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VW Passat Wagons (GL, GLS, GLX & W8)

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
Please continue discussing the Passat wagon here.

Past discussion:

Passat Wagon


Wagons host


  • e271pwoe271pwo Posts: 1
    The cruise on my '99 Passat GLS wagon sometimes works and sometimes does not. I already took it to the dealer and they supposedly fixed it but it continues to occur. They said that the brake was having an adverse effect on the cruise (sounds like BS to me). Anybody else have this problem and any ideas on how to fix would be appreciated.

  • rsilkrsilk Posts: 3
    You may have more success on another forum where the "enthusiasts" hang out.

    Try or for fellow Passat freaks.

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    My wife has always liked the Passat wagon, and now that 4 Motion is available I'm considering one. One question(and please, no lectures on the purported "safety" they provide): Can the running lights be disabled permanently? If so, how? Thanks in advance!
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121
    Most VW serice depts can disable the DRL for you gratis prior to you taking delivery of the car. If you already have the car/the service dept refuses, you can remove the fuse for the DRLs yourself --- this has been describe by other VW Vortex members in the forums at (feel free to join other B5 passat owners here to discuss other issues !)

    Finally, since you are considering the 4motion, I would carefully assess your needs (ie do you live in a snow belt,etc) before spending the extra $1600 and dealing with the very few drawbacks of 4Motion.

    FWIW, my wife and I have no regrets in our purchase and would do it all over again, except could VW come up with more functional rear cupholders ?!? ;)

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Thanks for the information. Simply put, I don't enjoy driving FWD cars that much. I do like the 50/50 Quattro/4motion torque split, and the car would serve as our foul weather car when our half mile gravel driveway gets 12"+ of snow.
  • nickd3nickd3 Posts: 1
    We're considering a Passat Wagon for our next car. We mountain bike and sometimes drive dirt/forest roads to trailheads. We've driven our '90 Accord to these areas without any ground clearance problems. Has anyone driven their Passats to similar trailheads? Any ground clearance problems?
  • bruce40bruce40 Posts: 1
    I have been trying in vain, for the last several weeks, to purchase a GLS V6 Anthracite wagon with beige leather. The salesman said no additional 2000 model cars will be coming to the US. He also said the 2001 models may arrive in as little as three weeks (mid July). Does anyone know when the 2001's will arrive?

    Related Question:
    The dealers I have spoken with say they have no control over the cars (color, features) they get from the regional rep. Can dealers impact this random allotment?

    I live in northern New Jersey. Any info. would be appreciated.
  • sg207ptgsg207ptg Posts: 4
    Bought ours today, Auto, with Luxury Package and CD changer, Anthracite Blue but with black interior. Walked all over the dealer back lot and saw at least 4 other wagons. No hassle, used the UBS service (fixed 3% over invoice). I know it might not be the best deal but it saves us time and headache. The whole thing took about 4 hours, most of it for test driving and waiting for the car to be cleaned. There are plenty of y2k wagons here in Northern VA (DC metro).
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121

    I think I answered this elsewhere, but based on info from the VW vortex forums, the '01 MY Passats will be out later this fall (Aug or Sept).
    AFAIK, VW dealers don't have much say on allotment. Larger VW dealerships seem to have the in on the largest selection. Its possible that some dealerships have reached their allotment for the year - but my local dealership is still receiving a steady supply of wagons. Your local dealers could always try and do a swap to get a wagon for you. The other option is to contact dealerships outside of your area, such as in Md or DC. Fitzgerald VWin that area seems to have a reasonable supply of wagons according to their online inventory.


    Congrats on your new wagon. I'm sure you'll love it as much as we have so far!! Make sure you also check out VW vortex forums for more resources on the Passat.

  • strvtstrvt Posts: 12
    Did anybody use "driver's option" financing that VW suggest?
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121

    Its VW's fancy name for a balloon loan. We considered it briefly, but ended up going with traditional loan thru our credit union. Our credit union also offered this option, but some things you need to consider:
    1) remember, this option is essentially a different type of loan, but the interest rate typically is higher than the conventional loans (at least 2% point higher for us)
    2) The end of term value of the car is usually determined by some kind of firm that establishes the residual values on leases. Cars (and wagons for that matter) have 3-4 year values that are significantly lower than SUV's
    3) Even though you don't have to pay leasing charges, termination fees, or security deposits, you do have to pay for slaes tax on the full purchase price of the vehicle. I suspect that in most cases, that would be equivalent to all of those lease charges added up.

    After considering the different options, for us the 3 year baloon loan route would have been about $100 less per month compared to a 4 year conventional loan. Since we new we would be keeping the car for long term, we ended up going the traditional route.

  • sg207ptgsg207ptg Posts: 4
    Getting ready for my wagon's first long road trip, what should I buy to haul luggage on the roof? Have been looking at Thule's and Yakima's crossbars/luggage boxes as well as at Weathertech's portable cargo carrier.

    Would you recommend to secure the Weathertech soft cargo carrier to the wagon's side bars, without the crossbars? I might just buy the crossbars anyway, which would come in handy later on.

    VW also sells its own crossbars, which are cheaper than those from Yakima and Thule, I think.

    Thanks for advices
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    My father has a Passat with thule cross bars, and he carried a 7' rattan sofa up there for 1,500 miles. No problems. The Yakima is probably good as well. I thought VW charged more for their rack about $165 vs $120 or so for the thule. The Thule and Yak also have more and cheaper accesories than the VW.

    I would not put a carrier directly on the roof - you might get scratches and dents. You would be much better off with a rigid carrier (from thule or yakima)that is designed to go on top of the cross bars.
  • My 2000 Passat wagon is nearing 5000 miles and has developed a rattle in the front end. As usual with these problems, I can never make it rattle on cue--it seems to occur the most when going over rather slight imperfections in the road surface. Has anybody else experienced this so I can arm myself as well as possible when I bring the car in for its 5,000 mile servicing?
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121

    Sorry to hear about your problem. Hopefully that's the worst that you will experience. I can't help you out personally, but if you haven't done so yet you should check out the VW Vortex Forums. Run a search for "rattle" and see what others have described, or post the question directly. Hope you can find an answer.

  • ghanghan Posts: 1
    Just taking delivery tomorrow on 2000 GLX Wagon 4 motion Silver. Getting old and wanted to splurge. I got price of invoice + 200 prep fee. something like 3% over invoice. The dealers we talked to said wagon are not in high demand and dealers are forced to take them by VW to get other cars. I wonder who in their right minds would buy a SUV for normal travel. These small wagons are a good compromise
    The 4 motion was a concession to myself for sporty driving. I to do not like FWD cars. The quattro i drove a few years ago was very impressive. Just returned from Italy and rented a Ford Focus diesel which was the same as a Passat. The diesel performed very well but gas is just too cheap in US to have any demand for diesels. VW is making a big light diesel push for cars and boats. Maybe we will see them soon.
  • noahsmomnoahsmom Posts: 5
    We are taking delivery on a 2000 GLS V6 4 Mo tonight. We asked about the CD changer, but our dealer (Fitzgerald in Annapolis) says none will be available for several months. Does anyone have any leads on sources other than through the dealer? Thanks!
  • noahsmomnoahsmom Posts: 5
    Thanks George! This is a big help!
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Also, Panasonic makes that CD changer-- you could probably get a Panasonic unit, put it in yourself (very easy to do-- slides right in) and save some money. Any reputable audio/video store (NOT Best Buy or similar) would know exactly which model would fit and if you need to buy any kind of adapter plug.
  • rllbrllb Posts: 1
    The Passat wagon is an attractive choice which I am considering. I am aware of a silver GLX 6cyl with tiptronic, single CD changer with 4300 miles. The dealer is asking $28,515(incl. destination charge; is this a good bargin?
  • As the most recent Passat buyer in this forum, I would say "it depends." The price seems to vary by where you live. We just bought a new 2000 GLS V6 with 4Motion and Monsoon stereo in the Annapolis, MD area for about $28,000 drive away price. That 4WD adds $1650. The San Francisco folks report higher prices. If your price includes the destination charge and all the taxes and stuff, and the 6-CD changer (which is a $500 option) I'd say the price is not bad, but not great considering the mileage. The dealer we used has new GLX's listed on its website at $27,862. You can check them out at to see what that price includes. Or check dealer sites in your area. BTW, we just love the car. We've only had it for 2 weeks, but it's been a great 2 weeks--except for the arguing over who's going to drive. Good luck! :)
  • We can relate to arguing over who drives the new Passat! My wife and I just bought a 2001 V6 GLS with Lux, Monsoon and heated seats. The black with tan interior is an awesome combo. The V6 is extremely refined and we are thrilled with our purchase. We call it our "Bond mobile" (as in James Bond) because it has so many nice little features.

    Did any '01 buyers happen to notice or ask about the new child seat safety latches under the back seats? Our car did not come with them and the dealer was unsure what it should have or how to get them because the system is so new.

  • The above 8/31 posts raise an interesting question.

    In late July I bought a 2000 Passat GLS wagon; 1.8T, AT, lux pkg, Monsoon upgrade, and dealer installed rubber mats, 6 CD changer and dog net cargo partition. The negotiated price works out to $232 over "dealer invoice". I could have ordered an '01 for $600 or $700 over "invoice" but needed the car more or less immediately.

    I am happy with the car thus far (except for a jammed sunroof, repaired under the warranty), and believe that I paid a fair price considering that they had to transfer the car from another dealer about 120 miles away. On the other hand, I can't really believe that "dealer invoice" is anything other than a marketing ploy, a fictitious number.

    If we take the alleged dealer cost (invoice minus HB and incentives) for any car, as provided by Edmunds and others, how can a dealer possibly make any profit by selling cars anywhere near that price?

    In my case, $232 is less than 1% over "invoice". My checking account earns more than that.

    How can dealers possibly pay salaries, commissions, interest on inventory, rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance and other overhead, and stay in business?

    It's simple - they can't, ergo "dealer invoice" cannot possibly be what they actually pay for a car.

    A friend who was in the car business many years ago says that the actual cost to produce a car typically is one third of "sticker price", and that dealers actually pay the manufacturer or importer (net after all accounting trickery) about two thirds of "sticker". This leaves a third for the dealer's expenses and profit.

    This scenario strikes me as much more believable, however comforting it might be for me to think that I bought a car for $232 more than the dealer paid for it.

    Anyone have any knowledge or comments that might shed light on this?
  • Just bought a 2001 Passat and trying to hook up
    a CD changer. It is a Panasonic 8-disk changer
    for $189 and I had to buy an adapter for
    another $80. It works, sort of, but CD numbers
    and tracks are not displayed correctly. Also,
    it tends to scroll through the tracks until I
    press the round scan button. I have already
    packed it back and about to return to the store.

    Any suggestions what to buy instead?

    My VW dealer is asking $475 for a 6-disk changer, installed. The saleman in the car audio store warned me that it is not yet clear which 3d party changers will work in 2001 models.
  • On the national VW web site, the price for the 6 disk-CD changer is $350(if I remember correctly). Problem is you can't order directly online from VW until sometime early next year. They ask buyers to place orders and take the order form to a local dealer to fill the order. The prices on the web site are suggested retail, but their is a clause that says local dealer pricing may be different.

    Try Russel as George suggested. They are located close to me and they do have a good reputation for parts sales. Another alternative is to use the web site price as leverage for pricing at a local dealer. Simple request they match the web price and to get your business.

  • I just picked up my 2000 GLS Wagon. Outside of a passenger door "buzz", the car is great.....

    I was wondering if anyone in the group had bought a cargo liner. I'd rather not tear up the carpet or have things sliding around in the back.

    Thanks for any help!
  • Ted,

    Congrats on the new car !! What color combo did you end up with ??

    A cargo liner is a must and most owners have ended up going with Weathertechs. You can get them thru Mac Neil Automotive. Another place where you can purchase the mats from is Auto Accessory. I actually got mine thru the later since they often run specials, and the mat ended up being $10 less than MacNeil. Whats more is that the mat was shipped from Mac Neil !!

    While you're considering getting the cargo mats, you may want to consider getting a matching set of weathertech floor mats. The OEM mats are chinzy and most owners note that they wear out within 6 months. A better option would be the premium rubber floor mats by VW. Unfortunately they only come in black or grey. If you're insistent on getting carpeted floor mats, look for a Lloyd Mat Dealer -- top notch quality!


    BTW, whats up with looking for a new Chevy in your profile ??
  • Thanks for the information. I have the black exterior/tan leather interior (really tan leather with black dash/trim). The black mats would probably go since part of the interior is black. I haven't decided which floor mats to buy - the factory ones will probably fit better but you seem to get a shipping discount if you buy the floor mats/cargo liner together.

    I finally updated my profile. I traded a '99 Malibu LS for my Passat. The Malibu was an okay car but I really got tired of taking it back to the dealer for squeaks and new brakes (3rd set at 28,000 miles).

    Thanks again!
  • I tried to buy a "Cargo Logic" set from After sending me the wrong size twice they told me it is available only for the sedan, even though the web site still lists it for the wagon.

    If anyone else has found a waterproof liner with raised edges to contain water and dirt, I too would like to hear about it.
  • George,

    see my post above (#30). Weathertechs have a 2 inch semi-flexible lip.

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