sad that a car with so much to offer should fall so far short on this. This car has burned me for the last time- I traded it toward an Acura MDX today.
Bought the car new in 3/2002, very fun to drive. However, would agree that it is expensive to maintain. Oil changes and recommended mileage checkups are not cheap. Have read many postings about changing the timing belt between 60-70K (VW manual recommends 90K), plan to do, but will run 1000-1200K at an independent shop ($1500 at dealership). Concerned about oil sludge issues since the dealership did not use full synthetic until VW announced it should be standard (2004).
Fun to drive (turbo), solid, heavy car... feel safe in it. Heated seats.
Leatherette (do not buy) wears out quickly. Lower the cost to repair.
I have owned the Passat since it was new. I have always enjoyed driving the car. It has a lot of luxury features. The car has been reliable with no major repairs needed. I have had a few issues. Headlights bulbs go out often. It burns 1 to 2 quarts of oil between oil changes. I have had to service the back brakes 3 times even though the car has less than 50,000 miles. Gas mileage has been poor.
The seats are great. The rain sensing wipers are nice too.
A bit wider. It's tough getting 3 kids in the back seat.