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Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry vs. Volkswagen Passat



  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    If you, for example, hit black ice, I don't think it is a question of you "taking your car to the limit", but the limit coming down and finding you.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    anonymousposts, the VW website has the following stats for 0-60mph:
    Passat GLS 2.8L V-6
    Manual 7.3
    Automatic 8.2

    GLS 1.8T Turbo 4
    Manual 7.9
    Automatic 8.9

    Automatic 6.5

    I don't think the average buyer would consider any of these "slow".
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    The TSX, which has been hotly defended by some here, has been tested by Motor Trend 0-60 at 7.9 with the manual. That would put the auto at around 8.9 - 9.0, which backs up my driving impression that the car is significantly slower than even an '02 Accord V6.

    (I know, wrong topic, but I figure since we're talking about fast and slow.....)
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    Even if you take the optimistic numbers from VW's website you are still 1 second off the Accord's pace to 60 in V6 form and still a .5 second off in 4 cylinder form. As I stated, if you look at the Road Test Summary in Road & Track there are only 3 cars that are slower than the Passat. Someone said that the Passat was still better because of low-end torque but the performance numbers show that the Accord is faster, low-end torque or not.

    If you hit black ice in any car you will be in trouble. No 4WD system, traction control, ABS or stability control can help you on ice.

    The TSX has also been tested 0-60 in 7.2 seconds.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    The V6 Passat's low end torque "advantage" over the Accord is nothing more than a claim made by someone who made the faulty assumption that the fact that the Passat's peak torque figure is at a lower rpm means that it has a better overall torque curve. In reality, the peak torque numbers tell you next to nothing about the torque curve, and VTEC engines typically have very flat torque curves.

    What better test is there of low end torque than to look at acceleration times off the line? The R&T comparison included the following 0-20 mph times:

    Accord - 1.7 sec.
    Passat - 1.9 sec.

    So the Passat shows no advantage over the Accord even in such "right off the line" acceleration figures.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    These are all fast cars for the average driver. Is this a drag racers forum? There are more attributes than flat out acceleration to a good car, although that's one I'm interested in. If you really want FAST car, chip it, and it will be faster than anything off the showroom floor. Most folks would be happy with 0-60 times in the 7-8 second range, and for those who aren't, you can look for a car that you like for a lot of reasons, such as style, fit and finish, handling, interior quality, safety, and then you can make it as fast as you want it to be. My first priority when shopping for a new car is not acceleration because I can easily and cheaply improve that.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    Douglas 'talon95', you just proved my point (I am the moron who infers torque curves from engine characteristics and specs). While the Accord V6 has 26.3% more hp than the Passat, its 0-20 time is only 10.5% better than that of the Passat. (But do we think that those 2/10 of a second difference mean anything to the average family sedan/station wagon buyer? I think, affirmatively, not).

    Given that 0-something times in performance mags are usually done with clutch-drops (or holding the brake in AT cars), which biases towards high-revving engines, circumvents the low rpm truth, and does not reflect how people drive, I think this is an absolutely marvelous result for the Passat and its mature, well-proven engine.

    - D.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    Dietmar "allhorizon", I proved nothing for you, thanks very much. With differences in torque curves across various rev ranges, you're not going to see a consistent percentage of hp difference to performance difference at all speed ranges.

    Since you're into totally meaningless statistics, let's point out that from 0-40, the Accord's advantage over the Passat is at 21.5%. 0-60 is 20.6%. All the way up to 27.6% at 0-100. So your little exercise in statistics says absolutely nothing about overall performance.

    And do we think that those 2/10 of a second mean anything to the average family sedan buyer? Contrary to your opinion, I think absolutely yes, especially in the US, where low end torque is so highly prized. Manufacturers are even going to drive-by-wire throttles and other solutions to allow them to maximize performance off the line.

    I wasn't trying to say that the Passat doesn't have reasonable power off the line. But your earlier post about having to stay above 6500 rpm to leverage certain engine characteristics is totally irrelevant for normal operation.

    Car mags do very different types of testing depending on the types of cars they're testing. They certainly don't use methods to test family sedans like they might use to test Corvettes and Mustang GTs.

    The whole point of my post was not the .2 second difference in a particular performance time... it was just to counter the incorrect allegation that the Passat manages to maintain a low end torque advantage over the Accord. This is simply not true, and the figures I posted support my contention.

    Finally, as for mature, proven engines, the Accord's V6 is a variation on the same mature, proven V6 line that has been used for years on Accords, Odysseys, TLs, CLs, MDX, Pilot, etc.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    ... the point is that you don't have to chip the Accord to get a "really fast car" for its class.

    No, this is not a drag racer's forum. But these performance figures translate very well into the available power in routine driving.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    Since some of us feel that acceleration figures aren't of interest to the average driver, how about fuel economy? I don't think that anyone would contest that this is of interest to the average driver.

    Consumer Reports, a testing organization that by their own admission doesn't use clutch drops and brake pre-loading in their testing, found that the new Accord V6 returned 23 mpg in their overall mileage testing using regular fuel. The lower performing Passat returned 21 mpg using premium fuel.

    And the Accord does all that while scoring an 8 in the EPA emissions ratings to the Passat's 6.

    With the current price of gas, this is something that can have a real impact on the "average" driver. And it speaks volumes about the efficiency of the design of the Accord V6.
  • jimlockeyjimlockey Posts: 265
    It is no doubt that the Passat is a good car and with the addition of a diesel it can't be beat. First you will have to pay a double premium for the diesel and second the VW Dealers will rip you off every time you go in. You are charged with excessive,unnecessary charges all based on the idea to keep your Drive Train warranty up. For that reason I'm getting out of the VW business.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    My point was that I bought the Passat because there were so many other things I liked about it, and easily corrected what you seem to think is a "speed deficit".
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    Well, if you want to give the dealer or manufacturer all the ammunition they need to reject a major warranty claim at their discretion, be my guest. I don't consider such a decision to be a wise move in the slightest. Your inexpensive "speed bump" could turn into a major liability. I wouldn't want to be in the position of trying to work with the dealer and/or VW in the case of something like a transmission failure knowing that they could play the "we won't cover the failure because of the engine mod" card any time they wanted to. If they did so, you'd have little or no recourse. How could you prove them wrong? And beyond that, I'd doubt that you'd get any sympathy from an arbitration board.

    As far as I'm concerned, rather than being an "easy correction", chipping is a big gamble with the potential for disastrous consequences. For someone who doesn't want to go through the expense, possible hassle and potential voiding of warranty coverage due to chipping, the Passat indeed suffers from a speed deficit when compared to the Accord, Camry, Mazda 6 and Altima. This is not something that I "seem to think"... it's a documented and instrumented fact.

    And let's get one other thing straight... there are lots of things that I like about the Accord in addition to the engine. The fact that I got one of the top performing engines in its class, in acceleration and fuel economy without having to resort to a modification is just icing on the cake. And if I run into a major mechanical issue during the warranty, I don't have to worry about the dealer or manufacturer deciding to save some money at my expense by citing the mod as the cause of the issue.
  • atlantabennyatlantabenny Posts: 735
    "True Cost to Own" side-by-side based on 5 years / 75k miles (source - Edmunds), all auto trans:

    Passat GL/4: $31.5k, versus
    Accord EX/4: $28.5k
    Accord LX/6: $29.3k
    Accord EX/6: $31.5k

    Passat's advantages over all Accords: manumatic, "German feel & cachet"

    Talking TCO, above shows that it's really just the BASE Passat GL that is comparable to the TOP Accord EX-V6. At this level, the Accord has many features not found on the Passat: V6, leather, 16" alloy rims, sunroof, auto climate control, CD changer, moonroof, and power & heated front seats. Plus, this hidden advantage: less service downtime due to Accord's better reliability.

    For some, the VW's feel, cachet and personality are probably "priceless," explaining why VW still commands a following.

    For the coldy rational, based on the TCO, Accord obviously provides the better value.

    Sidenote on value misperceptions: the Hyundai XG350's TCO is $6.8k more expensive than either the Passat GL or the Accord EX-V6 for 5 years/75k. Culprit - you guessed it - depreciation.
  • dfurnierdfurnier Posts: 26
    Spent an hour reading this board and I'm having a tough time figuring it out.

    We're looking for a 4 cylinder manual 4 dr that's comfortable for traveling (in December we took a 5000 mi trip and rented a LeSabre, just to travel comfortably). And I'll commute 2 hours a day, two lane rural highway, light auto traffic but lots of deer and other critters I don't like hitting. We'll keep it 3 to 5 years (about 100000 mi).

    What I gleaned from the posts I think is the Camry sounds like the best combo of comfort, quality, and value, but boring. The Passat is comfortable and fun to drive, but not as reliable, and more pricey. The Accord's track record was superb quality (until the 2003 redesign?), with great value, but noisy.

    The vehicle I'm replacing is a 2000 Civic - 78000 mi and 0 trouble, but it's uncomfortable and wind/road noisy. Drove a very reliable 88 Corolla for 260000 before it went to the junkyard. Never had a VW.

    Of these three, we've only test driven the Passat GLS and we both liked it very much. The seats felt very comfortable, had many nice amenities, handled well, and was quite peppy and fun to drive.

    I don't care about torque and 0-60, etc. (unless it's necessary, I drive like your grandfather) and a couple thousand dollars is not much difference on a monthly payment. So, the question, if it can be answered: we want to travel comfortably and not visit the dealer alot - and I don't want to put a wrench on it myself. Advice anyone?
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    Do yourself a favor and test drive them all. Even throw a Mazda6 and Altima in for good measure. For me, the Accord was the best blend of comfort, value, reliability, performance, and features. But to each his own.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Based on your stated criteria and previous cars, I would go with the Camry or Accord. Actually I would even narrow it down to just the Camry. The Accord seems to have a few first-year issues. So if you prefer the Accord, wait for next year's model at least. (Note: the 4-cyl Accord seems to have less problems, so may be a safe buy). Reliablity seems to be an important criteria of yours, as it is mine. If the Passat had Japanese reliability, or even close to it, I would have gladly sprung the extra $$ for it. It terms of build quality and richness of material, it looks like a Tag Heuer next to Seikos.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    I have 11,200 miles on my 03 Accord 4 cylinder and it's been flawless so far.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Well, I did say the 4-cyl models seem to have less problems!
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    2500 miles on my EX V6, and it also has been flawless so far.
  • dfurnierdfurnier Posts: 26
    Thanks for the input. So, one vote Camry, one Accord.

    Further Edmunds research states the recommended dealer maintenance is the most expensive on the Passat, followed closely by the Camry. I used the Honda dealer for all service following the "Severe" schedule. They warrantied it for 100000 if I did this. Surprised when I just added it up - almost $1500. BTW, the Honda dealer was the most pleasant and professional of any I've dealt with. No experience with any of the others in my area.

    I did buy a new Mazda GLC about 1978 and it ran almost troublefree for a decade. The Corolla only required routine maintenance until 150000. I bought a new Stanza about 1980. It was the only bad experience with a Japanese car - some warranty problems and huge hassles with the dealer (though that was not my current closest dealer). I never saw the Mazda or Toyota dealer again after I picked the car up.

    The Mazda is out - no dealer nearby and according to the Mazda website, many options I'd like are not available as a combination with others (very confusing!)

    The Altima is the second best looking car (Passat first) IMO.

    So, I think you folks talked me into checking the other 3 out more closely, which will take a couple of weeks around here.

    One other thing, I think it's unfortunate I checked out the VW first. It appears many features I liked about it are not available on the others wihout getting a 6 cylinder. I'll blame that on my daughter - she came home to visit last week in a new Jetta, which was a quite impressive car.
  • I am in a quandry....I test drove both of these cars and like them, but have trouble choosing which one to seriously consider (fully appointed, with Nav, etc.). The Camry seems quieter and a little more comfortable, while the Accord seems a little more responsive. Also, since both cars are very comparable and competitive, why does the Camry cost more (even after the $1000 incentive)? Can someone please give me some insight?
  • shahmaskshahmask Posts: 5
    first, mazda's website, like some others, is not the best. you'd be better off going to the dealer to look at options and such.

    second, i really don't like jettas. small and expensive car. you'd be much better off looking at another civic or a protoge and not comparing your next car buy to your daughter's jetta. she's gonna pay maintanance out the wazoo and is not always gonna be likeing her car.

    third, if you are going to want to compare a camry or accord, probably the two most reliable in the list, to a civic or corrolla, don't! different type of car. you're going to pay a lot more in maintanance and upkeep on a camry type car than an economy car.

    also, you having a 2000 civic, you will be dissapointed with the interior materials of an altima. If i were you, i would take the family and test drive an accord, camry, or mazda6 and decide solely on which you as a family liked best.
    -camry will feel great on any drive. also, usually a trouble free car for many years.
    -accord is going to be a little more fun and feel almost as good but many people can't get used to its look and it's had a good amount of quirks. however, once accord gets over its first year, it will probably also be a trouble free car.
    -mazda6 is going to be a lot of fun to drive, especially for the driver, and probably will get the most looks. however, it is a little smaller than camry and accord but it does make the best use of available space. it will also not be as smooth(sedate) as the other two, but that's why it feels so good to drive and why it holds onto the pavement so well. it also costs less than camry and accord, and since you wanna buy a 4cyl car, you will probably get a very good price on it. mazda has been giving great discounts on the 4cyl. i think they overestimated the demand for the 4cyl and severly underestimated the demand on the 6cyl. im not sure, but i think mazda's warranty is also better than honda and toyota. do remember that the 6 is a brand new car(no real predicesor), so it has no established reliability record. do expect though a trouble free car like protoge and mpv.
    -passat. what can a i say about it. i honestly don't see what people see in it. it is a smooth driving car, but it is small and i don't think the seats are that well designed. it does have a lot of airbags for the price but it's going to be in the shop a lot. it's a good thing it has a good warranty because it's going to be getting a lot of warranty service. my aunt and uncle bought one a few months ago. it's been in the shop twice for a rattling in the dashboard(still not fixed), for a bad speaker in the back passenger door, for a faulty passanger lock switch, and the back seats wouldn't lock.
  • 03honda03honda Posts: 96
    If you want a station wagon, get a Passat. As for the Passat "being in the shop a lot," our '02 1.8T GLS has been in the shop 5 times in its 25,000 miles; once every 5,000 miles for an oil change.
  • dfurnierdfurnier Posts: 26
    Shaheen and Matt, thanks.

    Shaheen, some very good points. You seem to be well versed in all these cars. Been there, done that?

    I realize we are "stepping up" a class of auto, which includes much more mechanical and electrical sophistication, therefore more maintenance. The mention I made of Corolla and Civic was meant to be a general statement about manufacturer quality.

    Maybe I will have to make the trip to the nearest Mazda dealer.

    Sounds like your aunt and uncle haven't had the best luck with their Passat. At least it wasn't ignition coils and such some of these posts mention.

    Matt, you own a Passat and have had good luck? Do you like it? Do you also own an 03 Accord? How do you compare the two?
  • 03honda03honda Posts: 96
    I have had good luck with both cars.

    The Passat is a 2002 GLS 1.8T automatic, loaded that was bought in April of 2002. It has only been in the shop for routine oil changes every 5,000 miles, you may have heard about coil pack issues with the Passat, although mine never failed, they were replaced under warranty a few oil changes back. Those 25,000 miles are 90% highway miles and I get anywhere from the high 20's to low-mid 30's in gas mileage depending on my foot. The car handles very well in all driving conditions (I can't compare it to the Accord in terms of that b/c I haven't had the Accord through a winter yet).

    The Accord is a 2003 4cyl EX with leather automatic that was purchased the last week of March of this year. My wife primarily drives this car and it doesn't have that many miles on it as of yet. IMO, it isn't as good a highway cruiser as the Passat is, but it sure is comfortable and the dual-zone climate control is realllly nice. However, it was a few thousand cheaper, but doesn't have as many "safety" features as the Passat.

    Both cars are great, I prefer the Passat, that is why I drive it, my wife liked the Accord, so she drives that. I find both to be extremely refined and (for me) dependable and reliable. If I were you, do as I did and take each car on a test drive that includes both city and highway roads (or whatever kinds of roads your commute will include) and pick whichever car you feel most comfortable with. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three you are contemplating among. Good luck!
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    My cousin owns a 2001 Passat.
    He was stranded on his way to work twice due to blown coils.
    The dealer refused to replace the remaining coils each time.
    Lucky for him, two coils failed in a single incident.
    So just one more to go.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    My 2002 Passat 4Cyl. with 14K miles has been in the shop once for coil replacements (all in one visit) and routine oil changes. From all standpoints it's been the most satisfying car I've ever owned. On the last road trip it got 33mpg.
    My daughter's 2003 Accord has been in the shop 2-3 time for mysterious groans and rattles which have not yet been corrected. Other than that its been problem free.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    You mentioned earlier:
    "Much the same as someone not being able to justify several thousand dollars more for a car that is slower, historically less-reliable, and smaller just so they can have memory seats. "

    I can clearly see how much you love the Saab 9-5, but please remove your BLINDERS and read my previous posts - it is the SUM of the car that ultimately draws a person to buy one car over another. Memory seats alone doesn't make the Passat a better car for me - it is just one of the many features I wanted in a car.
    A triviality for some people, but not for one who shares their car with others with varying driving needs.

    "If you need stability control then chances are you need to learn how to drive or you need to slow down. Never needed it in any car I have owned."

    I am glad that you never needed it, but I did - when I had to avoid a potential accident caused by someone else on the freeway. I think you need to start learning how to stop putting others down with your baseless assumptions, and concentrate on the merits of each car in the discussion.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    ""If you need stability control then chances are you need to learn how to drive or you need to slow down. Never needed it in any car I have owned."

    That 's the same as saying if you need ABS, then chances are you need to learn how to drive or you need to slow down. Never needed it in any car I have owned.

    Makes no sense at all.
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    "My daughter's 2003 Accord has been in the shop 2-3 time for mysterious groans and rattles which have not yet been corrected."

    I hope we all can agree that mysterious groans and rattles are more acceptable that being stranded on a highway during a cold winter day waiting for a tow truck to arrive.

    PS: I am not making this up. He bought a t-mobile cellphone as soon as the second set of coils failed. Hence the headline

    "VW boosts cellphone sales in US"
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    To bad the Passat doesnt have the reliability or the drivetrain of the Honda. Then this conversation would be that more interesting.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Have to agree with the stability control. Its a definite plus in panic situations. Its an amazing piece of technology, pretty much an invisible pilot that sense when you have lost control of your car. GOod stuff to have!
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    I think it's a wise idea to have a cell-phone just in case you get stranded on the road - regardless of the make of your vehicle. For example, a car with a deflated spare tire is just as disabled with a flat as a Passat with a Coil problem.

    Fortunately for us, VW is replacing out the Coils - whether or not a failure has occurred, so that should be a thing of the past.

    With regards to the Accord's rattles, I'm pretty confident that Honda will have that problem locked down and fixed by next year's release - hey, they are Honda, after all!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I wouldn't bet on Honda fixing the rattles next year, or any year after that. Chasing rattles is a hit-and-miss affair. More often than not, you would get the famous line from the dealer: "We couldn't duplicate the problem", and be sent on your way again. And most people would rather not have the dealer start taking the whole interior apart to locate rattles. Unless you can pinpoint EXACTLY the source of a rattle yourself, AND have a theory as to how to eliminate it, don't even bother with the dealer.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    I was never stranded on the side of the road waiting for a towtruck because of the coils. I drove to the dealer albiet, slowly, and they gave me a loaner, and I was on my way. I came back that afternoon and all the coils were replaced. That was the end of it. One day. My daughter may have to live with her groans and rattles as long as she owns the car. Which one is more acceptable?
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    A malfunctioning powertrain component or a rattle/squeak, Ill take my chance with the rattle/squeak any time of the day.

    I am pretty sure that not ever Passat owner is aware of the coil problem, nor have they brought their car in to be repaired. So for them, when their car dies on the highway, those are the ones I feel badly for. On top of that, its not a simple case of bringing your car in. I personally think it’s a huge waste of time and a great inconvience for me to bring my car into the dealership, even if they provide a loaner car. You have to stop mnaking excuses for VW, their reliability STILL isnt up to par, which is unacceptable in such a competitive market, its actually sad considering its a very nice car.
  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    I have 03 Accord V6. It is my first new Honda and I afraid the last. I am not sure if bringing car to dealership because of failed coil is any worse than because of any other problem, but I already had 2 unscheduled visits to the dealer. They still could not find what causes rattles and long cranking. But at least they replaced my CD player which periodically refused to work. I did not have loaner as well. I never had unscheduled visits to dealership with any of my Nissans. So much for a famous Honda reliability and quality. 8-(
  • 03accordman03accordman Posts: 671
    Ignition coil failure is not the only issue with Passats. There are various other major mechanical failures reported by Passat owners. I would suggest anyone who says otherwise go to the Passat issues forum on Edmunds town Hall and see for themselves.

    I do feel sorry for lgoldin having these problems but am sure even he would prefer these to mech failures, like water pumps failing etc etc. Hope his problem is resolved.

    In fact most owners in the Passat forum are thinking of getting extended warranties for their cars and there are owners asking whether to keep cars more than 60-80k miles.

    Surely, for the extra money paid for the Passat, and the number of years this platform has been runing (7), these problems should have been resolved. Most do concur that they love the ride and handling of their cars, so I guess it is to each his own, what compromise one is ready to make.

    Another major issue is that VW recommends 91 octane gas, and this grade is unavailable in the US. Most people have been mixing 87 & 93, some even having to do two half tank fillups every time they fill gas. Some dealers recommend using 87 while others recommend 93 and some others recommend mixing. The reason I brought this up is that a friend of mine had a valve fail on this 2003 Passat and the dealer has been giving him this BS that he should have used 87 instead of 93.

    The dealer did repair the car but my friend is now worried what happens once warranty runs out and his wife is constantly telling him they should have bought a Toyota Camry instead.

    For potential Passat buyers, it may be good to do some research on the octane issue.

    Honda's have been having problems (especially 03 Accords) but there is no major defect reported and that augurs well for owners. I for one have an 03 Accord and touch wood, have not had a problem (12k miles).
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Sorry to hear about your issues. But lets be realistic here. You have been to the dealer twice. For rattles and a CD. Yes it sucks, because I have experienced some problems with my car also, especially the occasional cranking issue. It will take Honda sometime, look at the Passat, same platform ( 7 years running) and they still can't get rid of the bugs.

    Believe it or not, most cars will experience some kind of rattle/.squeak during its lifetime, I personally am quite anal and these things drive me crazy, but until I can find a solution ( or the dealer can) I will learn to live with it. In comparison to other problems, yours is minimal at best. They replaced yoru CD player, which is a plus, but the major thing that would bother me, as it is for you also, is having to go the dealer. I definitely agree with that. Give it time man, if these are the worst problems you experience from a Honda during the cars life hen reflect back on your comment about buying a Honda again.

    I will say it again and beat the ussue to death:
    I will take rattles over mechanical issues any time of the day. If you have to consider buying an extended warranty for your NEW car, then maybe you should think to yourself is this car realy worth it? Lets face it we are talking about VW's and Honda's, not Mercedes and BMW's.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    The Coil problem recall for the Passat is going out in the mail to all affected Passat owners - like any normal recall. This means that even non-informed Passat owners should know about this issue and get a notice in the mail to bring their car in for the coil pack replacement.

    The Coil pack problem recall only surfaced in the 01-03 production run, so it did not take 7 years to lock down, only three. But there are other issues (like secondary pump failures) that still need to be adressed.

    I agree that having to bring a car into the dealership is a massive pain in the butt, even with the loaner car.

    Mikek37 is absolutely correct about overall VW reliability - it is simply unacceptable in this competitive market. Although it is fair to say that it is EXTREMELY difficult to match Honda or Toyota's degree of reliability, it should not be too difficult to come close to it. Will VW ever get to the same level as a Nissan? Nope. Not their priority. The only solace Passat owners can get is the fact that their car is at least average in reliability - can't say the same for any of thier other models.

    Every Automaker has the first year debug period to get thier new model kinks worked out. Honda and Toyota are no different - but they do work them out in less than two years. So some rattles and gremlins will show up in this year's Accord - that's just a fact of life.

    Lastly, if anyone here is considering getting a Passat, I think they should also plan on buying some form of extended warranty. Here's why:

    1) Passat is not as reliable as the Hondas & Toyotas. A replacement of the Secondary Pump alone will pay for the extended warranty.
    2) Any car with lots of extra features like power anything will certainly break and cost even more $$ to fix!

    However, don't take my word as gospel, since I bought an extended warranty for my Odyssey too! Don't ask me why...
  • miamirocksmiamirocks Posts: 17
    I have an 03 EX V6 sedan. This is my first sedan. Before this car I had coupes: Civic, Integra, CL. Everytime my leases are up I shop around and Honda/Acura offer the most for the money consistently. Before getting the 03 Accord I checked out the Camry. Although it has a nice exterior, the Camry's interior and drive were bland.
    The Passat: too pricey and reliability questionable (I agree with Mikek37 and mliong)

    The EX V6 offers great safety features including traction and side curtain airbags not to mention an incredible interior and the 240 ponies. Definitely not your typical sedan!

    Accord wins!
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    I know that the Passat is the best car I've owned , bar none, and I've had about 30 cars. I agree the reliability is not up to par with the Japanese cars, I also have an Infiniti, but I think the Passat is worth it. As I said, mine's been in the shop one day, and I had a loaner. Yes, an inconvenience, but at 14k miles it has no rattles and groans at all (knock on wood). It is a great riding car for long distances, has great response, power and handling, gets up to 33mpg on the highway, averages 26mpg, has many cool details and features that I'm still discovering, a beautiful interior, and doesn't look like every other car out there. You can spot most of the European cars from a distance, their designs are superior to anything except the exotics. Most of the Japanese cars are like yellow cabs in New York, not at all distinctive, the only exceptions being the G-35 coupe, Nissan 350ZX, Nissan/ Infinti SUVs and the Japanese 2 seaters.
    I monitor the accord board because my daughter has one, and I see accord has it's share of problems in addition to the rattles, squeaks and transmissions. For example this one has come up a few times "to those of you that were mentioning long crank times before your engine has issued a tsb dealing with this problem. apparently there are some bad fuel pressure regulators on some new accords."
    I think owners with car problems come to these boards to find out if their problems are unique, and what can be done about them, so the problems are way out of proportion from real world experience.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    miamirocks wrote:
    "The EX V6 offers great safety features including traction and side curtain airbags not to mention an incredible interior and the 240 ponies"

    miamirocks please let me know when you find a car that offers no traction. I know that many lawyers might be interested.

    What fuel do you use in your V6 ?

  • miamirocksmiamirocks Posts: 17
    Of course traction is in all cars.
    I was referring to the TCS (Traction control system) available on the V6 models of many (if not all Honda/Acura V6 models) which is not in all cars or costs extra when available.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I actually thought krzyss was being facetious.
  • brewer90brewer90 Posts: 4
    We test drove an Accord EX-L with the V6 and a Passat GLS 1.8T. We bought the Passat. The Accord was nice and had a powerful engine but the Passat felt more solid and more connected. Everyone can spout about reliability issues and acceleration numbers but car buying is pretty subjective otherwise there wouldn't be so many car companies.

    Is anybody placing bets on when Honda is going to roll out a new body style for the back end of the Accord? That was the one thing I really didn't like about the Accord - it looked good other than that.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    The 03 was recently fully redesigned as you know.

    1) In order to completely redesign the back end this would in turn mean a complete undertaking for the entire car.

     Its easy to say, yeah redesign the back end, but in all honesty this means you have to change the complete structure of the car, which means NO, it may get a face lift, but the back will not change!

    Im probably going out on a limb here, but I believe money constraints are the biggest factor when it comes to car buying otherwise everyone would own a mercede or bmw.
  • brewer90brewer90 Posts: 4
    I guess I was meaning more facelift than total redesign. It's something about the way the tail lights wrap around the side and then curve up that just doesn't seem to flow to me.

    I'll take an M3 if you're buying!;-)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I don't think redesigning the back end would require a major restructuring. All they basically need to do is to change the shape of the taillights. Car companies do that all the time. ie. 1999 Maxima, 2000 Camry, 2001 Accord, etc. Having said that though, I don't think Honda will do anything until the 3rd or 4th year of the life cycle.
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