2002 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GLS V6 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 5A)
I bought this vehicle when it was less than a year old and being used by the manager of the auto dealership where I when after my BMW 328i blew up and burned down my three car garage. It was low mileage, had the same color (Oriental Blue), had leather seats, and was well outfitted. It turned out to compare well with the BMW, except in three ways: the gas mileage was not as good, it was not as quiet, and the interior was not as well finished. I was satisfied with it until the Passat started having repair problems unusual in vehicles these days, such as broken axels (2) and several other major events that, I understand, just don't happen in cars these days. I have had to have it towed from distant locations to the garage at least twice. I like the car, but its maintenance has been expensive and I consider it unreliable. At the time I bought it, it was a new model and, as far as I know, there was no report available that evaluated it.
2002 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I bought the car new and have driven it for 16 years (150,000 miles) with no major and only a few minor repairs required. It's fun to drive, even though it is a medium sized sedan. I bought the 5-speed standard transmission because I love to actually drive a car and it was noticeably guttier than the automatic. It is powerful, even with the 1.8-liter engine, but then it is turbocharged. The turbo is smooth and has a pleasant whine of power. I can go as fast as I want driving up canyon freeways near my home, watching many "more powerful" cars falling back. The gear box is really hefty and positive; ditto the clutch (original clutch still operates perfectly). It is economical. I always get 28 to 33 miles per gallon and have gotten 36 miles per gallon on long trips. I don't use the cruise control much, but it does operate very smoothly, with no lag. The Monsoon sound system is great. I added a 6-disk changer. I drove a 2016 Passat and I'd take my 2002 over it any day. They seem to have turned the car into a Chevy Malibu. My car feels much more solid and drives more like a European car.
2002 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GLX 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 5M)
Its like this, no one does it like the Germans do. Remember that. This car has a soul. It will ask for what it needs. And you better cough it up or it will betray you. Off with the bad first. Scheduled matinence is here to help you. Follow it to 120k than worry about the big stuff down the road. If you actually do what the people who engineered this car intend for you to do, it never fails, and even the wear you get just adds character to the car. It eats brakes, and at 4750 lbs, no one is sure why anyone is surprised by this. On a positive note, every time you get in, youl want to rub your shiny VW emblem and you will grin like an idiot when you snap out your switch key and gracefully start up in one fluid motion. Underway, the Passat is a lock and follow machine. Not car. Machine. I have never owned a car that spoke to my soul like a VW. When you walk away, you will look back as the small horn blips when you lock it. You may find yourself showing off the fact your windows go up and down without getting in the car, and you can turn the stereo on while the car is off. When you have the Monsoon audio system cranked around 80% or so with a new-to-you CD of your favorate music in the trunks changer, you find that vibes flow in the wake you cut through the air. Your friends will want to ride with you. You will walk outside at 3am to smoke a cigarette and watch the gleam of orange light from the streetlamp reflecting off your sharp 6-spoke allow wheels. If you see that Passat as ugly, simple, or basic, great. You have never owned a Passat. This car is art. And if you see it as such you will understand why people own these cars. This is not a race car. This is not a off roading car. in fact, its not even a car built for being really great at any one thing. But that in and of itself is exactly why you should buy one. VW just made something...that's really good at just being a car. And there is something to be said for that.