My wife and were looking for something that would be a good fit for our growing family of 3. It seems everywhere we go we needed a stroller and had to get groceries and haul a baby bag. A wagon was the best choice for us. We looked between a Subaru Outback, Mazda Protege5, Kia Spectra5, and the Passat. All of which are increasingly hard to find in good condition without having to sell the farm. We picked the Passat wagon and are very please with the good mileage and smooth power of our 1.8T and Tiptronic. Our is a GLS so it doesn't have everthing but is very comfortable with black leather. The Monsoon audio system sounds great! Great car for us so far.
I'm writing this review because I just got backed into. And if the blasted horn were to work when the car is turned off it would not have happened. What I want to ask you Mr. Hans Designor is why must the hatch lock everytime it is closed? How is this a safety feature? And how in the world is it safe to be unable to use a horn when your car is turned off? A paranoid hypocondriac grandmother could not design a more annoying electric locking system.
Sure I took a risk buying this car used at 119,500 miles, but all the reviews online were pretty good for this car. 400 miles later I started having oil pressure lights and engine lights come on and when I googled the symptoms, I got all kinds of bad news about the car. Oil sludge is a problem and if it's not fixed fast, the engine will need replacing. I'm not even sure if there really is a fix for this problem. If you have this car, get it checked right away. These reviews make it look like a good car, but be careful and read the forums to see what will really happen if you purchase/own this car. 2002 also has this problem
We bought our 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T wagon with a little over 70k miles on it, which I guess is high mileage for a VW. If you're a real enthusiast or VERY handy with a wrench, then by all means get one of these. Otherwise, be advised to stay the hell away from these pieces of cr*p. Every year is thousands of $$$ to keep it on the road. The car has a complicated and involved service procedure, so anything under the hood will be expensive to replace. Two shops quoted me $500 just for the valve cover gasket, and most of that was labor. German engineering = myth.
I've only had my Passat one month so I wont comment on reliability. This car has everything; power, style, innovative features, comfort, I could go on and on. I love the exhaust resonance when I start it up and the fact that you can open and close all windows with the key in the door and the rain sensing wipers and the headlight sprayers and the fastened down floormats and of course the tiptronic. I would recommend this car to anyone.