"I have owned this car since day one. 165,000 miles now 12 years later, original clutch! For some reason parts have come way down in price, so a good used vehicle to own. The check engine lights are always on on these cars, you need to service the emissions tubing and system regularly. If you do not, it may cause oil leaks on the engine which, on the V6 engines can be near impossible to fix without major dissasembly of the entire engine! This car has a ton of pep even at 165k, good on gas with the 4 cyl turbo. Easy clutch to drive. I would buy another one in a heartbeat."
Pros: "Comfortable ride, Good MPG, does well in Ice/Snow"
Cons: "Devours oil, repairs are expensive/time consuming"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this car in 2007, my second vehicle ever, and it had about 70k on it. I lived in an area where snow/ice and high winds were an everyday occurance and this car held it's own like a champ. Smooth comfortable ride, heated leather interior, Heat/AC always worked, 0 mechanical/engine problems. Car would always start up, even if it was -30 Fahrenheit outside. My maintenance (oil, tires, pressure, fluids, etc.) were always up to date.
Bad news is, once I hit the 100k mark, the car simply started falling apart everywhere. My Turbo began burning 2 quarts of oil a week, started having misfires at startup, OEM shocks/struts literally started to decay/rust and fall off, all kinds of sensors began failing, and a bunch of other annoying things here and there that can be attributed to the age of the car.
I've spent many free weekends hunting down spare parts and fixing the Passat myself, only to drive 5k-10k miles and have another mysterious age-related problem creep up. I finally bit the bullet and sold it when I hit 150k. After spending almost $1500 on parts alone and many lonely weeends tinkering with this car(which is no joke to repair), the time spent repairing the vehicle vs. the few weeks I got to drive it before it broke again for something unrelated to what I had just repaired wasn't worth the hassle anymore.
All in all, car was fun at first, most comfy ride I've ever driven, but after the 100k mark, you're entering a world of hurt ;)."
"the car needs too many repairs. When I bought it at 76,000 miles it was great. However, now with 91,000 the car has needed many major repairs costing me over $2000 in 4 months with many more to come I'm sure. Very fun car to drive, especially the v6 5speed. However with all the repairs lately, it has me thinking that selling it may be the best more I could make."
"Only complaint is finding an affordable and honest service garage, that repairs what needs to be done, with out fixingg the car so it has to come back in the next month. The affordable part is what hurt this car the most, and main reason we will never go back to VW. A real keeper and easier to love it if you can, or know a good friend that will take care of the frequent maintenance. If not, be ready to drop the coin, but this could have been expected for any of the German makes."
"Bought my 99 Passat 4 yrs ago with 65K on it. Yeah, had to put some $ into it....sensor for the temp gauge, rear caliper, and the biggie...cam shaft adjuster, timing belt and water pump. Car now has 118K on it and runs like a top. Just put new 50K Goodyears on her and hope to wear them out before its time to say goodbye to her or reload with new rubber. Gets around as good as my 4X4 truck in the winter. Poor thing has to sit outside year round, but I keep her washed and waxed and she still looks good from 10 feet. Wife and I love it so much, she got a new close out 08 this year."