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VW Passat Wagons (GL, GLS, GLX & W8)



  • alfoxalfox Posts: 716
    I too would like to know about a Passat diesel, wagon or otherwise.

    As for the build quality and reliability, according to every rating and review I have seen addressing the '99+ Passat design, build quality and fit/finish have improved to class-leading and reliability is about average or a bit better.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Well, on the diesel...who really knows? It's been speculated that when the re-formulated diesel fuel becomes available in the US, that a diesel Passat might been in the mix. On the other hand, VW has periodically made noise about a diesel Passat before, and it never appeared State-side. Plus, there are no other diesel cars offered by any other manufacturer other than VW. You could argue that it's a distinguishing point in the marketplace, or you could argue that there's no demand. So, who really knows? Maybe VWguild can step in with a response.

    Reliability -- well, Consumer Report says it's improved.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I would be a huge fan of the Passat diesel wagon.

    re: reliability The Passat has improved from slightly below average to slightly above average in recent years, on top of that the average car is more reliable than it used to be so the improvement is better still. Of course there can still be problems.

    I had a 1980 scirocco (was average reliability at the time, but average was much worse than it is now) that went 180,000 miles, and it was very reliable. I put 120,000 of those miles on and spent less than $300 in repairs (did labor myself - never had to replace the clutch). My father has a 2000 Passat wagon, with 65,000 miles, and has not put a penny into repairs(original clutch brakes etc). Did put on new tires, and recently a new battery though, but I consider them to be normal wear items.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    VW, count me in as another vote for the 1.9TDi version. I would love to buy a frugal workhorse (read: wagon) made by a good company and NOT assembled in Mexico.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I had an 87 Golf that, iirc, made Consumer Report's recommended list that year. Brakes lasted 70,000 miles. First exhaust was around that mileage, too. It made a funky sound in low gear (5 speed) while descending steep hills (no one ever diagnosed that), but it never marooned me. Two pretty good accidents finally did it in.

    So, reliability-wise, some VW's are okay.

    Be careful what you ask for hwyhobo...some of the VW production is now Brazilian.

    The only German-made VW's available in the US are the Jetta wagon, all passats and the Eurovan, right? Everything else is Hecho en Mexico and Product du Brazil.
  • frapzoidfrapzoid Posts: 127
    Bought a Passat wagon a year ago(2002 model)and have not problems so far. Today my 1991 GTI's odometer clicked over to 220,000 miles which isn't bad in light of the fact that GTI's weren't rated very high. Original clutch and nothing major done to it. Alternator at 206k and CV joints at 216k were the only repairs worth bringing up. I don't expect any car to be as trouble free as my GTI but I do hope my Passat wagon does pretty well over the long haul.
  • jb18tjb18t Posts: 25
    Just passed 5K on my 2003 GLS Wagon and not a thing wrong as of yet....Bought the WeatherTech(MacNeil Automotive) cargo perfect!
    Noticed a Passat V6 4Motion Wagon in the parking lot at Raymoor and Flanagan....looked just like mine except for the many wheel choices were there for the 2003's?
  • One for each trim line, except for the W8 which has two. What you saw were the 16-inch alloys on the GLX, which in addition to being an inch bigger than the GLS wheels also have a different design.

    GL: 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers
    GLS: 15-inch alloys
    GLX: 16-inch alloys
    W8: 16-inch alloys (different design from GLX)
    W8 with sport package: 17-inch alloys

    For a look at each see
  • jb18tjb18t Posts: 25
    Thanks CaseCom2 for the information.
  • I am trying to decide on a wagon. Any opinions on BMW 525i vs. VW Passat W8?
  • Either car would be a good choice. The 5-series are by all accounts excellent cars. However there are some factors in the W8's favor: a more powerful 270-hp engine, which Edmunds timed at 7.2 seconds for 0-60 compared with 8.8 seconds for the BMW's 184-hp 6-cyl (auto); the W8's AWD compared with the BMW's RWD; the W8 is $1,000 to $3,000 less depending on how many options you'd want on the BMW.

    The W8 has xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers and heated seats standard; those are options on the BMW. With the BMW you can get a stick; a six-speed manual on the W8 won't be available for a few months yet. The BMW also has options you can't get on the W8, such as onboard computer, nav system and that rear-bumper sensor system.

    The W8 engine will likely be around only for a couple of years; looking years down the road it might be tough and/or expensive to get a short-lived engine like that repaired.

    Either way, you'll be getting a great car.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Doesn't the W-8 have the onboard computer - even the base Passat has that, or is this a fancier computer that the BMW has?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    does have an On-Board Information System, but no NAV...And although there is plenty of rumor that the W8 may not have a long life assured that there will be no difficulty in getting one serviced...ever, regardless of it's
    ultimate fate. Just consider all of the old Westphalia Campers and Diesel Rabbits still on the road...
  • I am thinking of buying a 1.8T Passat Wagon, and am curious how it handles in the snow. I plan on using this as my ski car, and I want to get a feeling that it will work well. Let me know what you think.

    The other car I am thinking about is the Subaru Legacy which I am sure handles well in the snow given the all-wheel drive.
  • alfoxalfox Posts: 716
    pulled quite well in unplowed fresh snow up to 6" or so. Until recently I had the OE 15" Continental tires - I would expect Michelins to do better. Directional stability was as good as any other 2WD car I've driven. Ground clearance is the limitation, and since the entire underbody is clad, the bottom works like a toboggin. The car moved in unplowed snow up to about 8", but then gradually built up a wedge underneath that left the drive wheels off the ground. I'm satisfied with mine, and now know it's limits.

    I would expect the Legacy to be better, but the Legacy Outback to be much better because of the added ground clearance as well as the AWD.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Put snow tires on the Passat and you will be much safer in the snow than an AWD. If you live in an area where snows are not appropriate (except for ski trips) Nokian now makes an all weather tire that is approved for severe snow duty (mountain and snowflake symbol).

    I have snows on my Integra, and I go wherever I want whenever I want in the winter. The roads are always closed way before I have a problem. The heavier Passat with traction control should do even better.
  • mehuljmehulj Posts: 15
    Hi All,

    I'm new to this forum. I had been reading your posts often and I found it quite interesting. I want to buy a VW wagon. Which one should I buy Passat or Jetta ? And why ?

    I would also like to know what are pros and cons of TDI v/s 1.8T.

    thanks in advance.

  • jb18tjb18t Posts: 25
    I too was trying to decide between the two wagons. The back seat seemed a bit smaller in the Jetta Wagon. Cargo space was less also. I was worried that the 1.8t would not be powerful enough in the larger Passat. Thought milage would be better in the Jetta. Fit in finish to my untrained eye seemed very similar between both. Chose the Passat due to the height and leg length of my daughters.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Feel free to start up a VW Passat vs Jetta discussion on the Wagon's board if you'd like. Good luck with your decision. ;-)


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    Altair4, I know that some of the VWs sold in the US now come from Mexico. That's why I was interested in Passat station wagons, as they are still made in Germany.

    To be completely honest, I would most like a full-size, RWD station wagon like Crown Vic or Grand Marq., but Ford seems to have abandoned that market segment, and I cannot afford some of the more exotic alternatives (and I will NOT buy an SUV).
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Wagons built in the Puebla, Mexico Facility...
    VWDM produces all of the New Beetles for Worldwide Distribution and Jetta Sedans for No.
    America...This facility has been operational for the past 30 years...

    All Passats are built in either in the Mosel or Emden, Germany plants. Jetta/Bora wagons are built in Wolfsburg...
  • jb18tjb18t Posts: 25
    A great experience......I read quite a bit about VW/Porsche/Audi Dealers being rather rude to customers.....I had my 5000 mile service performed at Wyoming Valley Motors this week and it was a great experience! In addition to prompt courteous service they washed the car as part of the $32 fee! Car was done in one hour as promised. All that and I didn't even buy my 2003 Passat GLS Wagon from them!
    The only problem is I walked the lot and saw a few gems I would like to buy....a 99 Passat GLX Variant...a 99 Audi A4 Avant....a 2002 Golf 1.8t 4 door...ect.ect.
  • Hi, am new to the discussion and am getting a wagon with grey leather and was thinking of Fresco but was worried about the combo. Has anyone seen this?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    and Grey Leather is one of the most popular
  • okioki Posts: 6
    My wife chose the above color combo. The two colors match well, but dirt and scuff marks are easily seen on the beige leather. If it were up to me I would have picked the grey interior because it's easier to maintain. As for the fresco green, a number of people have come up to my wife in parking lots, gas stations, etc. and commented on how nice the color is.
  • wdubswdubs Posts: 27
    I bought a Fresco Green GLS w/black leather about a month ago. My wife and I love the color combination and receive lots of compliments on it. My dealer had to search out of state to find one in that color with a manual transmission. This is the first wagon that I have owned. I would definitely recommend it.
  • Hi Fellow wagon enthusiasts,
    I just purchased a 2003 Passat Glx for 29,132.
    Did I get a good deal.

  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Congratulations!!! Welcome to the Volkswagen Family!!!

    If you signed the contract then you are comfortable...And that is ALL THAT MATTERS...Enjoy your new car, and if you want I have a special cheat sheet for Programming the
    Memory Seating...Send me your Fax # and I will send it over to you...Happy Thanksgiving!
  • I have a 1999 Passat Wagon with 38,000 miles on it. Recently, I noticed a grinding sound when I put the brakes on and have been told I need to completely replace both my front and rear brakes. I've owned two Acuras and never had this problem. Does this seem right?
  • whskvs2,

    I suspect that this diagnosis came from a VW dealer's service dept. If so, take your car to a good independent repair shop, preferably one that specializes in VWs for a second opinion. Many VW dealers are infamous about hyping up problems with customers' cars just to generate revenue. Such practices only perpetuate concerns in many people's minds about the reliability of VWs.

    I have a '99 GLS (sedan) with nearly 70,000 miles which have the original rotors and pads. Every time I bring it in for an oil change I have them check the brakes. I do sense that the brakes will need some work soon (they perform fine but not quite like they use to). But considering my previous '94 Integra needed new pads all around with less miles, I don't think that is too bad.
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