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Volkswagen Passat 2005 and earlier



  • claywaterfillclaywaterfill Posts: 534
    I have not been there in years, but Dwight Harrison in Snellville was good to my wife with her Jetta. They recently moved to their new location out 78 from Stone Mountain. I won't be in the market again until at least next summer, so I have not been there lately; but they treated her well a few years ago. Jim Ellis does not seem to want to help much. Maybe they are too busy trying to be nice to the Audi and Porsche customers instead of the VW customers. Porsche is moving to a new facility, so maybe they will have more room to be nicer to their VW customers. Which dealer did you have trouble with so I'll know for future reference? Thanks.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Much more succinct than mine -- but how appropriate. He obviously "gets" what is happening and my take is that he eagerly awaits the next steps in the VW's transformation. I, for one, hope that VW IS able to crank the prices up up up. But not for the current product, I am crazy but I am not insane!

    The entire product line goes upscale and up price -- VW and its new and some of its current customer base will benefit. Funny, Caddy's customers are "too old" and VW's are too young [sic] -- well not exactly, but in spirit. VW will improve its profitability by providing its customers an upscale path. Generally speaking, no one wants to drive a cheap car.

    Our local TV stations have been running "stories" on "what your car says about you." You may think this is shallow or at least not worthy of TV news time -- but what it says is that for a significant portion of our population -- a car is part of their image. VW wants to be part of the image of -- ummmm -- "moving forward," "moving upward," "growing affluence." It is hard to do without driving the product and the dealers who represent it to new heights and to raise the expectations of the consumers.

    The Phaeton, IMO, will be the "next big thing!"

    I read that it will be priced LESS than an Audi A8 -- now, if this is true, this makes the Phaeton start to seem like a bargain (relatively speaking). Of course, thus far, without the pleasure of a test drive, I still think the W8 is a "gift" from VWoA to the consuming public.

    And, thankfully, I'm starting to read a lot more W8 pleasers than bashers.
  • claywaterfillclaywaterfill Posts: 534
    I have not been there in years, but Dwight Harrison in Snellville was good to my wife with her Jetta. They recently moved to their new location out 78 from Stone Mountain. I won't be in the market again until at least next summer, so I have not been there lately; but they treated her well a few years ago. Jim Ellis does not seem to want to help much. Maybe they are too busy trying to be nice to the Audi and Porsche customers instead of the VW customers. Porsche is moving to a new facility, so maybe they will have more room to be nicer to their VW customers. Which dealer did you have trouble with so I'll know for future reference? Thanks.
  • dbmichaldbmichal Posts: 6
    I went to the two Jim Ellis dealerships, Marietta and Peachtree Industrial. Thanks for the feedback on Dwight Harrison!! I'll give them a try.
  • claywaterfillclaywaterfill Posts: 534
    Fill us in on your experience!
  • huskydawghuskydawg Posts: 15

    Does anyone know for sure when the '03 models will be available. I am interested in a GLX 4-motion wagon. The dealer told me that the '03 will be another six months wait. Is that true? Because the '02 4-motion/wagon is pretty rare in the Seattle area already. Especially in the exterior/interior color combo that I wanted. Also anyone know what's new with the '03?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    If you go back on this thread you will find an
    extremely extensive outline that I published about
    the Brand Standards Program...

    Maybe others will help with it's location...I am
    sure that is within the past 60 Days...
  • Are there any plans for VW to replace the 2.8 V6 with the 3.0 V6 from the A4?
  • tiger8tiger8 Posts: 120
  • arupsarkararupsarkar Posts: 7
    WOT = wide open throttle.
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    but I personally like the term World-Over-Taking, or Whomp-On-This!

    They give a little more meaning to it, IMO:)
  • dle01dle01 Posts: 37
    markcincinatti -- I have no background in marketing whatsoever, but I understand what you are saying. I do not agree with you, however. I have always found it curious that the german "luxury" cars we view as very upscale here in the states (BMW, Mercedes) are offered in a variety of clearly very affordable and "downmarket" models elsewhere in the world that are used as family cars, taxis, etc. VWs are still ubiquitous throughout Europe and the developing world as affordable, durable, basic transportation. I guess in the good old USA we have been marketed into beleiving that a Mercedes or BMW is really something special. Both of these companies have tried unsucessfully to offer entry level products that were somewhat affordable (MB 190; 318i hatchback). We have bought into this marketing persona they have created.

    So how is VW different? In my non-marketers view, it has a very positive image as a well built european vehicle that does not have to cost an arm and a leg. You don't have to be a doctor or a lawyer to own one and enjoy the engineering and driving dynamics of a well built car. Recently, probably starting with the B5 Passat design, they have also become stylish and trendy too. I think that's great. Vwguild keeps mentioning the cradle to grave concept, and I think that makes some sense. It presumes that some products will remain affordable to the average consumer like myself, while others become image leaders for those able and willing to spend alot more. An abandonment of the "lower end" of the market may be coming, but I'm not looking forward to it.

    I also don't think an expensive Jetta is a possible substitute for someone looking for a base model Passat. I like the Jetta, but it is too small.
  • georgek44georgek44 Posts: 81
    I pretty much agree with dle01's views. Mercedes Benz in particular has been very successful in selling cars in the USA as "luxury models" that in their home market are sold as taxi cabs and fleet vehicles.

    My Passat is a 2000 1.8T wagon. The only other car I considered seriously after a test drive was the Subaru Legacy wagon, either in the GT or Outback version. The Subaru may be better in snow than the Passat, but it is not nearly as pleasant to drive, and my personal experience is that the 1.8 Passat is more reliable. (Mine has 61K essentially trouble-free miles, and just passed a state inspection that included the pads and rotors. At the same mileage my 1994 Legacy had had the front-rear transmission clutches replaced under warranty, the oil and water pumps replaced at my expense and had gone through two sets of brake pads and a pair of front rotors.)

    I would buy another Passat today if I were ready to replace this car. My understanding, though, is that the next generation Passat will not share the A4/A6 platform. If it turns out to be just a fancier Jetta, I would instead begin comparison shopping all over again.

    The Passat 1.8 GLS is a bargain, providing amazing value for money. The same cannot be said of any Jetta currently sold in the United States. The Jetta wagon offers especially poor value when compared to the GLS 1.8 Passat wagon.

    I just hope that VW, in it's upwardly mobile striving, does not go the way of the Volvo division of Ford, or the SAAB division of GM. Volvos used to be somewhat expensive, boxy-looking and reliable. Now they are very expensive, stylish and unreliable. SAABs now are little more than fancy Opels with the ignition switch on the floor, and this is about to worsen. The next generation of SAABs will not have a hatchback version. Can you believe that? IMO, this is the dumbest marketing move since Datsun became Nissan, and promptly lost a third of its customers in the United States.
  • dle01dle01 Posts: 37
    I too owned a Subaru Legacy wagon before buying a Passat. We traded our Pathfinder for the Passat, and kept the Subaru as a second car because I was driving alot for work and thought that it would be more reliable over the long run than the truck. Big mistake. Mine was not quite a piece of ****, but close. I traded it at 91k when the whole transmission went. At that point I breifly considered purchasing a new 1.8t Passat wagon base model to replace it. That car was a steal for about $21,000 at the time, and WORLDS better to drive than any Subaru available at the time. Unfortunately, I didn't have the money and wound up with a used Ranger pick-up that I'm still driving when I can't steal the keys to the Passat from my wife.

    One other thing -- I didn't mean to infer that the next generation Passat would be a Jetta derivative. markcincinatti's argument was that if the Passat became out of reach financially, consumers in a certain price bracket should be satisfied to buy an upmarket Jetta.

    Do you (or anyone else on the board) know anything about the next generation Passat? If it will change to the Jetta platform and be built in Mexico I may want to order my Passat wagon now!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I see very little in your comments that I disagree with. And, my marketing background is limited to courses in graduate school, although I do own a small IT consulting company and must always be aware of marketing.

    I really agree, I have never thought of VW's as "cheap" cars -- I am aware that they went through some quality issues when the manufacturing started in Mexico, but I believe Dr. Piech made "quality, Job 1" (or words to that effect).

    I too, hope that there are, lower cost VW's on the market after 2005 -- the "grand scheme" of Piech's and his follow-on (sorry I won't attempt his name) seems to me to belie this, however. The grand scheme that I am referring to was in what ever month's issue of CAR magazine that was out about 5 or 6 weeks ago (perhaps the June issue?).

    In the magazine, the conclusion that was drawn and that the reader could possibly draw was for VW to move up. I don't think this means the end to a Jetta, for example, I think it may mean that the Jetta will move up content and up price. In the US, at least, even the bottom of the model range will have its, content, quality and price increased steadily but relentlessly for at least the next 3 or 4 model years, when the transition of "differentiation" between VW and Audi will be much further along.

    I am not saying LITERALLY that Jettas will be way way more expensive (although I think the term "expensive" is one of those relative terms, and therefore very subjective) but I do believe they will be considerably more costly to acquire than a bottom of the line one is today.

    In the US, there is no Audi A3, no A4 with a powerplant less than a 1.8T -- and many luxo touches are standard. I rented an A4 with a 1.6 engine, stick shift and front only power windows (in Germany) the car was great but it had 0 - 100kph acceleration "same day." Here in the US, what we get as the bottom of the model line is actually much higher up from the true bottom of the line.

    I suspect that, as I said, what we now call "GLX" trim levels will become, in effect, the entry level configurations for VW's (by calendar 2004, model year 2005). The price, therefore will not go up (in relative terms), it is just that model choices of a shall we say "lower cost" nature will no longer be brought to the US. The effect will be that the lowest cost Jetta of then (the future) will perhaps be closer to the highest cost Jetta of now.

    Mercedes missed the mark with the 190, BMW ditto with the "baby bimmers" -- perhaps Piech was correct, it is harder to go downstream than up. I do not claim to know what will happen, I just claim to have read a ton of magazine articles and web columns and the like to have arrived at the conclusion that VW and Audi will be highly differentiated over the years (2 - 5) and that VW will be attempting to compete as 95% of Mercedes in content at 80% of the price. Hence the Phaeton will compete with Mercs that cost 25% more than it will cost. The Passat will compete with the Mercedes "C" class perhaps, or maybe they will move even further up to make the Passat be (in someone's mind) a real alternative to an E class.

    Audi, too, will take a similar approach but will consider its rival to be BMW -- and Audi wants to be seen as a truly sporting luxury car -- VW and Audi, today, IMO, share too much for the NEW strategy to work, hence the temporary market overlap and -- for me -- confusion. I still think that a Passat W8 is a heck of a deal and when compared with an A4 or A6 MIGHT be attractive to some -- but not to those of us "in the know" by virtue of our participation on the Edmunds town hall.

    So, David, I don't know if you think we are still in polite, friendly disagreement or not -- I find that I am pretty much in "violent agreement" with your POV.
  • georgek44georgek44 Posts: 81
    I do not know where it will be built, but do recall reading that it will not be on the new A4/A6 platform, although it may continue to share some parts. Through sad experience, my own and that of friends, I would not buy a Mexico-assembled car. While VW's quality control there may be better than Ford's or Chrysler's it is not up to the standards of the plants in Germany, or Hungary, where the 1.8T motors are made.

    BTW - the transmission on our Legacy fully self-destructed at 115K miles, a few months after it had been serviced and inspected by a Subaru dealer. Subaru says that there is no generic problem with its transmissions, and that the dealer's "inspection" I was charged for is not intended to verify that the transmission is fit for continued duty, just that it seemed to be working the day they serviced it. Sure.
  • dle01dle01 Posts: 37
    Mark -- You clearly are well informed about VW/Audi's plans. "Violent Agreement" is ok with me. I certainly don't disagree with the facts of their move, but I still don't like it. I think VW could probably do just as well not to loose focus on their current market. Now the Passat is in the general class of "family sedans" that includes Camry, Accord, Taurus, Impala, Altima, etc. -- in short cars that can be bought well equipped for 20-25k, and top out at around 30k. There are alot of cars sold in this class, and VW has made many sales to first time customers because they cross shopped those cars and picked the Passat because it is superior in a number of ways. If VW wants to be the next Mercedes. . . well great. They will loose their exposure to people like me who will not cross shop the cars because they are clearly a "luxury" or premium brand, and most likely out of many peoples price range. So I guess I agree with your assessment, but again I don't like it. But I know nothing about marketing.

    George -- My transmission self destructed about 6 months and 10k miles after the dealer serviced it to replace a seal. I've always wondered whether Subaru transmissions are crap, or if the dealer did something. All I know is they gave me a great trade in deal for a car that was not in driving condition (acted a little guilty). There will be no Subarus in my future.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I found something to disagree with you on! And, I am almost certainly WRONG!

    I, for the life of me, cannot utter the words Camry and Passat together as if they are competitors. I know every car is at some level a competitor of every other -- but I do not look at the Camry as a sporting family sedan. I do, however, see the Passat in that light.

    Car and Driver television (Sundays on the TNN network) calls the new Camry a "fine appliance" that doesn't do much to stir the soul -- and they add, that's what most Camry buyers want.

    As I recall, they were far more enthusastic about the Passat.

    So while I suppose people do indeed shop for a Camry and a Passat ($ similarities) I cannot imagine one would ever confuse one for the other.

    I put them in separate, unequal, compartments.

    Told you I was almost certainly WRONG!
  • dle01dle01 Posts: 37
    Mark - again we have violent agreement. I heartily agree with your assessment of the two cars personalities. My sister has a fully loaded XLE Camry that she loves. I think its great to ride in but boooring to drive! The Passat is, in my calculus, a far superior car that is great fun to drive every day.

    But they are competitors. Of the other cars I mentioned (Taurus, Impala, Accord, Altima), only the Altima has as much or more sport in the equation (actually more, from what I've read). But they do compete based on configuration, size, and price.
  • imprtlvrimprtlvr Posts: 38
    Yes, the 3.5 Altima does offer much more "sport" than the Passat, but it has the "soul less" interior that plagues Toyota. I test drove the automatic last week, a beautiful car with black/black leather trim. It definitely looks more expensive than it is, but the interior has some very cheap plastic bits, not unlike Ford/GM cars. The Maxima SE with 6 speed would be my choice if I wanted to spend over 30k, but the rear end ruins it for me. The Passat is more well rounded than both of them however.
  • steveiowasteveiowa Posts: 51
    A wise man in his 70s once told me "The Japanese make cars for passengers; the Germans make cars for drivers." I used to do nearly ALL the driving. Then we traded our Camry for a Passat. Now SHE does all the driving (seriously)...I NEVER get to drive.
  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    I am shocked and appalled that some of you had trouble with your Subarus! I have an ongoing debate with Subaru owners on the "Passat Wagon vs Subaru Wagon" thread. They have informed me on numerous occasions that the Subarus are infinitely more reliable than our beloved Passats.
    They seem like straight up guys... would they be pulling my leg? ;-) hehehe... Of course I have wanted to ask them about the thread on Edmunds regarding trouble shooting Subarus but I haven't the heart to ask... :-) Hmmmm why would there be a need for such a thread if those cars are so bulletproof? These Subaru owners defend their car of choice assiduously and readily call into question the Passat reliability issue with gusto. The knock on Subarus I have heard about is they blow seals...I've had my 2002 Passat wagon almost seven months without even the slightest malfunction...Knock on wood (walnut trim on my dash) LOL. Actually a few of the Subaru guys are ok :-)
  • pkraddpkradd Posts: 358
    OK. Is the turbo on the 1.8 Tip always engaged? A salesman at my dealership said so.
  • furenafurena Posts: 1
    I need some advice. I am looking to get into a pre-owned Passat and have two potential choices: a 1998 1.8 w/ 55k miles or a 2000, 1.8T w/ 73k miles. The 2000 was driven by one owner, all highway (so I'm told). I test drove the 2000, and mechanically it appears sound. There's about a $2000 difference in the price of the two.

    What is owner experience with this car in the upper mileage range?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Are these Certified Pre-Owned VWs at a Volkswagen
  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    According to Consumer Report the 2000 would be the better choice. Based on what they say the '98 1.8 is the Passat Turbo to avoid. They do consider the '00-'01 1.8 Passat to be a reliable
    used car.
  • barkasy1barkasy1 Posts: 44
    Consumer Reports specifically targets 98's as the year to beware of. For $ 2000.00 difference, get the car that's 2 years younger for sure.

    Dave ;^)
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    no,the turbo is only spinning boost during acceleration. On mine,I can heara very faint whistle when it's working. At steady (even high)speed,it's at rest. That's the whole concept of a turbo. Here,4 cylinder economy most of the time,with 6 cylinder performance upon demand.
  • pkraddpkradd Posts: 358
    Thanks for the info, I kinda thought so. I do wish people working for VW would get their stories right! No problem, love the car.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Are you saying that you think the turbo is not turning at steady state speed. If so how is that accomplished?
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