This is my 4th VW. I had two '87 Jettas (one was replaced after having been totaled), and a 1999 Passat wagon that I bought used. The '99 was the BEST, lowest maintenance car that I have ever owned. I bought the 2004 Passat Wagon because they were offering 0% interest. I thought I was doing right to get a brand new car for a lower payment. I regret it now. In 2010, I spent close to $3,000 on this car for crazy repairs, along with other repairs that were under warranty or recalls, but still required the inconvenience of taking it in. Right now it is in the shop again to the tune of $1,000. I've filed a claim with VW Customer Care. It's a lemon!
I bought this car in July of 2004. The car was great until the winter came and it got cold. When it got below -20 C the car would not start. VW had such confidence it would start at this and colder temperatures that at the time it did not make a block heater for the car. Big mistake. The car was unreliable and has left me stranded several days in a row when it was cold and would not start. I since got rid of it and bought a Subaru. I will never buy a diesel car again in an area where it gets below - 20 C. This car is for only 3 seasons and not four. I have since read that VW has had numerous complaints about cold temperature starting problems.There now is a recall in effect for the fuel pump.
My experience with Passat starts in 1999 with wagon 1,9L TDI with 110Hp, M 5 gear, after that i had the sedan too, with same motor. A few mounths ago, i change them for a new wagon passat 1,9L TDI but 6 M gear and 130HP and the sedan is now the Audi A4 with same motor. I like very much Passat, the price in Portugal is fair, about 35000 USD with taxes, for a confortable, reliable, economic and prestige brand car. I've never drive an automatic passat, i supposed its not so emotional. Comparing with A4, in Portugal we pay more 5000 USD, wich i think it don't worth, despite A4 being one of the most beatifull car in the world.
The car seems to be nice at first when you get it but after a while everything needs to be fixed on it. Even the oil change on it is $90. Its fairly new and i have put over 10,000 in repairs into it. Whatever you do DO NOT BUY A VW!!!!!! I also no people who have sold theirs for better cars since they had to go to the dealer every other week. Just to replace the air filter which is custom ordered it 75 you cant by the filter at walmart. I will never own a VW again and i encourage all of you not to even look at one. They might get excellent gas mileage but the money youll save you will spend fixing it. Then all the dealers want to run diagnostics every time which is 75. DONT BUY A VW!!
Buying the diesel was the best thing that i could do. I have a dodge ram with a Hemi with $ 800 per month fuel bills. now i spend about 200 USd per month. The car is for my wife but its really the only vehicle we use. m consistant fuel miles are averageing 32-33 MPG city and highway. at 85 mph i get about 32 mpg. If you keep it to 75-78 mpg you will get 38-39 mpg with the AC running. The engine noise is strong in the first 2000 miles but then it really smoothens out. Diesels are meant to be driven, so if you keep it in the garage, buy a gas engine. There is a big of a turbo lag below 1500 RPM but once you pass the lag the power is great.