Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

VW Passat Wagon vs Subaru Wagons



  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    My Father has not had 1 problem with his 2000 Passat 1.8t manual wagon with over 50,000 miles.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    CR and Edmunds editors don't have to pay for a car, not do they pay for service, repairs, gas, etc. So they just pick the one they like best. We, on the other hand, have to account for those factors.

    Oktoberfest! LOL. Check the build date, in the door jamb. :-)

    Definitely buy what you love. If the VDC doesn't do it for you, try the LL Bean, which has a different AWD system and weighs a little less. Or wait until the H6 engine is put in a GT model. Those are lower and much sportier, but for now only come in the 4 banger.

  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    Just like the CR and Edmunds editors,I picked the
    one I liked the best too...For those of you who are destitute, perhaps any car over 12k might not be a good choice. Heck if I can afford to maintain a BMW and 2 other cars I think I can keep just about any car in good shape. A friend of mine had a Maserati Bora restored and that thing was literally in the shop every other month!! I loved the performance of that thing ;-) If you ever get a chance to drive a real performance car jump on it! After that when people talk about 0-60 times in Passats or WRX's you be utterly unimpressed. If my Passat gives me the kind of reliability I have had with my other VW's and my BMW then I will be more than satisfied. For me the Passat is the better choice. For you the Subaru is the better choice and I see nothing wrong with that.

    I can appreciate (to a degree) the zeal and ferocity you Subaru owners display when defending your car of choice. But there is nothing to date you have said that has made me think twice about my choice. I'm not sure why anybody would start this thread anyway. The 2 cars have little in common. Perhaps that is why there is so little common ground between us. As you know I don't care for Japanese cars. (Trying really hard to be diplomatic here) The styling for one thing
    makes it easy for ME to not consider any of them to buy.
    There are only only 4 Japanese cars that I would consider nice looking cars. The original Datsun 240Z, the original Datsun 240Z, the mid 90's Camry, and finally,the original Datsun 240Z. ;-)Seems to be a pattern here LOL. But none of those are wagons.

    Gets back to the chocolate vs vanilla debate. If one doesn't like the taste of chocolate then you can debate till the end of time about how delicious chocolate is but they aren't going to change their opinion about chocolate if they prefer vanilla and absolutely despise chocolate.
    One can prattle on ad nauseum (well two have) with regard to Passat realiability problems but I know I made the right choice.

    Obrigado Irmao
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    The problem I have with Frapzoid's comments are that they are so condescending, like how could anybody compare the lowly Japanese Subaru Outback (or legacy)to the THE VW Passat. Actually, in my opinion, these two wagons are about the only two that do compare in that price range. I think they are both fine cars and appeal to different people. I prefer the looks, ride, stereo, quietness, and AWD system of my VDC over the Passat; others look at it differently.

    Concerning long term reliability, based on CU data, the VW brand is not nearly as good as Subaru's. I would personally not buy a car based on reliability alone, but if it is close to a tie, that would be the deciding factor. I got rid of my Volvo 850 wagon at 80k miles; the reliability problems were just too much. Reliability is like rolling the dice; how lucky do you feel versus the potential gain on your car preference. That's an individual decision.

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Love the 240Z, but there are other nice looking Japanese cars. Here is one that came out in The sixties - wonder where the Z got its design from?

    ; ^ )

  • syncopatesyncopate Posts: 4
    OK. Thanks people. I am getting the Passat GLX 4Motion. Tan leather; working on exterior paint choice.

    I particularly appreciate barkasy1's comments about life ling potatoe eating and ugly wives. Also, I see your point about Terminal Whiners and Passionate Owners.

    Anyway, I now have to get the best price on the car I want. I was considering just faxing all of the VW dealers within 100 miles with a description and offer of $1k over invoice. Suggestions?

    Thanks to all...

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    After all the ridiculing Dan Quale got, it should be impossible to misspell potato!

    : ^ )
  • barkasy1barkasy1 Posts: 44
    Sorry I got so excited I hit "Enter" by accident.

    $ 1,000.00 over invoice is too much! Give them about $ 500.00 (give or take $ 100.00) over invoice. The dealership gets an additional 2% holdback if they sell the car in the first month.

    Go to Edmunds True Value to see what others are paying.

  • bbgruntbbgrunt Posts: 3
    I just bought a Passat Wagon without even considering the Outback. Why? I live in the Denver Metro area and Outbacks are literally every 5th vehicle on the road. They probably outnumber SUVs and pickups.

    I just couldn't stand to be another one of the crowd! Might be a great vehicle, but far too many people own them here.
  • 5speeder5speeder Posts: 97
    Last weekend I tried to buy a GLS 5-speed wagon for $1050 over invoice. And they had just gotten the car on the lot a couple days earlier so I believe they'd've gotten ~$450 holdback, too. Lowest he'd go was $1200 over invoice so I walked. He claimed they wouldn't go lower because the car was so rare--one of the very few remaining '02s with no leather/no lux (just what I wanted!)

    Maybe the GLX w/ leather & 4mo is more available and you'll find them more willing to take something lower.

    frapzoid--I agree that the mid-90s Camrys are among the best looking Japanese cars ever produced. Bought mine brand new and still admire the styling--it's classic. Another choice is the early 90s Maxima--they still look good today! I have a 97 Max and never have warmed up to its looks. Nice drive, but I can't wait to dump it for a beautiful Passat!
  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    Pavlov gets his responses ;-) When this thread gets a little boring I know that all I have to do is to "ring the bell" and the Subaru dogs start to salivate oooops I mean they start posting like crazy! JUST KIDDING!!

    Mike--Looks like you walked into a trap of your own making. Where did I say that the Passat is a superior car in ABSOLUTE TERMS? The Subaru is the better car for you. Go back and read my comments again. Perhaps you read more into it than was intended. I did test drive a Legacy 2 years ago. It's a fine car but the looks were such that
    it was impossible to overlook the physical aspects of the Legacy and to tilt my impressions in the favor of the more positive attributes.

    Dudley-- That car looks like a cross between a Jag XKE and an Opal GT.

    Syncopate-- A fine choice Sir if I may say so myself! You would have been happy with either car.

    BBGrunt-- I understand how you feel about that. In Berkeley all the wagons are either Volvos or Subarus. I work on the SF peninsula and there aren't many Subarus there. The wagons of choice are Volvo,MBZ and BMWS. I wanted to be a little different and got a Passat. Snobbery runs rampant in that part of the Bay Area and the only Japanese car that is accepted with open arms is Lexus. Oddly enough though VW is somewhat looked down upon too but because they are a German company and VW owns some high brow companies like Lamborghini,Audi and Bentley, they get a passing grade in the acceptence factor ratings. In additon, some former BMW and MBZ owners have bought Passats. And no, I would not say a Passat is as good as a BMW or MBZ. But then I don't think Subaru is going to put Lexus out of business either.

    5Speeder-- Hmmm I got mine 6 months ago and I paid $200.00 over invoice. I was lucky because I wanted a V6 with stick and VW only sends about 5% of their cars with a stick to the US. Also getting a wagon/stick/V6 in the color I wanted was a stroke of luck.

    I have talked to many friends, clients, and Passat owners on the street and have asked them about problems with their Passats. When I have told them about people on Edmunds saying that Passats are unreliable they ask me if these anti Passat people are dealers who sell other cars. All I can say is that I have had good luck with my Volkswagens and my Bimmer too. I can honestly say that I have never seen a Passat broken down on the highway. To be fair, I can say that I have never seen an Outback/Legacy broken down on the highway either. I commute 65 miles round trip in one of the heaviest traffic areas of the country( San Francisco Bay Area with 6 million people and counting!) With all the stop and go traffic there are always a lot of cars on the side of the road with their hoods up waiting for the CHP. As I have said in numerous posts that if I had trouble with the first VW I owned then I would have never bought the second, third or fourth one.
    I go with what works for me. By the way, my 1991 GTI has over 212,000 miles on it and have only replaced belts and the alternator(@ 207k miles).I'm still on the original clutch too. Not bad considering all the stop and go traffic I have to deal with.

    Both the Passat and Outback are good cars. They appeal to different people. Test drive them both and decide. I can't say that in ABSOLUTE TERMS that one is better than the other. Both are good cars. Much to the displeasure of the Subaru camp, CR likes both cars. Imagine that!!! Passat owners chose one flavor and Subaru owners chose another...NOW GET OVER IT!!!! :-)
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Yes Frapzoid, you ARE Volkswagon's poster child, LOL! Heck, if I had a GTI that went 212,000 miles w/just routine maintenance & wear item replacements I would be a poster child too! Actually, that would be a good testimonial for any car, to be sure. :-)

  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Posts: 506
    Yes, the reality of the situation is that *both* VW's and Subaru's are good cars. I think us arguing over which is better is just nitpicking points. However, it just shows the passion each of us have for our own cars.

    Also, poster children are certainly not brand specific. For every brand, there is a poster child to be found. My good buddy still swears by GM products. It's not really indicative of anything except that guy had a good experience with GM products. I like Sony TV's and have had great experiences, but I have noticed that there are a few people out there who have had lemons. Who do you believe? I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Whether a VW or Subaru is reliable lies somewhere between the best and worst stories you've heard. I'm hoping that that car *I* buy is as reliable as some of the VW's that frapoid has bought. I'm never that lucky though and the closest thing that I've had to that story is a Honda Accord which is the epitomy of boring automobiles.

    If you really want me to talk about what I think are bad cars, let's change the topic to Ford or Chrysler vs Subaru etc.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We spent the last couple of weeks actively car shopping. Ended up test driving the CR-V EX, Camry SE, Highlander V6 (mostly for reference), Legacy L, and Outback LL Bean (for fun).

    She looked at an Accord but ruled it out. I also suggested the Altima, but she prefered the Maxima (out of our price range at $24k street price). Plus the Passat, but two strikes in that case - prices were higher and long-term reliability still unproven.

    Public perception lags years behind reality. She's expecting our 2nd child and got rid of her '95 626 because of reliability issues after the 6th year, so that was high on her list.

    We paid $17,827 for the Legacy L wagon, and before you say it's stripped, we got AWD, 4-channel ABS, 4 wheel disc brakes, A/C, PW/PL/PS, cruise, and keyless. Plus it's a roomy wagon.

    The same dealer sells Passats, and it's convenient to compare because they are no-haggle. Check out if you are shopping. Thing is, manuals are rare. I saw a sedan for $22.7k with a couple of options, but no wagons, not then anyway. Looks like they have 45 Passats in stock now, and just one single manual tranny for $27.5k. 4Motions start at $30,433, but are less than $1000 over invoice so shop there.

    But clearly they could not even come close in terms of price. We were willing to spend up to $20k, maybe stretch it a little, but that still doesn't buy a Passat wagon.

    The L is is closer to the Passat than the Outback, because it doesn't have the raised suspension. The Legacy GT is sportier than the Passat but offers more of the goodies you get in that price range.

    Still, the wife just wanted a family wagon. Ours has all the basics of a Passat wagon, plus AWD, for several thousand less. She drove it and liked it, so the choice was easy.

  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    Just wanted to check in and say hi to my Volkswagen and Subaru friends. Hoping you all are doing well...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hey Gary.

    Good news - found a 6CD changer that a WRX owner removed and sold to me cheap ($150), and just installed that in the Legacy.

    6 CDs in-dash, plus tape, plus weather band! Not bad for $150 and a couple of hours of work, eh?

    Also found a set of take-off alloys for next to nothing. Plus a rubber cargo liner and a leather shift knob (all OE). The Legacy is looking good and I've still only spent about $18,150.

  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Wondering what you've been up to. How's your summer so far? :-)
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Please join us in our Subaru Forester or VW Passat Wagon discussion. Thanks for your participation.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards

  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    Summer is good so far. I was wondering what kind of wax you guys put on your cars? We need more subjects to fight about oooops I mean debate about ;-) LOL Take care all...

  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    the last wax I used was Meguiers Gold. :-)

  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    I use nothing but Meguiar's and have been using their stuff for 25 years. This past weekend I washed the Passat with Meguiar's Gold Class car wash then used Meguiar's #7 show car glaze then Gold Class wax then #26 hi tech carnuba wax. Then I drove to the high class neighborhood and watched the snooty people checking out my ride LOL!!! Darn that's fun!! I used to do that with my BMW but it's more fun watching the rich folk giving my "lowly VW" that second long look and giving me the thumbs up sign. My Passat and BMW have good colors that sparkle when freshly washed. Passat is bright silver and BMW is silver blue. My BMW rarely got a second look in those same neighborhoods. Too many other BMW's there I suppose. For older cars like my GTI I recommend Maguiar's paint cleaner right after washing. It makes the paint look brand new. The Bimmer gets the full treatment this weekend. BMW paint is the best paint I have seen. I don't even wax that car very often and it still looks great. I like European paint in general. BTW the #26 carnuba wax is of Brazilian origin. Might of interest to Juice. But then I think all carnuba comes from there... Be good all :-) Hope all is well with you and your Subarus and Passats...

  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    As we know, brand loyalty between Subarus and VW owners has generated many lively discussions. Last night, I had a strange experience that punctuates this loyalty.

    My wife and I were leaving a restaurant to get into our WRX. Suddenly a guy, who had been in the restaurant, is banging on the passenger window scaring the kajeebers out of my wife; I rolled down the window part way and this guy announces that his Jetta, which is parked next to me, gets 45 miles to the gallon. He also said it was turbo and fast. Dumbfounded, I just responded that was nice and left as soon as possible. I am not suggesting that all VW owners are strange, but there is definitely one that is.

    Based on this small sample, I suggest that Jetta owners just might be the most loyal of all.

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    I had a Jetta (1986) and, though I put well over 100K on it before having it totaled I wouldn't buy another. After about 65K miles it began to nickel and dime me terribly. Drivetrain and electrical problems mainly, though I did have to replace a radiator and heater core (which nearly poisoned me as it leaked coolant into the passenger cabin). I'll spare the details unless asked later.

    In hindsight I guess I got my money's worth out of it but long-term reliability wasn't very good.

  • I just purchased a base level Outback wagon with a manual instead of a Passat GLS. I grew up driving VWs with a detour into a 95 Jimmy for 7 years (what a nightmare that was). I drove everything that was in my price range that could haul at least 60' of cargo and was German or Japanese, except for Toyota since I don't consider those to be cars but rather appliances. My choice came down to the OB vs. the Passat. I loved how the VW handled but the OB wasn't far behind and makes up for it with the AWD. The final choice was made for me since I couldn't find a VW with a manual. Now my husband seizes every excuse to drive the OB though he is a Maxima man himself. He just keeps repeating to himself, "I really like this car." (I foresee a possible WRX or OB sedan on his horizon).

    When I bought the OB, I didn't realize I was enlisting in a cult. It is so much more fun though, reading posts where people wax lyrical about their Subies rather than the typical posts in the Blazer/Jimmy world. Those posts usually are more like "I hate this *&^%$^*(* piece of trash". I hope to get at least nine or so years or relatively trouble-free and enjoyable driving with my OB.
  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    Yes it does border on being like a cult. I find myself making the sign of the cross when uttering the name Subaru. I'm finding out more and more about Subaru as time goes on. Just messing with you. Congrats on the new ride. I had my reasons for going with the Passat...I will never buy another BMW... If I get tired of VW any suggestions on what other brand of car I should consider? hahaha ;-)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Tell him to get his own Subie! :-)


    We even have our very own community page:

    -juice, Crew Chief and Founder of the Subaru Crew
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Posts: 506
    I am a pretty brand disloyal kind of guy. If you own a number of different cars, you find things wrong with all of them once you own one for a while. For me, life is too short to be a brand loyal person, there are too many nice cars to sample.

    Right now I love my WRX and its AWD system, Subaru's philosophy on functional design and AWD. If nobody else offers models w/AWD, I just might stick with Subaru for my next car also, unless my wife gets her wish for a new Mini. I really like my Miata but I will probably want a more rounded car (not necessarily a convertible) as a fun car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Saw this Auto Salon place in Rockville yesterday, that had 6 Coopers parked out front. Get this - $25,900! They were the BASE models, not the S. *gasp*

    They're not even a BMW dealer. They are next to one, but not affiliated, as far as I can tell. And the cars were being sold as used, not new. The monroneys were off the windows and all. I imagine it was just the mileage to buy them and deliver to the new dealership.

  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    I took my Passat up to the Sierra mountains for a few days. Those who say that Passats don't handle worth a darn would have been amazed. I was driving these mountain roads(altitude 7300 to 8000+ feet and curvy and sometimes narrow) with the same abandon I do when I drive my BMW and GTI up there. It's true that I don't normally drive fast or push the upper limits of my vehicles much anymore. That's something I have outgrown but it's still nice to see what a car can do. You younger guys do that on a more consistent basis. But I must say that is was exhilarating experience. I was also amazed how comfortable the seats were after driving four hours straight. Comparing the seats in my cars I would rate the BMW seats more comfortable for short trips and the Passat much better for long trips and the GTI would rate in the middle. I used to drive the GTI to Washington State and I used to drive 14 hours. Who would want to spend the night in Oregon? LOL Just kidding. Driving 75 to 85 MPH was the only way I could make it. Since I am a photographer, I would stop along the way quite often and take lots of pictures. Anybody shopping for Passats should not worry about the how the car handles up in the mountains. It does just fine and then some. I didn't drive off any cliffs LOL. The Passat convinced me that it might be time to sell my Autobahn Cruiser (BMW).

    Have you guys heard about a new VW Golf with AWD and 241 Ponies under the hood? Would love to see a comparison between that and a WRX. Speaking of comparisons, I was wondering what you guys thought of the comparison Car and Driver did a while back. They compared a Subaru H6 VDC, Passat 4motion, BMW 525xi and an Audi A4 Quatro. They all seem like good choices...They liked the A4 the best. Be well my Subaru and VW friends.

Sign In or Register to comment.