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Volkswagen Passat 2005 and earlier



  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    I'm thinking of buying a Passat Wagon but hearing the horror stories of some unfortunate Passat owners has me hesitating. I have owned 3 VW's one of which is a 1991 GTI that I currently drive and it has 204,000 miles on it and never has given me any trouble at all. 204,000 miles on the clutch is remarkable. Had front disc pads put on a few weeks ago(3rd set in 10 years)and the mechanic and I were amazed at how new the rotors looked. In 10 years all I have ever done is tune ups, new belts, oil changes, brake pads and that's it. It's the best VW I ever had and it was made in Mexico! I love the GTI but's time for something bigger like a wagon. I also have a 3 series BMW but prefer the GTI! Go figure. I hope the trouble people are having with Passats happens to be a random thing and not indicative of how most Passats will hold up. I still like the Passat and will buy it soon. Hey VWguild... I live in Northern California and I was wondering if you could give a a deal... :-)
  • telainetelaine Posts: 29
    I have a 2001.5 GLX that I bought at the end of April. It's my first VW product. Prior the the Passat I had a base model Nissan Sentra that was trouble-free for 8 years. I do have some concerns about long-term reliability, but not enough that kept me from purchasing a car I love. I too did a lot of research before purchasing the GLX. The safety & styling won me over. I still haven't purchased the extended warranty. The sales people didn't push it at all. I've been happy with my dealership and have gone in for the routine servicing. As I've said before, because I live in the DC metro area, there are plenty of VW dealerships and I think that competition helps stimulate better service department quality. If you are thinking about buying the Passat, go visit the dealerships a few times. Have a friend go on a separate occasion and hear their feedback. You'll feel better about your decision if you do lots of research and get a feel for the dealership where you'll purchase and maybe have it serviced.
  • Thanks again for all of the great feedback. I think the bottom line is that no car is perfect. Hondas and Toyotas have problems just like any other car does. They are probably the most reliable cars out there these days, but American and European auto makers have made great strides in improving the quality of their cars to the point where they are nearly equal with the Japanese.

    This is going to be such a hard decision to make, but knowing I can get an extended warranty might sway me towards the Passat. I prefer the looks, the large amount of standard features, the safety, and the "fun factor" of the Passat over the Camry/Accord. I think any of those three cars will be an excellent choice to be honest.

    Anyway, thanks again for everybody's input. I'll continue to watch this board and maybe I'll be able to offer some advice as a new Passat owner in the near future :)
  • I love it when people try to bring logic and rationality into car buying. If that were the case, you would NEVER buy a new car. You'd always buy a three year old car and keep it for seven years, which is the PROVEN most economical decision.

    But logic and reason have less to do with it than emotion. When I park my Camry, I lock it and walk away without a glance back. When I park my Passat, I lock it and walk away BACKWARDS so I can look at it.
  • bitburgbitburg Posts: 15
    Some (not all) of these VW dealerships are bad. I am about to buy a Passat GLX 4motion which will be my first VW so I have no experience with maintenance. However, I did notice that after talking to several salespeople at dealerships that I knew more about the car than they did! That's pretty sad. One a test drive, one guy told me that you had to stop the car before you put it into "Tip Mode." Then he went on to tell me that there are only 3 gears in tip mode and when I asked him where on the dashboard does it display what gear you're in he said "it doesn't, you just have to know." Another sales person insisted that the seats folded all they way down on the 4motion when I told him they didn't. He was embarrassed when he took me onto the showroom and couldn't find the lever to pull the seats down and realized I was right. I just feel that if I'm paying $30K for a car I should be talking to someone who knows what they are talking about. On top of that, I called one of the guys back and asked him for a price and he said $32,125!! That's MSRP!! I told him that he was crazy and to call me back with a "real" price. I wouldn't have bouth it from him anyway because I know I would have gotten bad service. Anyway I'm still getting the car and I'll just look for a halfway decent dealer. I think the fact that we are all educated consumers (by sharing info on boards like this) puts these salespeople at a real disadvantage. If VW plans to move upmarket with the V8 and D1, they better get some salespeople. In the meantime I'll get the best price I can for my GLX 4motion and drive off into the sunset!!
  • mulfomimulfomi Posts: 56
    I couldn't agree more with your statement about car buying being a rational decision and I absolutely look at my car when I walk away from it as well!!

    Bitburg, who cares if the salesman doesnt know as much as you. I have come across that as well. Just proves how smart you were to do your homework and learn everything you could about the car(s) you were considering for purchase. I rarely have questions for a car salesman other than price issues.

    I have had my Passat since June and had it back at the dealer for its 5,000 service and have been happy with the dealer for both sales and service.

    I bought the 1.8t and intend to keep it for 8-10 years and had no qualms about doing so. I have owned 2 Hondas and 1 Toyota and I enjoy the Passat so much more.
  • bitburgbitburg Posts: 15
    Your absolutely right! However, it did surprise me how little they knew about what they were selling. I'll give a good salesperson a good commision if I'm getting service.....but the guys I've spoke to so way! But it is still a great car and as long as I know the car/terms of deal I can't lose. Education is power!!
  • hk6hk6 Posts: 6
    bitburg. I had the same experience with salesmen when I bought my 2002 Passat. I new more about the car then they did. But as mulfomi said, who cares? Thanks God they didn't make the car. VW engineers did and did very good job. As steveiowa said, I also, when I park my car, go backwards to look on it and that pleasure worth everything even if it's not as reliable as Hondas and Toyotas.
  • kelfkelf Posts: 83
    Do we have any details on this new model?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Most of the car magazines have had something lately; I think the most recent issue of Autoweek [10/22] featured a rundown. The world in general is very skeptical of how successful this project is going to be...certainly the dealer body here in the States has a long way to go to face up to its responsibilities to people spending this kind of money. You might check Autoweek's website in a week or two...they often post articles after the print issue has been out for a couple of cycles.
  • timtrantimtran Posts: 29
    Check there is a whole report about the car. Sure looks like VW is going to give MB and BMW a run for their money.
  • I have the new 2001.5 passat. I have been looking around for replacement wiper blades for my vehicle without success. if anyone has bought em from any other store than vw parts please leme know cause the price from the dealership sucks.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    In case anyone here missed it, we have an active discussion underway at this link: Volkswagen D1 - Why?

    Sedans Message Board
  • Excellent point about the fact that only part of the decision to buy a car is based on pure logic (for most people, anyway). If there were no emotional component, these boards would not exist and flourish like they do. In fact, based on just rational thinking, I wouldn't even dare think of trading in my Camry. I have no logical reason to do so, yet here I am thinking about it. My family thinks I'm nuts, but they don't have the same enthusiasm for cars that I do, so they just don't understand.

    I guess that's why the "Passat Passion" is alive and well in many Passat owners. Even with those people who experience minor problems, many of them still say they love their car in spite of that.

    Who knows, maybe one day I'll throw caution to the wind and take the Passat plunge!
  • try the 1.8T manual in the 30mph to 80 mph range, and you'll dump the Camry.
  • I could not find an alternate source for wiper blades; the airfoil on the drivers side and the curved passenger-side blade limit your options. I bought a set of refills from my dealer for about $8. Installation took about ten minitues and was not overly difficult.
  • mwhittmwhitt Posts: 69
    had my first taste of VW service today at Crestmont Volkswagen in NJ. what a downer. i understand what the complaints are all about now. Disorganized, slow, people yelling about 2nd and 3rd time in and stuff not being fixed. Great sales experience there - but if this is any indication of what's in store for the next few years, we may regret the decision to try a VW. we love the car - but this was ridiculous. made my ford dealer look good and that is hard to do. all i can say is i hope we never have anything serious go wrong so i don't have to deal with the gang that couldn't shoot straight. anybody know anyone that provides good VW service in northern NJ.
  • I posted earlier to say VW dealerships had a poor reputation. As a general thing, no matter what car you drive you are more likely to respect the car itself than the dealership that sold and services it. But some auto makers have done much better than others at lining up, training and keeping good dealerships. I just saw a survey on this. Admitting that surveys will always vary, the top dealerships in terms of customer satisfaction were (in order) Saturn, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Saab and Honda. The worst dealerships (in order from bottom up): AM General (Hummer), Daihatsu, Porsche, Suzuki, Bentley, Jaguar and Daewoo.

    VW was near the bottom, 35 out of 42. VW dealerships were ranked just below Cheverolet and just above Daewoo (ouch!). That doesn't mean all VW dealerships suck, just most.

    Maybe someone with inside information can clue us in on this. I'd assume it is hard for a car maker to get and hold good dealerships when their product lines are not moving well. VW faded as the Japanese cars began coming on strong in the 80s and 90s, and now that VW has caught fire again with the current Jetta and (especially) Passat it finds itself with hot cars and mediocre dealerships.

    If anyone wants to see this survey, it is found on the Car Talk site under "Actual Car Information" and then under "Surveys."
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Actually, we've had this discussion several times over, including the participation of insiders like Guild.

    To sum it up quickly: when the brand all but died in the US, no one cared much. Now that they want to be another Mercedes, they care, but the franschise laws that dominate the business in this country give the manufacturer limited choices about moving dealers in the right direction. VW can use both carrots and sticks in the quest to get these people straightened out, but first, it is a lengthy process, and second, in some states you have to prove something close to downright fraud to pull a franchise.

    Eventually the various incentives [allocations based on CSI, financial incentives, etc.] available to VW will probably start to make a difference, if they are strong enough and persistent enough...but this is a cautionary tale.

    When you start with a high standard from scratch [Lexus, Saturn] and make it part of the franchise agreement, you have a better chance at keeping things consistent. Playing catch-up in dealer service is very, very difficult because the law is all on the side of the dealer...Ford just tried to use a carrot/stick approach on this topic, and immediately got dragged into court by the dealers' association, and is still spending millions on lawyers...all in the name of getting these people to behave as if the customer really matters.
  • mandakmandak Posts: 2
    Well, I'm "hooked" on the Passat and plan on leasing a 2002, but not for eventual ownership. The dealer keeps telling me that VW does all the valuations and there is no room to adjust the interest rate, selling price or residual price. So where is the wiggle room, any ideas?

    I'm used to the quietness and power of a V6 engine, but test drove a 2002 1.8 turbo automatic. It's power was impressive but not as quiet as the V6. What should I keep in mind in making my decision?

    I also enjoyed a 2000 1.8 turbo manual but I sure had trouble shifting and talking on the cell phone. Is there a good hands-free set-up that works well for the Passat? Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    The dealer is correct regarding Money Factor &
    Residual, although they can RAISE The Factor they cannot lower it...The residual is, indeed, fixed.

    I would suggest you fix your price first and then
    determine the financial instrument second...
  • kb123kb123 Posts: 5
    I only purchased in Rochester Hills & have had service in Kansas City area, so hope this helps.
    My husband Reallys likes the Passat...although I am trying to get him to trade in what w/interest rates @ 0 or low %.
    Good luck in your auto venture. kb123
  • mike767mike767 Posts: 20
    Three days old and 250 miles on my new 1.8t tip Passat and the problems have already started. My check engine light went on after 85 miles of driving the car from the show room. The gas cap was on tight(usual culprit). Two days later I took the car to my VW dealership to see what was the problem. They told me it was the secondary air pump. After an hour they cam back to me and told me there was a wiring problem with the car and the tech called it an electrical nightmare.

    I enjoyed driving this car and hope too soon, but with its current reliability, it looks like the lemon law will come into effect and go back to a car brand(Toyota) that has never let me down in 9 years of ownership.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    What kind of electrical problem the tech was referring to?

    Sorry to hear about your problems with your new car...frustrating to say the least.
  • gymshoegymshoe Posts: 80
    is $30k a good price for a GLX 4Motion?
    i just found out from a dealer around the Seattle area and there are no GLS V6 4Motions anywhere in the area and won't be getting any for 2-3 i gotta settle for either a normal GLS V6 or a GLX 4motion.
    argh...but they said i could get a GLX 4Motion for a little less than only a couple hundred dollars less.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    for $30K you should not have to settle for
  • gymshoegymshoe Posts: 80
    okay..perhaps settling for a glx was not the right wording. The dealer was quite nice about it. They said they didn't have and couldn't locate any 02 gls v6 4motions, and asked if i was sure i needed the 4motion, cause i would be able to save a bundle if i didn't really need it. I don't often hear dealers trying to persuade me to a less expensive car. They didn't even mention the glx 4motions...i asked.
    so...if i decided to enrich my life and empty my pocketbook for a glx $30k for the car a good price?
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    The best advice is to stop chatting on the cellphone and do what you should be doing, DRIVING! Of course you can't drive a 5-speed and chat. Most people can't drive an automatic and talk on the phone.
  • If you're using a hands free headset (like you should), a manual won't make a bit of a difference.
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