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Volkswagen Passat 2005 and earlier



  • credit1credit1 Posts: 12
    dch in millburn. wanted to check out your dealer but when u disappeared i thought u were having too much fun to return to the boards! where did u buy? i just bought the 6 cd in dash, so am waiting for that to arrive before i pick up the car. dealer said he'd install free, but not sure he'd honour that promise after i pick up the car, so i'll wait till saturday. i thought 30K and 2 die cast beetles for the kids was fine, especially as the factory fitted cd's are starting to arrive.
  • fischdafischda Posts: 272
    Friend, the MIL light comes on for a variety of reasons related to the emissions system. I can't believe your dealer just reset the thing and gave it back to you - and no, it's warranty work, they have no business charging you $80 to reset it next time you come in!!

    They need to hook the engine's computer up to the diagnostic machine and find out what's going on in the system. Could be O2 sensor, one of several valves could burn out, etc. Yes, a loose gas cap, too, but a couple click should be sufficient.

    Don't let this dealer jerk you around - maybe find another dealer and let them explain what they'd do!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...still another ringing endorsement for some of the dealers we all know and love. Every time you think you've heard the last good one, someone has another story to tell.

    When the #$%^& light comes on, it means something is amiss...during the warranty, that is VW's [and the dealer's] problem, not the owner's. Jeez....
  • Did you buy a dealer's demo? Did you buy a GLS with zero miles? What did the salesperson mean by,"We'll do a pre-purchase tune-up?" A "tune-up" shouldn't be needed for a long, long time. JRCT9454's comment is one you should follow up on, and quick. I wonder what VWguild thinks of this, he's usually the voice of reason. This was not a minor flaw in service, remember ths was the selling dealer! VWoA should really see to it that salespeople like that have no contact with the public until they're re-trained.
  • Brethren,
    I am getting ready to dump my 99 GLS sedan and move to the GLX 4motion. IF any of you have made a similar transition I would be interested to hear whether you think it is worth the extra dough.

    The talk about the six-disc in-dash changer caught my eye. Is this something new? WHen I bought my car the only option was changer in the truck! It's a pain....
  • mwhittmwhitt Posts: 69
    sounds like you got a great deal. bought at crestmont volkswagen-toyota in pompton plains. was having too much fun. i posted back about 2 weeks after your note. i think we got the same deal. i got 30.3 with CD, you got 30 without. i actually think they moved down on price about 1 week after i bought. dropped their price $200 the week after i picked mine up. you got a good deal - that i am sure of. you were only $200 over the carsdirect invoice w/the adv and other stuff thrown in. good luck w/ the ride. so far smooth driving on my end.
  • credit1credit1 Posts: 12
    hope to pick up tomorrow. thanks for all the info.
  • credit1credit1 Posts: 12
    the 6cd indash is not available in us. pg performance in canada bought a bunch from Germany for the passat b5 platform. they only work with single din so if u have an indash cd it wont work. they sell the unit for approx 450 US $. i havnt got mine yet. the trick is that some early run vehicles on the lot might be harder to shift without cd so u might be able to getter a better deal. the invoice price is same with or without cd, so dont get caught out!

    good luck.
  • I've narrowed down my choices to a TL Type S or a Passat GLX 4motion. Safety is a primary concern (I have 2 small kids). Also, I live in the Bay area where it may rain a lot but it does not snow (although I make a handful of trips up to the Sierras every winter).

    Can anyone offer advice as to what would be better safety-wise? The AWD of the Passat, or the stability control of the TL-S?

    Thanks for all your help, I really enjoy this board.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Generally, having AWD beats 2WD with stability control. In the case of the Passat, with the quattro-derived 4motion, the AWD system is excellent and adds even more benefit.

    You'd probably be okay most of the time with 2WD+VSA as long as the conditions aren't very severe and you don't push the vehicle to extremes. But the 4motion will add some additional margin. Can't wait until VW adds stability control to it, one day.

    Tradeoff is going to be vehicle performance, though that is lower on your priority list. The 4motion/quattro is quite heavy and the acceleration between it and the higher-output TL-S will be very noticeable.
  • fb4fb4 Posts: 4
    Hello, all. I purchased a 2000 GLX 4Motion sedan at the end of July. Bought it from a dealer when I was told my previous car would cost too much to fix. I just received it from my parents a week ago (I'd been driving their A6.) I like the car s ofar, and I think I paid a fair price-- 25000 dollars for a loaded (including CD changer) VW certified vehicle with 13,500 miles. I was seriously considering the W8 and also the 2002 A4, but they were not available in July. I just read VW does not plan to bring the six speed W8 here. What a shame. I'd love to have a 5 speed in my Passat.

    A few questions, though. I am interested in putting HID lights in this car. Does anyone have information about where to purchase them and how much they cost? I recently saw that they now have aftermarket HID headlights and driving lights. I am concerned about putting HID lights in the headlights since I have daytime running lights. Wouldn't want them to be on all the time! I have seen xenon bulbs at auto parts shops, but they are clearly not equivalent.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated! I am sure I will come up with more. Look forward to reading the discussion.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    go to; once there, from the drop down
    menus at the top, click on cars and go to *Passat*, from there go to *other stuff*; you will get another drop on 4 MOTION and
    learn about why this car is so superior...
  • We drove a new Passat last night. Two things I didn't like (1) there seemed to be a lot of tire noise, my feeling is that the tires may have too much pressure, otherwise the car was SILENT. (2) when coming to a stop, you REALLY feel the transmission shift into first. Is this normnal?
  • What arrogance. RUN directly to your dealer get in his face and ask him if he can say...BUMPER TO BUMPER WARRANTY! Then bump his lazy a$$ down into his chair tell him you are going next door for a coupla drinks and "when I come back that friggin light betta be fixed or your lights are goin out pal"! I am sorry for getting so mad. When a dealer (or any1 for that matter) tries to take advantage of someone like that my BLOOD BOILS! I had my purchase decision narrowed to the Passat and the new Altima 3.5. Well, with so many stories I have heard about dealers like that and little small things going wrong with VW's (or so I am told), at this point I plan on purchasing the Altima.
  • flacaflaca Posts: 168
    My hubby is on his way to pick up the long-awaited in dash CD. It seems since I wrote to VWoA - the process was speeded up and we were bumped up on the waiting list.
  • Thanks much for your responses. Here is a philosophical question, though: if AWD is the best in terms of safety, why aren't most luxury cars ($45000 +) equipped with it and instead are equipped with VSC? I'm sure driving conditions in Germany and Sweden are more adverse than in the Bay Area yet the Volvo S80, the BMW 5 and 7 series, and the S class are not AWD. Only some Audis and some E class are AWD.

    BTW, here are my pros and cons on the GLX vs TL-S
    Pros on both: Just choose a color and go. All options included (this beats the heck out of ordering/hunting down the exact car you want).
    Passat Pros over TL-S: Folding rear seatback, curtain airbags, better exterior styling (IMO).
    Passat Cons over TL-S: Sluggish with 4Motion, you can spend 30K and see someone who spent 20K drive a similar car.

    Since I no longer care about driving fast, I'm leaning toward the Passat.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Wise Choice...
  • Hello, I have been reading the messages. All of them very interesting and informational. I am buying a VW passat 99 GLS and found on pre-purchase check up from the mechanic that the Transmission Oil Pan Gasket needs to be replaced coz the Oil Pan is leaking. The car has just 19000 Miles on it. Did anybody have a similar problem with the 99 Passat, it is almost new.

    Also is this service covered under the 5 year Power transmission warranty? Any help/advice is appreciated.
  • I spent a lot of time on boards like this before I decided to choose a Passat over several other cars. I ended up getting a GLX with 4Mo and all the goodies. I couldn't be happier.

    Is the 4Mo sluggish? Not compared to my old Camry four cylinder. Is the 4Mo worth the extra money? To me, having to drive 60 miles a day to commute in Iowa winters, no question about it. Would I spring for the 4Mo if I lived in the Bay area? Probably not.

    I spent hours...probably a hundred hours...researching cars...comfort, maintenance costs, handling, reliability, cost, intangibles...before I chose a Passat. For what it's worth, here were the pros and cons:

    Pros: Safety, appearance, price (compared to an Avalon, a Beemer, an Audi, etc.), size of the driver's area, comfort, driveablilty, fun.

    Cons: I'm a little concerned about the cost of maintaining a Passat after the warranteed service expires. You have to pay a premium for most everything.

    I am also a little concerned about the electronics in the GLX. VW has had problems with electrical stuff in the past.

    So I bought a 10-100K bumper to bumper from MasterGuard for $1000 as insurance against the nagging electrical problems, which can get into some pretty large numbers pretty quickly. I'll just suck it up and pay the premium for stuff that's not covered (which is routine maintenance).

    I don't have the concerns about service from the dealership that some people have expressed...but then I went to high school with the guy who owns the dealership.

    Finally, in all of the reviews I read about Passats, I found very very little that was negative. Most reviews ranged from positive to absolutely glowing. The same holds true for the people I talked to who owned Passats...without exception they loved their cars. (I am not a shy person...I'd walk up to someone getting out of a Passat and ask them how they liked their car.)

    The likelihood of making a good choice is in direct proportion to the amount of time you spend doing your research, which is easier than ever with the information available on the Web.
  • Hi. I’m thinking about getting a new Passat. Test drove a 2002 1.8T with manual transmission yesterday (base with the Monsoon sound system) and I have a few thoughts I would like to share on this forum.

    1. The car feels really slow starting off in 1st. Doesn’t really start making any useful power till about 3500 rpm or so and from then on it feels really strong (for a 1.8). Is this normal? I drive a ’98 Sentra SE and it feels a lot quicker off the line. The dealer did not have a 5-speed V6 on the lot and I was wondering if the V6 had more useable torque lower down in the range. Any impressions to share?

    2. The oem tires on the 1.8T GLS are 195/65R15s. What size tires do you get with the luxury package upgrade with the alloy 15-inch wheels?

    3. I could not find any prices on a dealer installed CD changer for the trunk. Are these readily available? What kind of prices do they typically sell for?

    Overall, I liked the driving experience, except for that bit of a dead spot starting off in 1st. The steering and the shifter feel good, the clutch travel feels a little long (imo) but that could probably be adjusted, and the car feels solid and well built with a lot of good stuff as standard. Will probably buy one within the next month or so, just need to decide if I want the 1.8 or the 2.8. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now. Thank you for responding
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    A good friend who's very knowledgeable thinks that the main reason some higher-end vehicles don't have AWD is because the demand isn't there. However, most of the Audi's have quattro, and supposedly the next-generation S-class will have a 4matic option. The C-class will also get a 4matic option within the next two years, supposedly. The new BMW 7-series design also accommodates later addition of 4wd.

    As it is, many of the higher-end vehicles are not front-wheel drive, but rear-wheel drive -- not sure how this adds to the equation.

    In Europe, they treat roads differently than we do. Roads aren't constantly plowed and salted, instead leaving a layer of snow and then sanding them. Many cars are chained and the chains are left on all the time during winter. They leave heavy-duty, studded winter tires on all the time. Supposedly this is one reason why many rally car champion drivers are Swedes.

    Since safety appears to be the highest priority for you, I'm sure your research has also shown that the Passat has done extremely well in the IIHS crash tests, and the EuroNCAP ( tests. Whereas the TL has not been tested by IIHS. However, it is heavily based on the Accord, which definitely did not fare as well ("acceptable," not "good"). While Acura claims the TL has much structural improvements over the Accord platform, I would speculate that it still wouldn't match the Passat's crash performance.

    The GLX 4motion may not have as much power compared to the TL-S, but it should be fine. Over the long haul, it may not be as reliable as the TL-S, but if safety is your top priority I'd go with the excellent quattro-based system.

    Some folks still claim the TL-S has a good amount of understeer when pressed.

    Did you also consider the Subuaru Outback H6 VDC (sedan or wagon variants)? Has a bit more power but a bit more weight, and adds stability control on top of a fine implementation of Subaru AWD (there are subtle but important differences in the AWD Subaru puts in its line, and this one has its best). Curiously, the Passat still beat it in Consumer Reports' emergency handling test, possibly because of a softer suspension, and that the Subaru's VDC isn't as aggressive as some other stability control systems (which some people prefer). Should be a very reliable vehicle. Does well in IIHS crash tests too but does not have side curtains, too bad.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    It really does lack torque,so you hit the nail right on the head. Sluggish take-off is a small complaint I have with mine. The 6 totally transforms it. It is a little pricey,but I didn't get it because of the interior wood that comes with it. I thought it a dated trim for an otherwise very modern,youthful design. If you like the wood,and many do,the 6 is a fun car to drive.
  • I have a 01 v6 gls passat sedan stick and the low end torque and pickup are great, a couple people have mentioned la driving conditions in traffic and I feel this engine combo is great for that, you pretty much can drive in second around town with great pickup, lousy mileage though in this condition, but very versatile. I am sure the tip trans. would be suitable for some, I just love driving it with a manual. Very smooth and slick. Just IMO.
  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    I talked with a few VW dealers and they made it sound like it was almost impossible to get a V6 wagon with a stick. Is this true? If getting that combination was possible would the V6 with Tiptronic be a better pairing? Thanks.
  • mandakmandak Posts: 2
    My preference is to buy or lease a 1999 or 2000 Passat GLS V6 automatic but nothing in my marketplace presently. An independent dealer has a 1996 Passat GLX VR6 with automatic transmission. It sounds noisy and feels whimpy when first accelerating. I'm spoiled because I test drove a 1999 and a 2001 (very quiet and strong acceleration). Any comments about the 1996. Also is there a way to verify whether the odometer has been tampered with; it only has 40,000 miles?
  • essencessenc Posts: 2
    Hi Passat owners:
    Other than the VW CD player what other options do I have? Anyone installed a non-VW CD player on the Passat?
  • Hey,

    Just bought a manual 1.8T GLS with leather and lux, love it so far. Just wondering if anyone else noticed the loud engine noise when starting the engine cold. Sounds kind of like a diesel for the first few miles (maybe not like a diesel, but kinda loud). Is this normal ?? Other than this, a great car so far,
  • Yes, I also notice that my 2002 1.8t engine is a bit loud at take off, but once the engine it heats the noise subsides

    Yes, you can order a Panasonic 6cd changer for the passat trunk that takes 5 minutes to plug and play. It is fullycompatible with the monsoon and can be ordered on line from, be sure to get the correct interface, total package was $245 including shipping.

    Take care and it is great that I can help as others have helped me.
  • Hi everyone--

    I'm in the market for a family sedan. With 2 boys, ages 4 and 1, (and of course 2 car seats), I need opinions on how family friendly the Passat is...Is the rear seat room adequate?; Is it a comfy/quiet ride for those 200 mile trips to visit the relatives?. Is there another SEDAN (please don't recommend a Mini Van or SUV) out there in the $30,000k range that perhaps would fit our needs better?. I've test driven the Passat, but only for a short run, and was very impressed...Thanks.
  • Birdboy's right. I did the 6 CD (in the trunk) player too. It's the CX-DP610EUC from Panasonic. I got it from Logjam Electronics. You need to get an adapter, which is available right there too. Slick as a whistle.
    From what I've learned, there's no aftermarket in-dash that's compatible with the Monsoon. If I'm wrong, will someone set me straight? Thanks.
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