I just bought this car, with 133,000 miles on it. This one was very clean inside and out, and all options worked on it. At 135,000 miles I changed the timing belt and changed oil with synthetic as recommended. I am exclusively using premium gas. Overall, very happy with it. Super smooth and respectably fast on highway. Very comfy & attractive interior. I am prepared to spend a little more for maintenance than my Japanese cars, but feel it is worth it as the overall build quality is much nicer. Again, bought it with high mileage, but it drives great.
I bought this car used at a dealer.7/2015 I live at 7000' above sea level and occasionally drive to 5400' (New Mexico) This is important to understand reference to performance. The 4 cylinder Turbo accelerates nicely at this altitude. It accelerates close to or better that my 2006 Toyota 4runner V8. I wanted to change the shifter handle for esthetic reasons and ended up damaging a small piece of plastic and ended up with a $1100 repair bill the replace the entire shifter module which had to remove from the bottom of the vehicle. The makers obviously was not intending this to be removed, so be careful if you want to change out the leather shift handle. I really like the way the windows operate. Typical German engineering, all the windows come up/down with one touch instead of just the driver door. There is a full size spare tire. The cruise control works great, one button push is all that is needed. And accelerates good. I bought it at 76,000 and now has 86,000 miles(1/2016). I think the ride could be smoother. I wonder if different tires would help. I think VW has always been a poor man's Audi. It doesn't feel as solid as or as smooth on the road as smooth as A4s I have owned.
150k Mile Review: Daughter has abused this for the past 50K+ miles. Have had a chance to drive it recently and was reminded of how smooth, quiet, solid and effortlessly this car drives. A world apart from current Passats. I would buy it all over again. 50k mile review: Have driven VW for decades and this one is no different when it comes to small things needing repair, mostly under warranty. Engine strong, gas mileage consistently exceeds EPA. With Good Year Assurance Comfort tires ride is quiet and smooth though not as sharp as stock. Fully loaded and air-condition running can easily achieve 32-34 mpg at 75mph+. Also fully loaded car doesn't seem to bog down due to turbo torque even going up hills. My daughter now drives the car after my son put miles on it but every time I get back in and drive it I smile. Wish they still sold a wagon in the US. 120K update: still runs great but annual $2,000+ maintenance over the past two years has reduced my Great rating on maintenance to poor. Still is an excellent fun driving car. Everything still works.
Focuses on differences with 2001-2005 model: Pluses: - Better handling, more handsome car overall -Great engine, quieter at high rpms -interior design, controls improved with few minuses mode" and wheel controls. -good overall size for a 4 people, cargo room on par with many SUVs -sophisticated 6sp auto with "sport mode Minuses: -Cheap "Golf/Jetta" platform has no sophisticated suspension from old A4,car bounces up and down with wider 16/18" tires -much louder at highway speed then the old model -driving position is less comfortable (higher chair position) -unrefined truck like idle engine sound -some cheaper interiors and controls -less fun to drive, lots of electronics -no manual brake
Traded my 2003 VW Passat GLX for a 2008 VW Turbo Wagon. The 2008 does not have the same quality feel as the 2003 had. The sheet metal seems much lighter and the hinges seem lighter. Hood padding is very light. I'm sorry I didn't buy the loaded version but at around $41,000 I thought I should just buy the cheaper one. I miss some of the bells and whistles. Radio sounds good but the controls are small and the display hard to see. Cruise Control lever too close to Turn Signal control which causes you to hit by mistake.Having trouble with fuel gauge,been back for repair twice and still not fixed.