"I'm a very long term VW fan. My first car was a 1962 Beetle. over the years I've had plenty of cars, but he VWs are still my favorite.
I currently have a 2002 Passat GLX 4Motion Wagon with the 2.6 liter V6. We love this car. It has been very comfortable and quite reliable.
As with all cars, we've had a few maintenance issues that were quickly addressed by the local dealer. Problems to date include: Leaking sun roof; plugged sun roof drains (recall issue); slight slipping of the transmission during acceleration between 35 and 50 mph. That's about it.
One thing to keep in mind regarding service, always use synthetic oil (VW recommends 5W-40).
So, back to the car...
Quiet, comfortable and dependable. We can haul around more stuff than my father-in-law can in his Toureg! Mileage has been pretty good, about 23 mpg on average, peaking at 30+ mpg on the highway.
if you enjoy affordable quality German engineering, consider the Passat."
"Bought a 2002 GLS Wagon at 52K miles. So far I have driven 3K miles and had no major repairs. Driving and handling is superb, however I feel the base model 1.8 liter - 4 cylinder- Turbocharged engine is bit underpowered at 170 HP, especially if you live in hilly areas carrying 3 or more adults plus luggage. This wagon is certainly not a performance car by any means. If given an option, opt for V6 or W8 engines. Also, it jerks quite hard when you shift gear after startup, not while driving though. Gives about 18/24 mpg. Monsoon stereo is very good. Other than that, it has a lot of space, 4 basic electrical outlets, tons of safety features, AC works fine but takes a toll on mpg. A good basic people hauler."
"I bought this car with $85,000 miles on it and have had nothing but trouble from day one. I have has to replace the transmission, fuel pump twice, oil pump and a number of other items since I have owned it. The gas milage hasn't been that great either. I would never buy another passat."
Pros: "Great design, car is SOOOOO quiet in and out."
Cons: "TOO MANT SENSORS!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Good car at first, then the sensors start going out. Hit a bump in the highway and get an airbag default that's going to cost $3k to repair. Drivers door breaks for no reason, another $400 to repair. Inline emission switch goes out, $550 for the part, $250 to install grand total of that repair is 4889.65. Seat belt sensor fault, had it diagnosed and it will be another $349 repair. Bottom line, don't buy this car unless you have a few thousand dollars just sitting in your bank account for repairs."
"We bought this car new in 2003, Passat Wagon 1.8T. There are things I really love about it, but it has been costly to maintain - certainly compared to our other car which is 5 yrs older. The big issues I have had are routine replacement of brake rotors (haven't seen others mention this, but, I have never replaced rotors on any other car - these cannot be turned.) Also, the water pump had to be replaced at 40K?! So, they convinced us to do the timing belt at the same time to save on the labor cost of doing it later (apparently you are right there when doing the water pump and the whole front of the car has to come off). Now, I'm at 86K and am told the water pump is leaking and we should do it all again for $1300??!! The original maintenance recommendation is not until 90 - 100K. Shouldn't the cars parts last longer than that? We have replaced 2 CV boots, fuel pump was replaced under recall. The driver seat broke under warranty (it again has creaks and pops - not a big deal but, cannot be fixed, only replaced for $1000), am being told the motor mounts need to be replaced. We have maintained this car to a "T." Every check up has been done - synthetic oil has always been use and premium gas. All done at the dealer. For those people who think these things are because the car is not being maintained - it's not always....what more could we have done? Except buy a different car. Maybe it's just a lemon, or maybe it's the dealership that's doing the repairs - I don't know. It's sad. the car gets very good gas mileage, runs great, is very solid and handles beautifully after 8 years. But, it's expensive to maintain. I don't work full time, so the trips to the dealership aren't a huge hardship, but it's still a pain. Great car - never left me stranded, but high maintenance/cost in my opinion."