I have own the car from new 2006, still owning today in 2016. Reason? I need the space of a station wagon and the driving pleasure of a sedan. Today you cannot find something like this in the artificially driving feel of SUVs world. Maintanance was about $1,500 per year for the first 3-4 years. Then it jumped to $2,500 for years 4 to 7. Then get ready. Are you ready? Ok. Here it is: over $5,000 for years 8 and 9. This year the 10th one, it is July and I have spent already $2,400. I have to mention that I like the car a lot, I have a company and I can deduct a part of maintenance/repairs costs. All service I did at authorized vw dealer, kept all invoices, records. So now I am wondering why some cars are reliable and others not? At the end it is a matter of respect for the customer who paid a lot of money to buy a brand new car. Sorry, but in the future, I will go with lexus, infinity, acura or even honda. To change the car every 4-6 years is too costly. Keeping a car 10-12 years is realiable. Think about the waste we are doing on this planet with all kind of goods we are buying because is fancy. People should be happy with little. Keeping the car 10-12 years will not save the world but it will send a strong message to who needs to listen. Wishing all love and happiness to everyone.
Performance is excellent for a front wheel drive car. Tiptronic with paddle shifters makes you do "naughty" things behind the wheel. Well bolstered heated leather seats hug you. And yet, a very safe, family oriented mid-sized sedan. Stiff suspension will not agree with those who want a "cushy American" ride. Fuel economy is great (30 mpg on highway in summer - if you're not being naughty). Sound system is outstanding. Instrumentation is outstanding. Trunk is enormous - folding down the rear seats gives you nearly 6 feet of platform. Front quarter panels rust at the top of the wheel arch ... VW replaces them when "perforation" happens before 12 years.
[Updated Review]: I have owned my 2007 VW Passat Wagon since 2008. Yes, I have experienced many of the quality issues that you can read about in the various reviews here, but most had happened early enough to be covered under my warranty However, here is a word of caution if your are considering the purchase of a 2006 -> early 2008 Passat with the 2.0T engine (engine code BPY). Issue #1: This engine uses a timing belt. You really should check if it has been replaced (along with the water pump), as most vehicles available now will have higher mileage. I knew about the timing belt all along when I bought the car, but when it became time to replace it, the dealership quote of $1200 to 1400 for this service was still painful. I ended up doing it myself (thank God for Youtube and Bentley Publishers), but it is quite an effort. I also had to replace the thermostat (due to an error code .... seems to be quite common at that age / mileage). This $38 part would cost several hundred dollars to replace if done at the dealer due to the complicated mounting location. Issue#2: Please do your own research on applicable Web forums: The BPY Engine drives the high pressure fuel pump from one of the camshafts. The fuel pump 'plunger' is driven by a dedicated cam lobe and VW had a manufacturing quality issue on a number of cars. Over time, a little part, called the 'cam follower' can wear out and cause the fuel pump to start grinding on the camshaft. I immediately checked this on my vehicle when I first read about this, and yes, my cam follower had failed. I was initially quite upset and had left a negative review here, but then learned that there is a warranty extension available. As a matter of fact, VW just replaced my camshaft, cam shaft follower and high pressure fuel pump with updated parts (so they acted responsibly. Thank you, VW). You still may want to check the condition of the cam follower if you are planning to purchase a 2006 - 2008.0 Passat. Starting with MY 2008.5, the engine was re - designed (no more timing belt and different design for actuating the high pressure fuel pump), so getting a slightly newer car may be worth the slightly higher price.
I bought my car used in Feb of 2012 with 70K miles on it. I was happy to find a 3.6L AWD version. We paid $15.1K. This car is my 4th VW. I'm a huge VW fan, and have only driven VW. The good things, I like about the car: AWD system-it grips well!, the ride is really comfortable-it makes a great trip car! Leather seats (I prefer it), 6 disc in dash CD player, cargo room is huge, roof rails (I bought a rack that attaches to them), Sport shifting option (taking off is fun!), rear seats can be made flat to haul stuff (which makes a lot of room!). The bad: the clear coat on both my fenders are peeling off, my passenger door lock doesn't always work-sometimes it locks and other times it doesn't. It will alarm if the door is opened at least!, the Leather is cheap-I already have a huge tear and 2 tiny tears in the drivers seat, The film around the window, emergency brake, and radio buttons are peeling off the plastic, the rear hatch does not open when I use the button-I have to pull on the hatch to open it. I have had to send the car in for 2 major repairs. One was because the rear alignment was way off because the car had been in an accident when the former owner had it. I don't blame VW for this, I knew it had been in an accident however I thought it was the front end of the car. I went through 2 tires before I took it to the dealership and they told me I had to repair a bent rear A arm ($700 repair). The rear alignment went from 3 degrees out of spec to 0.7 degrees. The other major repair was for a bad sensor. Over the 3 years I have the car, we have spent approximately $3K for repairs and such on the car. I thought about trading it in for a 2013 Tiguan but I only have $5K left to pay on the car and we just bought a house. I'm hoping the car will last until the next model comes out however, I am doubting the quality of the newer version considering what I have had go wrong on this car (excluding the alignment issue). I currently have ~110K miles on the car (as of 7/15). I am hoping the new wagon model (coming out in 2017 in the US) will have better quality than this model and that my next check engine light will not be a major repair where I have to shell out at least $500 to get it repaired....