"I bought my Passat TDI from Carmax with 12,000 miles on it twelve years ago. I am now at 151,000 and still smile when I walk out to get in my car.
I am 6'5" tall, and even with my seat back all the way, there is still plenty of room for someone to sit behind me.
It has had its challenges over the years...had to replace the ECU in 2005, and have had to replace window regulators, door handles, locks, headliner, and should replace the gear shift boot and emergency brake boot.
The Passat handles well, although I would not say that it is sporty. It's compliant over bumps on the highway, and continues to be fun to drive with the manual transmission.
Given the huge, well-designed trunk, we have used this vehicle for family vacations, and I used it for years as a traveling office when I was in sales.
The engine has always been serviced with synthetic and runs very well. The turbo allows me to keep up and merge with highway traffic, and the cruise has kept me out of trouble.
It's been a great vehicle....and I've always averaged between 45 and 50 mpg...durability, economy, looks that don't go out of date...what more could you ask for in a vehicle?"
"I bought this car new in 1997. It has been trouble from day one. This car has gone thru 3 transmissions. Both the drivers side and passengers side window have fallen into the doors 4 times each. Numerous electrical issues. Had AC replaced. Spedometer and odometer have not worked for the past year and a half. Cruise control broken. Trunk lock won't open. Right side door locks will not lock or unlock, must be done manually. Check engine light continually on. "Leather" seats ripped on both sides, exposing that they are not really made from leather. Drivers side window will not open or shut with power window button, glass must be pulled up or pushed down manually. Requires expensive, low profile tires which only last a maximum of a year. Over heats when air conditioning is on. Everything squeaks, rattles, or creaks. Other than that, excellent car!"
"I bought the car from a used car dealer at 90K. Had nothing but problems from the start. First is started with windows falling into the door, doors not opening, flooding, then antifreeze began to leak on to the drivers side floor. We owned the car for 2 years, bought it for $4000, put over $1,500 into it and finally sold it for only $800 very disappointed!"
"How many cars can you drive 212k without replacing any front end part, alternator, starter, or clutch. I have done nothing but replace brakes, struts, filters, oil. It gets 50 mpg regularly and I've even gotten as high as 56 mpg. The car has a large tank which returns around 900 miles on a single tank. I did have two problems: an oil line to the turbo broke, due to a hanger that held it in place rusted and broke (due to the salt use in Maine). which I lost all the oil in the engine at 75mph. But it has survived! I also had a wiring harness chaff through which caused the car to dhort out and die in the rain. No car is without problems, however if you mantain this car it rewards you, in my opinion no other car was a better value."