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VW Passat Wagon vs Subaru Wagons

OK. I've been very patient with VW. I've wanted to
drive the AWD Passat wagon with a 6 cylinder for a
long time (seems like they've been dangling it
just out of reach foreve)r. I gather we're looking
at early-to-mid-summer. That's about the same time
as the redesigned Outback.
Any thoughts about the relative merits?
BTW, I have almost always driven a standard shift,
and I hear that the Passat will not have a
standard with AWD. That's strike one, but Passat
seems to have a lot of good things going for it.

- Bill


  • MiroMiro Posts: 15
    It's hard to say which one I would choose seeing that neither is available, nor reviewed by the mags. I wouldn't hold my breath with VW and since you want a stick Subaru would be your choice by default. I'd look at the GT (if you're looking for fun) or Outback (if you like the SUV concept.) Have some patience, because now we can only speculate.

    97 Legacy GT 5spd.
  • Bill:
    I will be considering the merits of these two cars. Where did you hear that the 2000 Passat wagon would not be available with both AWD and 5 speed manual transmission? I read something somewhere in the last couple weeks that might have implied that, but I haven't seen anything specific.

    I love the looks of the Passat and test driving a manual sedan version last week did nothing to eliminate it from consideration. But if they won't make the AWD in a 5 speed, that would make me the proud owner of a 2000 Subaru!
  • willywilly Posts: 2
    I can't remember offhand where I read or saw that; maybe in the brochure from the dealer. Interestingly, the Audi 2.8 Avant Quattro wagon comes with manual trans standard, so there's nothing about the technology that prevents it. Maybe (I hope) I was just imaging it.
    I was hoping to see the 2000 Subaru at the Baltimore Auto Show a few weeks ago, but they didn't have it. On the outside (from pictures I've seen on the Web), it looks practically identical... which is ok with me. The updated interior sounds like it's worth waiting for.

    - Bill
  • vwfan2vwfan2 Posts: 2
    I too would like the All Wheel drive Passat to show up sooner rather than later (proud owner of '95 GLX rocket ship). However, I drove the '99 Sedan w/the Tiptronic, which was very good. If the AWD came in the Tiptronic, I say, 'who needs the five speed...'
  • awolawol Posts: 1
    Some of you seemed to have missed the review of the AWD Passat V6 Tiptronic in the January 1999 Road & Track "Four-Season SPORTS WAGONS", pgs 76-91. Points of note: Curb weight-3600 lbs; 0-60 -9.0 sec.; EPA mileage 17/26 mpg; lateral acceleration-0.78g. They compared it to a (current) Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT, Audi A4 2.8 Quattro, and Volvo V79 R AWD. The liked the Passat alot, and enjoyed it handling, which is encouraging given the extra 400 lbs of the AWD over the FWD.
    Also, the October 1998 R&T new car issue stated the "1999" Passat AWD would not be available with the 1.8T. I have heard from Denver dealers and seen in print the the all Passat V6s would only have automatics, then my dealer got in a V6 sedan with a 5-speed manual! They didn't even know it would be available and speculated they might only see one per month. So much for accurary of VW press info (there's a surprise, right?).
    However, my bet is that there will not be any 1.8T AWD (given the vehicle weight) nor a manuals, just V6 Tiptronics given the EPA certification costs and VW's general character of only offering automatics in more loaded models of the Passat.
    Why not save yourself a few thousand bucks and a few hundred pounds and get an automatic with the traction control/electronic differential control for full 2-wheel drive, with some really good snow tires?
  • searoarsearoar Posts: 1
    Please read topic 149 for my troubles with a 99 Legacy Outback Al
  • jagat1jagat1 Posts: 31
    '00 VW Passat 4Motion vs.'00 Subaru Outback?...Tough choice.Have same predicament...But I lean more to the VW.

    Passat has great V6,Tiptronic 5 sp.(Subaru only has 4 sp.sportshift(?)..),
    German engineering and great built quality and value,and it feels like a more affordable MBZ.

    The Subaru though has extensive AWD technology up their sleeves,better reliability,love the boxer engine,a "Lexus-like" interior and exterior theme and cost
  • jimesjimes Posts: 2
    Bill, I'm in the same quandry: '00 outback or '00 passat. I spoke with my local dealer today who asked his VW rep and he said that VW was definately coming out with the Synchro model in August timeframe. I, too want a manual. Have you heard any more about this and VW's intentions.

    Regarding the '00 Outback's chack out the Australian web site. They've got a bunch of great looking pictures of the new outback suitable for framing. Obviously, the wheel's on the wrong side, but it looks like they've made quite few changes.

    Also chack out this site:

    I still haven't decided. I think I'll wait til they hit the showroom first.
  • MiroMiro Posts: 15
    Motor Trend takes a look at the 2000 Outback Limited:
    I'm wondering why you're trying to decide between two vehicles without having driven them. Will you consider other Legacy wagons too; like the GT or lesser trims? I wonder how many people know that Subaru builds sporty models, not just suv look-a-likes.
    Since you're still looking, is the SAAB 9-5 within your reach?
  • jimesjimes Posts: 2
    Miro, all very valid points. I do not intend to purchase anything without a test drive. I live in the mountains of NC, and really need an AWD version. With 2 kids, I need the space. I'm replacing a 7 year old 160K+ Camry. I'd like to stay within the 25K area and am aware of other Subaru stylings but like the way the new Subaru's look. I do not want a true SUV for MPG reasons.I'll have to check out the Saab's. I like the Saab stylings!
  • tvicetvice Posts: 2
    Don't look for Audi to make the Passat just like the A4 for less money anytime soon. I had a 93 Passat wagon VR6 and would have liked to have traded it for an awd Passat but none were available. I heard a rumor that the awd option for the Passat would be 5 or 6 grand extra which would have put it right in Audi territory. That's what Audi wants and they are driving the " corporate car " at this point. I went ahead and bought an A4 Avant 1.8T and am not dissappointed except its smaller than the Passat
  • mluikeymluikey Posts: 3
    How do you find the power with the 1.8T, I am
    considering the same car but I drive in excess of
    50,000 miles per year with a vehicle loaded with
    fabric samples. I'm concerned with pick up and
    weather the engine would last 200,000 plus. I currently drive a van and hate it.
  • jlb2000jlb2000 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if VW is coming out with a V6 Passat wagon before January 2000? I have made a committement to purchase a Passat Wagon by Nov. 99. I was hoping to find out if VW will have the V6 Available by then. As I would rather have the V6 than Turbo 4.
  • tvicetvice Posts: 2
    Power is much better than my vr6 Passat with automatic which was a dog off the line and only became decent above 3000 rpm the 1.8t with manual tranny is surprising. The torque curve is so flat. Power does decrease with ac on and or carrying passangers. I also thought the v6 Passat wagon was already out. I've seen sedans with the v6.
  • kandacekkandacek Posts: 5
    I'm not saying things haven't changed, but when I talked to our VW/Audi dealer back in March, he told me VW decided to drop the AWD version because it would compete too much against the Audi A4 Quattro. Shame. I really liked the Passat I drove, but I wanted the AWD version. The A4 is just too small. Instead, though it's not an AWD either, I'm looking at the Saab 9-5 wagon. I need something that's close in size to my Taurus wagon.
  • dustoffdustoff Posts: 1
    I wonder if the Subaru is expensive to maintain?
    Anyone have info to share?
  • kitty6kitty6 Posts: 1
    I've drive both the saab 9-5 wagon and the passat gls wagon this week. Hands down the saab wins for handeling and power and yummy appeal. On the other hand a savings of approx.$$10,000 would sway me towards the vw. I'm in alaska and have a very limited number and options to choose from. My options now is to contact WA or other states to find the right vw wagon with the right options.
  • idgiferidgifer Posts: 5
    Kandacek - in mid-June, my dealer also told me there would not be an AWD Passat, citing the same reason. We have bought from him before, and he has always been straight forward with us.
    Dustoff - in regards to Subaru maintenance, I can tell you that in the 5 years I've had my legacy sedan, the only money I spent was for oil changes until I hit 45,000, when I did spark plugs, some of the belts, etc, and spent $250. It's been flawless and I almost hate to get rid of it, but I'm lusting after a 2000 Red GT Wagon....
  • cimteccimtec Posts: 2
    RE Mainteance

    I have had 4 subaru wagons: 85 , 88 Turbo, 96 Outback, and 98 Outback. About 350K total. Except for a blown plastic radiator in the 88 at 98K miles, nothing but routine stuff and have never broken down on the road. Will order a 2000 White GT in September.
  • Yesterday I test-drove 99Passat, 00Outback, 00LegacyGT, all wagons. My wife and I both strongly preferred the LegacyGT, and bought one. VW was much more responsive than we're used to, too much so, and too much road noise & bounce. Legacy just rode much better than Outback, despite better viewing from OB. Tried to ignore looks of OB.
    We have a 95Legacy LS sedan, love it. This 00 is a significant improvement in terms of ride and noise & power. No insult to VW, but we liked GT better, despite some hankering for a "European" feel and a new experience.
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