"This car has 8 cylinders and still gets about 23 MPGs. Has plenty of power and is deceptively fast. Great touring car. Very quiet interior, controls are well thought out and placed. Very easy to put 500 miles on in a day. I love this car and would recommend it to anyone.. but it is expensive to maintain and to operate. High octane gas required, oil changes will run about $100.00(takes 9.0 quarts of oil) and it has to synthetic oil."
"Bought my VW Passat Wagon (2003 model) with 1.8 engine and 5spd manual over a year ago. Car had 123,000 on it then, has over 150,000 now. Yes, it cost about a grand to do the timing belt/water pump/cam tensioner routine maintenance. I would have tackled that if I currently lived where I had a garage, but I don't, and it's -30 here in the winter.
I put good tires on this wagon (Michelin Pilot Exaltos) and keep the oil changed in it. A few things (power mirror, cruise control, center caps for wheels, rear windshield wiper) have given me some trouble, but for a 10 year old car with over 120k miles on it, I'm not shocked or dissappointed. I either fixed or had repaired the few minor problems I've had with this car. Overall, my wife and I love the car, love the power, love the handling, and LOVE the fuel economy. We've seen 32mpg on interstate roadtrips, and have never seen less then 26mpg with lots of town driving. We will buy another Passat wagon as soon as we have the cash for an upgraded year."
Pros: "drives amazing, great gas for a turbo, speedy"
Cons: "typical vw quirks"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"bought it for a family car with 200,000 miles plan on putting another 200k on it maintenance can be fairly cheap. getting the car over 100k miles and having problems with it typical expect it vws are only built for the life of the car witch is typically 100k miles but they can go forever with proper care. for over 10 years old handles like a dream picks up and goes when needed. only major maintenance problem is oil change needs synthetic. you can "Americanize" it. can run it on the next gas down from premium with only horsepower loss."
Pros: "fun to drive. TONS of space in back of car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Very nice car. Excellent handling...feels like a sports car not a station wagon. Expense so far has been the frequent replacement of the breaks... I do city driving and/or short highway driving. I plan to drive it into the ground as I doubt I will do better with a new car."
Pros: "Fun to drive diesel gives great fuel economy"
Cons: "Known mechanical weaknesses"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Automatic transmission torque converter has know weakness and is expensive to repair. Affects ALL Passats. Oil pump is chain driven, later upgraded to gear driven, chain wears out also expensive to repair.
Window regulators also known weakness, no VW recalls on any of these known issues.
Fuel savings off-set by cost of repairs to above mentioned mechanical weaknesses."
"I haven't had this car more than 60 days at a time w/o some warranty defect since I bought it. I'd say it's a lemon, but it is always something new. Turbo went at 60K, ignition coils went twice (VW finally fessed up with a recall on that one), radio needed to be replaced (thank goodness I bought the extended warranty). MANY other problems early like swing arms, sensors and cv joints. Worst car I've ever owned."
"Only owner of this car. Gets great mileage, fun to drive. The fact that it takes Prem.gas seems to off set, with around 35 MPG for a nice size car.Spendy for repairs good thing it hasn't needed many."
"Bought the car new in 2004...now has 113K miles..the car is super reliable...it has only given me problems once...and that was in the cold of winter..sitting outside. Turned out the original battery needed replaced after 5 years...not too shabby. Over all I love the car...it rides nice, handles like a German car should and for a 4 banger oil burner can get up and move. The fuel consumption is superb...38+ for a 2.0L Diesel...don't see a Hybrid in my future anytime soon. My only regret: not waiting for one with electric seats...but guess we can't have it all!"
"I purchased this vehicle new in 2005 and currently have 130000 miles driven. In many ways the car is almost new. So much so that I recently had a friend ask me if I'd gotten a new car since the last time we met. I have experienced some fall off in gas millage lately which I suspect is due to engine wear. Even at that I still consistently get 35 mpg. My long term goal is to keep this car for another 130000 miles or more.
The only negative I have about the car is its German engineering. Unfortunately no one other than a certified VW dealer will service this car. The TDI is a unique engine and frankly not something you want to have serviced by someone who is not intimately familiar with its ins and outs. This includes getting the oil changed. I made the mistake of having the oil changed by an oil change service only once and that was enough. Thus the oil changes are more expensive than what you would pay at your local jiffy lube. There are advantages to getting your oil changed at the dealer including there going over the vehicle looking for issues that may need to be addressed before you find yourself on the side of a highway calling for a tow. I can gladly say that at 130000 miles I have not had a breakdown and remain confident that the car can make the long trips I tend to make from time to time.
Lastly, If you have a reputable VW dealer in your local area this is a great car. If your VW dealer is less than you would desire, than I would encourage you to steer clear of this or any VW product for that matter."