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Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry vs. Volkswagen Passat

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Comments

  • Bofore looking at the Passat problems and Solutions forum here on edmunds, I too thought that the coil issue was the one that put a mark on this eecellent auto, but after reading through the forum, the variety of problems is mind numbing. This is a car that even VW has forgotten about, what with them getting the new version out soon.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    Passat reliability for 03' is very good in Consumer Reports 2005 Buying Guide, in fact the pattern indicates that VW reliability has been steadily improving each year. It's actually as good as Accord and Camry for 03', better than Mercedes (which is not saying a lot lately) and better than BMW, especially the 7 series.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    According to consumerreports.org, predicted reliability for the FWD gasoline Passats remains at average, while the comparable Accords have predicted reliability of better than average. And the V6 AWD wagon is listed as much worse than average.

    As for other VWs, the Touareg is predicted to be much worse than average and the Jetta, Golf and New Beetle are predicted to be worse than average. This compares to the Pilot at better than average and the Civic at much better than average. Comparisons to Toyota are similar, with both Camry powertrains predicted at much better than average, along with the Highlander, Corolla and Echo.

    So when you look across the entire VW lineup, VW is still significantly behind their biggest Japanese competitors in overall reliability.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    That seems to contradict the reliability reports in the 2005 CR Buying Guide which shows improving reliability up to 2003 where the Passat is listed as better than average reliability. Obviously they don't have long term data on newer models yet, but the trend is in the right direction.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    I haven't received my 2005 Buying Guide yet... when I do, I'll check the nature of the discrepancy between the guide and the web site and ask for clarification. One of their online experts is a Passat owner, so he knows those stats very well.
  • There's an ad on The Oregonian today for a 2003 Passat GLX V6 4Motion with 18,000 miles, fully loaded for $17.5k. I thought it was a very good buy for such a fine vehicle so I decided to do a quick research. Many of the posts regarding the reliability of this car were not very good including a few that were quite nightmarish. But your link to that CNN Money site was the final blow. My research has abruptly ended.

    I owned a few VWs during the late 70s and early 80s, 2 Sciroccos and one Rabbit Cabriolet. They were fun to drive and actual quite "cool" to own, I must admit. But there were always something. I remember there was more than just a few days living without a simple form of transportation. But then I was much younger and did not want to drive Japanese... Not until the BMW 325 came in the late 80s. Talking about nightmare. An expensive nightmare but it should belong in a different post.

    Well, after all these years of building cars and nothing but cars, VW story is still pretty much the same in term of product quality? It's difficult for me to accept that with all the new technology in manufacturing available in this day and age.

    I'm going to keep my 11-year-old G20 with 180k miles for another few years.
  • The upward trend might be due to the fact that the Passat is more than a 7 yr old platform. How the new one fares will decide whether VW makes the reliability list or gets off it completely.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I have a '04 Passat, so I may benefit from the 7 yr old platform. But, the sad part is, it took VW 6+ years to get the bugs worked out!!!!
  • You know, it might be better for prospective Passat buyers to buy this version, before the new one coes out, as both the reliability as well the deals might be better.

    Enjoy your car. I always wanted to buy a Passat, especially for the excellent interior, but somehow never did. Maybe the next version.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I really look forward to reading about the new Passat in the trade mags. It will also be interesting to see how VW addresses the quality issues that are currently plaguing them. If the new batch continues on the same path, VW is in deep trouble.
  • hmurphyhmurphy Posts: 278
    I'm not sure that quality issues would put VW in "deep trouble." After all, the issues have been there for a long time, and people keep running out to buy pretty Jettas and Passats.

    I can't tell you how many people I know who want a VW and don't have a clue about their reliability. They're cute, sporty-looking cars, and that's all a lot of people know or care about.
  • It appears you're right that for now, VW isn't in "deep trouble" but, it is in trouble.

    Recent articles in Fortune and Businessweek have essentially reported that while VW is still making money, it is rapidly losing market share and profits.

    Fortune on North America performance: "The resulting drop in volume has meant that VW's operating profit in North America fell to $65 million, from $769 million, in the first half of 2003." Reference: http://www.fortune.com/fortune/subs/article/0,15114,490823,00.htm- - - l

    Businessweek: "VW's share price has fallen nearly 50% since then, wiping out $11 billion in market capitalization as profits plummeted at the $150 billion company." Reference: http://www.keepmedia.com/ShowItemDetails.do?itemID=517766&ext- - - ID=10030

    There's another publication which I can't recall offhand which reported that the VW CEO is intensely aware of - and considers it top priority to address - their quality problems (and growing reputation as a low-reliability carmaker).

    As a businessman who cares for stockholders and the companies they invest in, I wish all businesses succeed at what they do. However, the hard reality is that management philosophies and practices can and do fail, and changing a company's trajectory is like steering an oil tanker (Nissan/Infiniti is the exception).

    To make a VW as reliable as a Honda or Toyota, it would have to overhaul its supply chain strategy that dictates the design, engineering and quality control of mostly secondary mechanical, electrical and electronic components (like computer chips, a/c system, etc.) that determine whether a car starts up in the morning and continues to be operational the rest of the day for at least 100k miles.

    If Nissan made its turnaround in less than 2 years with extreme measures, VW might be able to do it in 3 or 4. Hopefully.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    Once again, Passat reliability for 03' is very good in Consumer Reports 2005 Buying Guide, in fact the pattern indicates that VW reliability has been steadily improving each year. They don't show anything newer than 03' because these are long term results.Passat is actually as good as Accord and Camry for 03', better than Mercedes (which is not saying a lot lately) and better than BMW, especially the 7 series.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    And again, their web site shows only average reliability, and that's by far the best showing for any VW on that site. I'd like to find out why these 2 sources differ before we claim that all is well with VW reliability. I can't help but be a bit skeptical about the accuracy of the score in the Buyer's Guide, since it's so dramatically different than anything shown by any other CR resource that I've seen regarding the Passat, and it runs counter to the supposedly most up-to-date information (their claim) on their web site.
  • Volkswagen engines burn large amounts of engine oil, (one quart every 1,000 miles)! Why would anyone knowing about this problem,(and it is all over the "net"),want to purchase these vehicles? Volkswagen thinks this is "normal"! ----Do you as an owner, or potential owner, think that this condition is normal?
  • I do not want to be noticed on the road, I want a "quality" vehicle, and Volkswagen with it's engine oil problem is not a quality product!
  • How much mileage was on these vehicles? I have a 2003 4 cylinder Accord with 40,000 miles on the clock, and the transmission shifts very smooth. I also change the fluid once a year.
  • I do not understand the dealer's statement that in order to get this "great price on this vehicle", the car must leave the dealer the same day! ---- That is really "High Pressure Sales Manipulation"!---- In addition, you had to pay for temporary insurance. Was this insurance policy the same coverage as the AllState policy on you old vehicle? This is a bad deal! I would never take delivery "on-the-spot"! And, I would never take deliver on a vehicle until I had an insurance card from my regular insurance carrier covering the vehicle completely.------ As the customer, with the money, I call the terms and conditions of the delivery process, not the dealer! If they do not like that arrangement, I walk to another dealer. ---- Do you really think, that if you took delivery at a later date,(with the proper insurance coverage), he would not have sold you this vehicle at the same price? He / she is in the business of selling cars, not training customers! They want to move this vehicle and make some money!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Your logic make ZERO sense. I have owned 2 VW's and neither one has burned any oil (I even previously owned the notorious oil burning 2.0 engine). But, if I used your logic my thought process would go as follows: I would do research on the net and elsewhere and would find out that some VW's consume excess oil. I then decide I would never buy a VW because I MIGHT get a vehicle that is affected by this oil consumption issue. But, if you do the same research on ANY make of car you would come to the same conclusion. Some Honda Accords have been affected by transmission problems (my wife's Accord's transmission went out at 70K miles) and therefore Honda's would be off my list. ALL car company's produce bad vehicles. With every car purchase one risks that they will own a problematic (lemon) car. Granted, VW's tend to have more problems than most, but I seem to of gotten 2 good examples and I am sure there are thousands more like me out there.

    As far as VW saying these oil issues are normal, that's just bad business.
  • I enjoyed reading your posting, but your logic leaves a lot to be desired! If you take the time to check the "net" on this subject, you will find out that it is not just a few cars that have this problem. I own a 2003 4 cylinder Honda Accord, because the V6 Accord has transmission problems, and I do not want to deal with the issue. QUESTION: ----Why would anyone want to purchase any vehicle knowing that some of the units have a major problem? That does not make sense! What kind of "logic" is that!
  • hmurphyhmurphy Posts: 278
    I guess we "bought" them because we're "drooling idiots" who didn't take the "time" to check the "net."

    If we had, we'd have benefited from your infinite advice, if not from your quirky punctuation.
  • ktnrktnr Posts: 255
    "I own a 2003 4 cylinder Honda Accord, because the V6 Accord has transmission problems"

    You mean the issue with inadequate lubrication of second gear in the 5-speed automatic of 7th generation Accords?

    My understanding is that issue was addressed by Honda on the V-6. I've also read that the 4-cylinder AT probably has the same issue but less stress under acceleration means second gear hasn't cooked early in it's life. Still, inadequate lubrication of a gear can't be good in the long-term for the life of the transmission. It's easily conceivable that V-6 owners who got this issue addressed are actually BETTER off than 4-cylinder owners who don't think it's a problem (yet).

    What's not clear is what design change was made on the assembly lines, when the change started, and if it was applied to 4-cylinder transmissions as well.

    FWIW – I own a 2005 4-cylinder and I’m not worried about second gear.
  • "OK"!
  • So far, the problem has not showed up in the four cylinder Accord. It might, as the mileage accumulates on these vehicles. If I have the problem before 100,000 miles, the extended warranty will take care of the cost of repair. As soon as this vehicle reachers 95,000 miles it will be history. I would not own a vehicle without an extended warranty. The cost of major repair, when a component fails, is just too great. At the present time, our Accord has 40,000 + miles on the clock, and it is less than 2 years old. I estimate that when the vehicle is 3 years old it will have about 60,000 miles on the clock. At this rate, the vehicle will have accumulated 100,000 miles 5 years or less. So, I guess we will be in the market for a new Accord in 2008 or sooner, depending what the dealer will give us on a trade, and the cost of a new vehicle! Last week, (while I was having the oil chnaged), I stopped into the show room to talk about a trade in when the vehicle reaches three years old. This might be a possibility! We will wait to talk about numbers at that time.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    "Volkswagen engines burn large amounts of engine oil, (one quart every 1,000 miles)!"

    Where do you get your information to make such a generalized statement? I've never heard this before. My 02' Passat has never needed a drop of oil between changes, and I change every 5000 miles.
  • I've owned and driven Volkswagens for over 20 years.
    1975 Scirocco - First year out, despite carburetor, ignition and wire harness problems (first two replaced by aftermarket parts), The car went 250,000 miles until a tractor trailer hit it. Didn't start burning oil until 200,000 miles.

    1987 Golf GT (624K - in the Volkswagen Hall of Fame)- Only one recall (heater core). Otherwise, extremely reliable. First engine and transmission lasted 429,000. Second engine and transmission well on its way to that mark until the car met its demise via hitting a deer at 60mph. Used synthetic oil and performed a lot of the maintenance myself - including changing struts, timing belt, AC compressor, alternator, starter, fuel pump (most items replaced after passing the 200K mile mark).

    2003 Wolfsburg Jetta - 38K, No problems whatsoever with burning oil, window clips, coils, nothing...
    Using synthetic oil and factory oil filter (Mann).

    1997 Jetta Trek - 119K - engine is tighter than a drum - doesn't burn oil whatsoever. Using synthetic oil and synthetic transaxle fluid.

    Most people who purchased Volkswagens make the mistake of driving them gingerly for the first 3000 miles. The piston rings are made from a hard alloy material which requires the engine to be driven normal to hard in order for the rings to properly seat. Most people don't do this, which results in greater than normal oil consumption.
  • Do some research on the "net"!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I didn't realize the transmission issues were affecting mostly V6 cars. I thought the extended warranty Honda provided was for designated model years, not engine types. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I guess I blamed my wife's '98 4 Cyl Accord transmission failures on this same issue.....maybe it was just a fluke. Though I think not.

    Enjoy your appliance....er... I mean Accord.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    "I didn't realize the transmission issues were affecting mostly V6 cars. I thought the extended warranty Honda provided was for designated model years, not engine types. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I guess I blamed my wife's '98 4 Cyl Accord transmission failures on this same issue.....maybe it was just a fluke. Though I think not."


    Most reports of transmission issues with gen 6 Accords seemed to be with V6 models, but the extended transmission warranty is on all 2000-2001 Accords. So you're correct that the warranty is for model years and not engine types. But since only 2000-2001 Accords are covered, at least according to Honda's position, your wife's '98 Accord wouldn't be affected. I'd be skeptical as well.

    "Enjoy your appliance....er... I mean Accord."

    Well, you were batting 1.000 up until now, but .500 isn't bad... ;)
  • "Most people who purchase Volkswagens make the mistake of driving them gingerly for the first 3000 miles." ------QUESTION: ----Does the owner's manual tell the new owner to drive the vehicle "HARD"? Volkswagen has a problem with their engines, with regards to oil. Let them take some responsibility and correct the problem! When the manufacturer or the dealer does not want to repair the problem, or they cannot find the problem, it is always the "owner's fault" or "normal operation"! ----There is nothing normal about engine sludge, and consuming large quantities of engine oil!
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