"I bought my '02 GLS 1.8T Tiptronic wagon in May of 06 with 61k miles. It is my daily driver and with a 25 miles commute each way, it is currently sitting at 92k. I love many things about this car. The styling is very handsome, I think the Passat is one of the best looking entry level family cars available anywhere. It looks especially sharp in dark colors, such as the Indigo Blue Metallic (dark blue) paint mine sports. It is extremely comfortable and roomy, long road trips are a pleasure and with the rear seats folded down the cargo capacity of the wagon is postively cavernous. It has more cargo capacity than my friend's Jeep Grand Cherokee! The car is a blast to drive, I love the manual shifting capability of the Tiptronic. The 1.8 engine, like any turbo, is slow off the line but once you hit 2000 rpm it sings pure performance opera. And it returns a respectable 24 mpg combined, with up to 32 mpg on long road trips. The interior is the nicest in its class, lots of nicely textured surfaces that look like they came straight out of an Audi. My experience hasn't been all roses, however. The engine threw a rod at 83k miles and completely destroyed it. The weird thing about it is that it had always run on synthetic its entire life, and had none of the turbo sludge buildup that is usually responsible for the failure of these 1.8 liter engines. Thankfully, VW of America agreed that it was a defective engine and cover the cost of the engine replacement, which was a staggering $8,000. My other big complaint with the car is that it is WAY too low to the ground; it bottoms out constantly and I've partially ripped off the front bumper cover three times from catching it on curbs and concrete parking barriers, to the tune of some $300 per repair. Also, the car has numerous squeaks and rattles, which have grown more numerous with time. Overall, I have a love/hate relationship with this car; I love the classy styling, comfortable interior and gutsy yet gas sipping turbo; I hate the ridiculous 4.5 inch ground clearance, the sqeuaks/rattles and the fact that the engine blew up at 83k. I personally am unlikely to ever own another VW due to their spotty reliability and high parts cost, but here's my reccomendation to people considering this car: Its a great car overall, but if you buy it, buy one that's still under warranty and get rid of it as soon as it expires. Or if you do get one out of warranty, the purchase of an extended warranty would be extremely advisable."
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