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VW Passat Wagon vs Subaru Wagons

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  • lets really compair these wagons. vw is made from steel, subaru from that coke can you just recycled.......end of story
  • I am a recent owner of a NICE Silver GLX 4-motion I leased it and traded in my 1997 Navy Blue Outback and GOOD RIDDENCE to that particular example of outback. I'll get to that later. I acquired my Passat Variant , which was nearly impossible to test drive at any of the THREE VW dealers in the South Jersey Area, especially to test the 4-Mo GLX Variant. I Test Drove everything from the 2001 Bravada, a Venture Minivan all loaded with extras, a Silver Highlander, a Toyota Previa (loaded), an Izuzu Axiom (geeze 16 different drive modes!!), and as a joke a BMW X-5 (V6 is way under powered for that monster), and an H6 Outback too see if there was an upside to the outback line. Let me say the Passat stole my heart, and as a lease/buy decision came my way it is an excellent leaser as well. I called around to the dealers after my month of test drives and found one with the Silver (I was going with Blue Silver but the wife kept singing 'it's baby blue'- so I dove at my manhood and went reflex silver) I foudn a nice Beige interior leather one in a few hours and then got it for 30950 which was great PLUS I got the trade in value of my 1997 Outback which was about 3000 over my payoff! which was amazing considering.
    Now the Outback had just a few miles over 60,000 since August of 1997 to June of 2001. I had troubles, consistant FACTORY defect type troubles starting two months after I started to own the car. The FIRST 'problem' was the boot joint grease used to pack the bearings was incorrect for the application and under NORMAL driving conditions the grease woudl tend to leak onto the wonderfully low hung boxer engine and for 4 months and 5 visits to the dealer they would wipes the grease off the engine and tell me it's fixed until the tech bulletin came and they had to clean out and repack the boots with the now correct and I assume more heat resistant grease. The burning smell still lingered for another month but there was nothign worse than being stuck in 1-2 hours of traffic in my 30 mile each way commute and have that burrning grease smell wafting through the cabin .
    That fixed I had the winderful luck of having my rear cargo webbing anchors sheer off the plastic screw at least twice within the first year( my mechanic Dean gave me a bag of them on the sly since the deal charged like 4 bucks for each anchor-plus he showed me how to fix it for the next time), and the rear cargo cover (poor design) also become unstitched on one side (I stitched the thing back on with similarly colored WIRE it's weird they have corner cover locks that don't connect to the bar which puts a lot of stress on essentially thread)
    I also had continual trouble from 1998-2001 with the remote I used most often, first the buttons lost their lettering in normal use, then the cover got real loose and this caused poor battery contact, it's a cheap alarm remote, I became a pro and pulling out my pocket tool and unscrewing it to reseat a recently replaced battery so I could unlock my car. Towards the end I switched to the one I gave my wife and it worked fine since it was barely used.
    Then there was the horrible automatic transmission gearing they did special for 1997 outbacks to give it that sporty feel. Yeah a lot of the time you would mash the accelerator down and second gear was nowhere and then a huge 'kick' in the pants as the vehicle would find a lot of power before switching smoothly (and don't think that wasn't reported during the whole burning smell phase). Then after performing solidly with only regular maintainence and I found I neede front break pads twice in 50000 miles. On my birthday in October of 2000 with about 53-55000 miles the alternator inexplicable went. The next day the battery ran out of juice and I had it towed. I knew it was the alternator soon after that and this was over 700 bucks to repair becuase the battery was pronounced DOA as well. I believe in Feb of 2001 I got a 2nd recall notice (the first being a hazzard light switch deal I never bother about) and this was for a potential problem with certian alternators.... well I had to submit for reinbursement. at about 56000 I notice a slight puff of white smoke coming out of the engine, no real smell and no apparent loss of oil or spotting on my garage, over the next 500 miles I started to smell burning oil on longer duration drives and actually witnessed smoke puffs , plus the car started to drop 3-6 Miles per gallon. I took it in for service.
    Here's the BOXER ENGINE advantage I had three problems:
    1. a wheel bearing on the front right was about to go. about 400 and change (low estimate)
    needed to be done.
    2. 2 oil leaks one on the vapor tray (bottom of the engine, forgot what part this relates to on a standard engine, like the oil pan ) and another on the oil pump.
    The kicker to get at the vapor tray they needed to sever the transmission and yank out the bottom half of the engine to repalce this gasket. To get around the oil pump the top half of the engine needed to come out. All told I was looking at hours of labor that I only felt a dealers service department could possibly handle , and I didn't have much confidence in troubel free operation after the transmission and engine were taken out in part and then reconnected just to replace about 20 bucks worth of gaskets that if a strip blew would drain out all the oil in short order... It was quoted as about 1500 bucks to fix.
    At that point I decided to cut my losses and in may of 2001 started shopping in ernest while making sure I didn't push the Loud 4 banger boxeer too hard. In the end the problem was really undetectable by the dealer inspection team at VW and I got a lot over what I owed and I got my VW.
    It's now about 10 months since I got my 2001.5 GLX and I've had a few minor problems and I have 1 real complaint coming from the subaru world near the North American Headquarters only a few miles away in Cherry Hill NJ.
    1. My glove box lock broke!! my wife simply opened it and it stripped and broke hanging open back in like November. I've been too busy to block out a day to have that fixed until thsi coming friday and it took only 2 weeks to get the parrt in!! It sucks to loose some of the limited space to a glove box lock and my 100MPH tape is ugly.
    2. There are two neato features of the GLX and some of the GLS packages. The side view mirrors defrost and power fold, mine also USED to when set to the R (for right mirror adjustment) position , angle the mirrors down when the car was in the reverse gear, they stopped doing this for no reason about a month ago ( I turned it off as well since I don't do a lot of parallel parking or trick parking and needed the mirrors for looking behind me and up not behind and down), Also the feature with the memory dirvers seat and the remotes , you're supposed to be able to set the two remotes to trigger a memory seat location so when say my wife's remote unlocked the doors the seat will configure to the memory location she se
  • which would be great IF I coudl get it to work. the salesman could get it working for me and I will have this addressed this friday as well.
    Now my gripe in comparison to the outback , the outback has a ton more personal cargo space/compartments. I ran out of room in my tiny center console for half the stuff my subaru stowed. I barely dented the space in the door pockets of my Outback that I now cram into the Passat. Also the Subaru has better space in the rear under floor area, AND the side cargoboxes as well. I keep a large first aid kit, compressor, some car on the spot cleaning gear , fix-a-flat, battery cables, flares, and some cargo compartment things like bungie cords , dividers for grocery sacks... The outback was able to stow most of it out of sight , I now take up like 20% of the bed of my Passat with this gear. I like storage space.
    As for the ride, the loud (highway noise was always a bear in the outback the radio would have to be cranked to hear decently, and the 1997 outback didn't have variable intermittent wipers except on Limiteds(they fixed this) )cabin of my Subaru is now the ultra quiet and well refined passat where I sometimes forget if I turned it on until I check the tach. The gear shifting in the passat is slow but I'm going to get an AWE Tip Chip to fix that to European standard .2 sec a shift down from 1 sec a shift. I liked the Outback AWD because of the way you were engine breaking every time you take a foot off the gas, it took strangers to a Subaru some timee to get used to. The Passat 4-motion is awe inspiring german telepathic mechanics, My wife drovee and I got to witness first hand when she took a fast 30 MPH turn off a road on a patch of dead wet leaves last november in the rain and we both FELT the awd kick in and make the car stay in the direction she intended even when the front wheels wanted to slip sideways to the right in the middle of her sharp left turn.
    My only wish for the 2.8 30V GLX is to get more than 190 horses which when I get my AWE ECU and aftermarket air filter I will see what I can do to getting 205-210 HP.

    In total mu outback suffered
    2 recalls 1 affected me directly
    2 common problems (false engine light after the temperature changed from below freezing one night to 60 degrees the oil bladder doohickey got stuck dan pushed it down and said it was like the 10th person he'd had that day. common problem) (Oil gaskets going, hey it's a Boxer engine, it happens)
    1 tech bulletin - the boot joint grease - I even looked up lemon laws because of this

    I was not a very satisfied Subaru customer even though both of the dealerships in my area treated me very well when they could , and I still get DRIVE magazine sent to my home and have had to invitations to see the IMAX subaru sponsored films at the Franklin Institute as a party guest. I secretly would love to collect a WRX because I like the idea of a normal looking car that can kick some butt. Then again I also want a 1996 Black Impala SS...
    AverageJoe
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    experience but you're fortunately in the minority. Subarus rate consistently higher in reliability ratings overall than do Volkswagons.

    I am on my second Subaru and both have been good experiences for me.

    There are also some horrific ownership experiences out there for folks of Toyotas and Hondas, two makes whose success has been built on their reputations for reliability.

    Cars are built by humans and there are bound to be some lemons. It's the number of lemons vs the amount of said makes sold that is a telling sign.

    I'm glad you've had better experience with your Passat. :-)

    Stephen
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Posts: 506
    I could say the same about my babied Audi which I had more than my share of problems with. Everybody gets a lemon eventually.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,444
    Feel sorry for the person who bought that '97 Outback and had no clue about the problems with the engine!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dear troll: actually, no, VW owned Audi uses aluminum bodies (like coke cans), and only in their top-line A8 models. It would be a dream to have an aluminum body at this price level.

    Now go away, troll.

    Harris: I'm glad to hear about the "amazing" resale value of your Outback. Congrats on the new Vee Dub.

    Despite all your problems, Subies are on average more reliable than Passats. So if you had bad luck with your Subie, similarly bad luck with the Passat would only be worse. Read the threads here on Edmunds; there are far more VW lemons than Subaru lemons.

    Pity you didn't come to the Subaru Crew threads, we could probably have helped you. We have an active SoA rep in the Crew, lots of events, and friendly members.

    -juice
  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    Just when I thought that Juice and I had brought some civility back to this thread I encounter this barrage of malevolent verbiage in the most recent posts. Both sides come back to their usual mantras. It does make me think of those old Miller Lite commercials. Tastes great! Less filling! It goes back and forth. Subaru owners feeling smug about perceived reliability. Passat owners perception of owning the better car. Could it be that both sides might have some valid points? I had a friend take a look at the April issue of Consumer Report. After looking at it for 30 minutes or so he had this evaluation based what was in the magazine. Subaru was rated more reliable. Passat was rated as the better car and the safer car. My friend and his wife have a Lexus and a Benz so he doesn't have a thing against German cars or Japanese cars. Was there a lot of difference between the cars to really matter? I don't think so. Was there enough of a difference that grown men argue over dumb things that really don't matter? Hmmmm, I don't think so. Now if were were talking about High End Audio, then yes!!! LOL Expensive audio systems are my real passion, not cars. I spent almost as much on my home audio system as people spent on stripped down Outbacks or Passats. (Over 21K) I really don't expect to have any problems with my Passat but if something does happen, then I have the money to take car of it.

    I would hope that this thread would resume the apparent civility that I perceived of late. I know, I know--- Suburu devotees would never be caught dead driving much less buy a Passat and the same could be said of Passat aficionados. But come on fellas!!!

    If it does continue with the barrage of ill will then let me know so I can pop some popcorn and sit down at the computer and be entertained!!!!
    ;-) Be well my Volkswagen and Suburu friends...
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Posts: 506
    ...would surely stir more debate. It's far more subjective that the best audio review makes the typical automotive review look like a scientific report. The industry is so full of snake-oil stories that stir even far greater debate. Everything from isolation pads to tweeter rings to directional cabling and biwiring has largely been a excercise in unprovable claims.

    Anyway, I share a passion for cars, driving them, and of course, we all probably spend too much time arguing their points. But this is a hobby and in the end, it doesn't matter whether I think my XXX is better than your YYY. But this is what we signed up for.
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    Over the last year, I have gotten involved with these forums to research cars, radar detectors, and car waxes. It seems to me that there is an amazing sense of brand loyalty with Subaru owners, with Valentine owners (detectors) and Zaino advocates (waxes), and just a little less with VW, Passport, and Klasse advocates. Any degrading comments on these brands like "it sucks", "blown away" or "no contest" become fighting words. Civility ends; it's really amusing to watch the instant degradation of a thread.

    This particular thread just asks for it by squaring two fine cars and their strong loyalties against each other. I would actually be afraid if I went over to the car maintenance forum and started a thread, "Zaino sucks, Klasse is better".
    Zaino guys make Subaru guys look like wimps in brand loyalty.

    It would be an interesting to study how this happens psychologically. I have no idea, but it is an interesting phenonoma.

    Mike

    P.S. I was only kidding about Zaino; no personal emails please.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A few of our Subaru Crew members also own VWs. Some of the regulars, even. Most Golfs are made in my native Brazil.

    You heard the Macintosh in the new VDC? Oops, a whole different can of worms. ;-)

    Whoz youz callin' a wimp? LOL

    Go to i-Club and say VW and they will rant about high center of gravity and wrong wheel drive. Go to VW Vortex and say Subaru and they'll talk about econobox Justys and Neon-look headlights on the WRX. Yes, two brand loyal camps. I guess their loyalty says a lot about how much they like their cars.

    -juice
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    says a lot about the cars for the passions they stir up.

    For me? Give me the Passat interior/exterior and Subarus AWD technology, boxer motor, and reliability and I'll start my own "Owners Club" thread! LOL!

    Stephen
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Now that would be a cult! ;-)

    -juice
  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    I'm still trying to get my Krell amp into my Passat.. LOL
  • syncopatesyncopate Posts: 4
    Wow! I just found this list after about a month of waffling between these two models. What a gold mine of opinion. Obviously these two are very closely matched. My wife and I are chunking our '93 Pathfinder (150k & no problems) and '96 Blazer (100k & infinite problems) in order to own one perfect car.

    We decided on a wagon. My friend's BMW 5-series has been our object of lust for a while. However, he's had problems and we aren't ready for a BMW. After *quickly* disqualifying the Volvo (paper thin body metal, too pricey, and nightmare mechanic stories), I have settled on the GLX and the VDC. I am looking to buy a 2002.

    After driving both and talking to many owners and mechanics, I am totally stuck. As I see it...

    VW Pro: sporty feel, beautiful design, german 'feel', safety
    VW Con: reliability. several mechanics have told me that parts are hard to get and expensive. "People love their VW's until they have to fix them"

    VDC Pro: reliability, handling, intelligent engineering, McIntosh sound, excellent AWD
    VDC Con: ugly, plastic design, vapid interior

    I am torn. If I could be convinced that the VW is as reliable as the Subaru, I would buy it tomorrow.

    I know this has been covered and recovered on this list MANY times. However, none of you seem to mind this at all. Besides, many messages are dated. I guess I am looking for fresh advice.

    Questions I am dealing with:

    VW reliability & cost of expense?

    4Motion: worthwhile or dead weight/more to fix (I am never off road)?

    Why did VW put the worst center console in history in their new Passats?

    Why does VW put stupid features like automatically tilting side mirrors and doorkey controllable windows in their cars? (the new Volvo XC is the most gimicky piece of [non-permissible content removed] I've ever seen)

    It sounds like I am already anti-VW. I am not. I think Subaru's have no soul or style. I want to be convinced on the VW, I just do not want to spend my weekends at the shop...

    Thanks in advance,
    Bart
  • gomergomer Posts: 7
    Greetings-I am in the same boat as you, but have a little experience with both cars. I have owned the Passat (sedan) and a couple of Legacy's. However, I too am looking at a Passat (GLS though) and an Outback Limited to replace the Legacy.

    Though I personally like the Passat ride and road feeling better, one definitely worries about the potential for problems. And because they sell so many, buying them and repairing them aren't the most "personal" experiences. I had numerous electrical problems with my VW's, though never stranded.

    Though the Subaru isn't as exciting, for us they have been infinitely more reliable. We had a Legacy sedan that we put nearly 100K on, and only had to replace an alternator, timing belt, and tires after 50k. Our current Legacy has gone 25k without a problem, not even any bulbs have been going out.

    Another great feature for those who live on the net, is the ability to get roadside assistance and schedule appointments through the mysubaru.com site. Sure, other brands have this functionality, but Subaru does a great job on making it easy to get work done-plus outstanding follow through.

    Look at the sheer number of postings between the Subaru crowd and VW crowd for a taste of how passionate the owners are about their vehicles.

    Just my winded .02.
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    my selection came down to the same two cars; I picked the VDC for reliability, ride, quietness, stereo, and personality. I actually liked the exterior more on the OB, and the interior only slightly more on the Passat primarily because of the tacky plastic wood on the OB. I have been very pleased with my selection.

    Personally, I like the fact that the OB styling is unique; the Passat seems too much like a trimed down Audi.

    The bottom line is I think you should buy the one that you feel best in. Only you can weigh your priorities on looks, performance, and reliability.

    Good luck
    Mike
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121
    Ahhh, the never ending debate...though seems to have been quiet here for some time.

    I'll address some of the other points raised:
    "Why does VW put stupid features like automatically tilting side mirrors and doorkey controllable windows in their cars?" The mirror are a great feature (something found on more $$$ cars) especially if you have to do a lot of parallel parking -- they keep you from scraping the wheels!!
    As for the windows feature, how many times have you gotten out of the car, only to notice that you forgot to roll the window up all the way -- it allows you from having to get back in the car to roll them up.. PLUS, there is a great aftermarket product (the Alien Remote) that allows you to control the windows just by pushing the buttons on the key fob!

    "the Passat seems too much like a trimmed down Audi" - is that a bad thing to look like a car that's at least 10 K more ?!?

    As for the reliability issue, VW's 4motion is the same as Audi's Quattro in the A4 and A6...they've been at it as long as Subie. Both are considered some of the best AWD systems around and have been very dependable. Sure VW's overall reliability is not the same as any of the Japanese brands....but its not as bad as many of the American brands.

    We've had 2 years/ 24K mile of trouble-free driving with our Passat. There will be plenty of people with good experiences with either of the vehicles (as well as those with stories of lemons)-- bottom line both are great cars!! But, neither is perfect -- if you are not willing to give a little on the reliability issue, then go with the Subie and enjoy.

    Hope this helps. Let us know what you end up with.

    George
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I will defend both cars. :-)

    The VW's reliability has improved steadily, and the new Passat is actually above average. We won't know how they hold up long-term for a while, so Subies still carry an advantage.

    Still, the Passat feels expensive, over engineered. They charge $40 grand for a W8 on this platform. You pay a little more, but some feel it's worth it.

    The VDC is also very safe, with good crash test results and a traction/stability control system standard. In fact I think the Passat only gets this option for 2003.

    For 2002 models, I think the LL Bean wagon compares more closely, since the stability control is the main appeal of the VDC. You can get Beans for under $27k, too. Since you weren't fond of the VDC interior, you may prefer the two-tone leather on the Bean, plus the steering wheel is real wood and leather. It warms up the interior.

    2003 Legacys get chrome rings around the speedo and tach, plus some other nice touches.

    But no soul? Subies? Are you kidding? Subarus have tons of character! Boxer engines, like Porsches and Beetles. If you drive a Passat blind-folded, it would be hard to tell what you are in. But I can spot a boxer growl from a mile away! Just because Subaru ties Toyota for the #1 most reliable brand (CR, April issue) does not mean they lack character.

    I'll urge you to check out the Subaru Crew threads here on Edmunds, we're a quirky bunch of loyal owners. We have a rep from SoA that quickly resolves the few problems that seem to come up - and since that is a big concern of yours, it should matter a lot. The Subaru Crew is the ONLY owners group at Edmunds that still maintains a weekly chat, and we've had guests that include SCCA Rally Team drivers, Subaru mechanics, and Subaru-sponsored athletes.

    Our rep (Patti) also got free passes for us to attend the Philly Auto Show, and even catered a Subaru event for us. She wears tights with a big "S" logo on the front.

    Just kidding about that last part. ;-)

    Bottom line is it's hard to beat the feeling of being part of a community when you buy a Soob. I'm sure VW isn't a whole lot different, owners are also very into the brand.

    -juice
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Posts: 506
    As an 97 Audi owner and 02 Subaru owner, I can easily say that both camps are highly loyal and enthusiastic owners.

    I agree with everything juice said above. That's true about the characteristic boxer engine growl of the Subarus, I can always tell a Subaru pulling up on my driveway while in my house.

    There is some consensus that VW's have come a long way but they are probably a smidgen below Subaru's overall if you average the industry statistics over the last few years. There isn't anything unreliable about 4Motion/Quattro though, it's rock solid. I've had a few fixable problems with my Audi in general and in retrospect, it's held up rather well, but the kind of problems I've had is a bit more numerous and unexpected in my experience with owning Mazdas and Hondas (e.g. heated mirror burning out, clunky auto transmission, premature control arm repair, steering fluid leak). My feeling is that I wouldn't buy one if I wanted to keep it longer term. Some people have had better luck than me, but who knows which is more "typical". Of course, they *are* great to drive and look at and have that European feel which is something that is special.

    I think everybody should own a German car once in their lifetime. Conversely Subarus are excellent cars and have their own unique traits and well worth owning also. If you are coming from a Japanese car, go with a European or vice versa for variety's sake.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Yeah, my WRX wagon is a little ole soul lacking grocery getter, LOL!

    image

    Stephen :-)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think your soul takes a minute or two to catch up to you when you're driving that thing.

    -juice
  • tele7tele7 Posts: 1
    I recently sold a 95 Passat GLX VR6 5 speed. I bought the car new. I can easily say that except for the repair bills I enjoyed the car very much. However, the repair bills were not insignificant. Three in particular come to mind: right side door mechanism $300, broken clutch PEDAL $350, fuel pump $700. I could go on, but you get the idea. Be prepared to PAY for German engineering. Also be prepared to get to know a mechanic on a first name basis.

    I replaced the Passat with a 99 Legacy wagon. I lost 30 hp (and I definitely notice it), but otherwise I am very well pleased indeed. Based on what I have read I won't be dissatisfied with the Legacy's reliability either.

    I agree that every car enthusiast should own a German car once. Just be prepared to pay for it.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,444
    Not all VW's are unreliable and not all Subarus are reliable. You can get a lemon Subaru, and you can get a very reliable VW.

    I know this is a long time ago, (reliability has only gotten better since then) but I bought a Scirocco w/ 56k miles and drove it until about 170k miles. In 110,000 miles it wouldn't start only once - fuel pump relay blew a fuse(fixed in 5 minutes <$1). The only repairs were fairly routine, and I did not spend $300 total on them the whole time I owned the car. My mother had a Subaru (w/ the 1.8l boxer) wagon that never really ran right - engine stalled and hesitated constantly and could not be fixed. It did go up into the high 100,000 mile area though and never left her stranded.

    You want unreliable we can talk about my '63 Corvair convertable (yes it was unsafe at almost any speed - the rear end kept wanting to go first). My '76 Volare was even worse. It shook so badly the carburator kept falling off. The suspension was horrible, and the car rusted like crazy in only a few years. Cars have come a long way.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's true, our standards are so high and most "problems" are really nit-picky things.

    Still, our '95 626 was great for 5 years, then began to fall apart, so I like to look down the road, at long-term reliability. You can at least minimize your chances of picking a lemon.

    -juice
  • syncopatesyncopate Posts: 4
    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. What I am consistently hearing is this (in a nutshell):

    -Passats are more fun to own/drive, but EVERY person who has responded has had at least a handful of problems.

    I want the Passat badly, but I think I will go ballistic if electrical gizmos start breaking down all the time. Understand my perspective: I have put 150k very hard, high RPM miles on my '93 Pathfinder. I have never had a serious problem. I would let this car baby sit my kids. My wife's '96 Blazer, on the other hand, is a piece of crap. 100k miles and we have...replaced a radiator, fixed multiple oil leaks, broken power windows, broken power locks, dash lights that never turn off, horrible alternator, and the most aggravating is this damn plastic piece that just pops off the dashboard every time you hit a bump. The difference in reliability is AMAZING. People seem to have low expectations. The Edmunds long distance Passat has broken things on it at 50k and the Editors are talking about how great it has held up!? 50k is nothing; I don't get it.

    If the best argument to buy the Passat is that I should own a German car at some point, I will just wait until my next car and get a BMW 5-series wagon or sedan. Or a Mercedes. But at this point in life - 27 years old - I want something that is bulletproof. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like you can get this AND german craftsmanship in a wagon for around $30k.

    What confuses me is that everyone on this post has had problems, yet the Passat wagon beats the Outback in the CR and Edmunds Editor's rankings!? That is another question: what do all of you gearheads think about those rankings?

    I will be test driving again this weekend and making final decision.
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121
    (knock on wood) I'll let everyone know when I do! ;)

    George
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    You should buy the car that you like the most. It sounds to me that you prefer the Passat; it's a fine car. Go for it. If it starts being a reliability problem; get rid of it, but you might not have any problems.

    luckily, I preferred the VDC; reliability was a bonus. Personally, I would never be happy with a car that was my second choice.

    CR and car mags all rate cars on their perspective of feature importance. I really like CR's approach; it is consistent and has enough info for me to apply my own ratings.

    Mike
  • barkasy1barkasy1 Posts: 44
    For 27 you act like your 40 dude.

    I called Volkswagen of America today requesting info. on a '02 GLX 6cyl. Wagon I put a deposit on (it's listed as IN-TRANSIT). The woman on the phone said "Great choice", and "We hardly ever get any complaint calls on the Passat".

    I met a salesman at the airport that had close to 300,000 miles on his Passat.

    I followed a Passat Wagon (at Ludicrous Speed) to a gas station halfway across Alligator Alley (Florida) and spoke with the driver. He loved it and was also in sales. He said, "I set the cruise at 85...an go.".

    On many of these postings you get the "Very Passionate" and the "Terminal Whiners". Talk to your random neighbors who own these vehicles. Do you really think that Consumer Reports would rate the Passat over the Camry (pronounced Coma-ry) if it was a pile of junk?

    Why would you want to live to 100 if you had to eat only potatoes to live that long?

    You better get an ugly wife because a pretty one is more apt to cheat on you.

    Of course I have it easier, I'm getting the Passat and my wife is waiting to check out the '03 Forester.

    The Passats are made in Germany, the Jettas in Mexico.

    If you had a choice, would you rather live in Germany or Japan?

    Just make sure they didn't make your car near Oktoberfest...

    Dave ;^)
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