"That's what it comes down to. How much can you afford. Bought this car used 2 or 3 years ago. $10,000 in it so far.
Research the oil sludge issue. Many cars don't have a problem. But, many do.
For some reason, maybe the way the engine sits transverse, the oil gets overcooked in the turbo. It might be inadequate cooling of the turbo.
In any case, ask anyone who has had one of these engines apart. There is a lot of carbon deposits. Ask this knowledgable person about the OIL FED rear cam chain tensioner. What do you think happens when the screen on this chain tensioner becomes clogged? Or the screen in the oil pump? What happens when this gets clogged?
DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT RUN THIS CAR WITHOUT A HIGH QUALITY SYNTHETIC OIL. If you do, you will regret it.
BOTTOM LINE: If the previous owner is NOT ABLE to prove that this 4-cylinder TURBO has had synthetic oil since day one AND HAS RECEIPTS FOR TOTAL FRONT SUSPENSION, REBUILT TURBO, OIL PUMP, REAR CHAIN TENSIONER, TIMING BELT, AND WATER PUMP...
DO NOT TOUCH THIS CAR WITH A 1,000 FT. POLE.
"My Passat station wagon has been a very fun car to drive since I bought it new. However, it has many reliability issues. Power steering needed to be replaced. A couple oil leaks were repaired under warranty. Both catalytic converters needed to be replaced at about 80,000 mile at a cost of over $2,000. Power locks intermittently stop working. Many front end components have already needed to be replaced. All in all, more trouble than the car is worth."
"I've owned several VWs and had positive experiences with all but the 99 Passat. Car is a maintenance nightmare, especially with electrical problems that keep recurring. Parts are expensive and many are cheaply made. Will never buy another VW based on my Passat experience. Can't wait to unload this thing!"
"pros - reliable car with very good handling for a sedan. good warranty - water pump and something else went bad after 7 years but since i was original owner it was covered under warranty.
con - clips on head lights broke within two weeks of each other after 6 years. only way to replace was to buy brand new lights ($100 each). Engine is getting louder as car gets older."
Pros: "all bells and whistles, great handling, comfortabl"
Cons: "sparatic starting problem happened twice in 4 yr,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I like the ride of this car, and comfort. I interior is laid out nicely. This car has all the bells and whistles that were to be had in 99 and many more then some of the brand new cars.
It does have one quirk, on rare occasions it does not start, but wait one hour and it does, only happened twice in four years."
"I'm 23 and since I was 16 I've owned 7 cars and 2 of them were Passats First I owned a 2003 which got repoed when I lost my job and I just bought another one(2001). Everything about this car is fantastic. It's fast sporty and can beat the pants off of any rice burner. It's very dependable and tells you what's wrong with it when something is wrong. Both have had sunroofs which are like freedom on a warm summer day. SPACE this car has a lot of it, plenty of leg room for 5 or 8 if you stuff 3 in the trunk, which it has room for. The sound system is very good and comes with an amp in the trunk stock. The seats are a real winner I drove my 2003 100 miles a day back and forth to school in Atlanta traffic, they have a lever to adjust the height a knob on the back for angle and one above it for FIRMNESS :). I prefer manual seat adjusters because you DON'T want the motor to go out on your electric seat positioner and your seat to be stuck where you don't want it. The night time color scheme is brilliant with blue odometers and red everything else it really accents the night and makes everything look really nice."
"Have had this car for 13 years. Have changed the oil every 5000 miles, and replaced a fuel sensor for $1500. I've never seen a car that has had so few problems for so long. Good gas mileage. Averaging around 27mpg. fun to drive"
"Ive owned my 99 vw passat v6 for 80,000 miles. I bought it at about 50k miles on it. Since then it has had countless problems well exceeding my original purchase price. My advice to anyone buying this vehicle is to sell it at 90-100k miles because you will be shelling out lots of money for it after that.
It is a fun car to drive. Very comfortable. Tiptronic is fun. That's all though."
"I have owned the 2000 Passat GLS V6 M/T for its entire life. I just spent $1300 on the car so that it could pass inspection. I think that over the last few years, I have spent about $1000 a year, cheaper than a car payment, but aggravating. The ABS control module warning light has been on for about 5 years; too expensive to fix and a common problem. I still have the original front brakes on the car at 160000 miles and got the timing belt replaced at 105000. It has never stranded me and I have had no problem using REG gasoline. My feelings are definitely mixed."
"I love the way my car drives but I have had to make several very expensive repairs like water pump, fuel pump, valve cores, and various other repair!. For the amount of miles I have on it, I don't feel that it is very reliable. I am always waiting for the next thing to go wrong!"