Passat 2007

Need to buy a new car now - test drove the Passat and loved it but hear that in the past, it’s had a bad reputation for being in the repair shop alot. Is this still true?

based on my experience with my 03 passat its a mixed bag. With the 5 speed, 1.8 litre turbo it gets great mpg’s(35 on highway @ 65 mph)and has plenty of get up and go, rides good lots of great features, heated seats, heated mirrors, traction control and many other standard goodies. It also has a number of niggling issues, windshield wipers and squirter nozzels stink, even though wipers are replaced yearly and you cant get snow blades. car only has 37k on it but the trunk hinges are seizing up already, drivers side door lock doesnt work when cold, hood release mechanism quit working properly after a year and a half, fancy key had to be reprogramed at the dealer(under warranty) but took 2 hours, when the key went bad the car would start and run for about 10 seconds and quit and the idiot light would come on for the security system, had to call the dealer to find out what was going on. car has suddenly sprung a leak, water showing up in rear passengers side foot well. This after receiving 3 recalls in a month, one for replacing the fuel pump(3 hours), one for replacing the heated seat switch and one for replacing the center rear brake light. other than that its a great car and its for sale. Back to Honda s and Toyotas.

The reliability of VWs in general has been abysmal for many years. The new cars seem to be improving, however (about time!). It’s a gamble in my opinion. Consumer Reports recommends the V6 Passat, but says the 4-cylinder turbo is much less reliable.

It’s a European car, and the maintenance and repair costs will probably be a bit higher than many of its Japanese competitors. Is that OK with you?

It’s easy to love a new car on a test drive. Have you driven anything else?

As a former Passat (1), Golf (2), and Jetta (1) owner, I would advise you to buy something else. VW makes cars that look, feel, and drive better than most other cars in each class… but eventually the warranty runs out and you’ll be footing the repair bills yourself, and those repair bills will be considerably higher than for a comparable car from some other manufacturer. VW’s are great if you’re a mechanic and/or enjoy working on cars. Otherwise, I would go with something else. Actually, I would go with just about anything else. Especially given VW’s deplorable customer service.

I would also take a look at the audi A4 if you like the passat, I believe it’s a little smaller and a little more expensive, but it probably has more goodies. It would also allow you to deal with audi dealerships instead of VW, which might be worth something. I’m not a huge fan of current VW/audi myself, but there aren’t many (any?) other euro cars available in that price range. Any new bmw/benz is going to start at $30K. If you don’t want to go to a higher price range, you might want to check out a used 3-series or c-class; otherwise you will be looking at domestic/asian makes.

According to, the repairs in the first 5 years on a Passat 2.0T are surprisingly low - $983 on average. The Audi A4 2.0T is a lot higher at $2339. I’d go for the Passat instead of the A4, especially since the Passat starts out $5000 below the A4. The A4 is a lot better appointed in the base model, but an equally equipped Passat should still cost less.

What else interests you? If you want a midsize sedan, that handles well, you might consider a Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, Ford Fusion, or Chevy Malibu. A 2008 Malibu only; it actually looks decent now. Take them out for a test drive to see if they might get on your short list. But don’t take the Passat off the list, since it seems to cost less to repair that most think.

I don’t worry too much a bout bad reputations. Proper maintenance and care will make a much larger difference than is being reported. I suspect that a lot of the differences noted in reports can be traced to the way the cars are driven, cared for and how defects are reported. That is not to say there is no issue, but only that it is likely less than it would seem.

I do think there may be higher expectations (and more nit picking) with VW/audi owners than some others. I also do think VWs do require more diligent maintenance (they are less forgiving), like most euro cars. My biggest problem with VW/audi is their use of timing belts, instead of chains (maybe not logical, but I just don’t trust them). I also don’t understand why the repair cost estimates between the VW and audi would vary that much.

It does seem that the costs should be similar. They are even 2.0T models, and should use the same drivetrain. Maybe it’s because Audi is the luxury division. I had a Porsche 914, with lots of VW parts. Well, they were almost VW parts, but not quite. The price was calculated accordingly.

I still have a '73 914 2.0 (all over my garage waiting for me to put it back together in my “free time”). I depends on the parts, most of the type IV engine parts are pretty cheap (compared to a 911), but some of the unique stuff (sodium valves, etc) are a little pricey. I need to decide what to do with that car, it’s fun to drive as-is, but I’m very tempted to build a 914/6.

“A bit” in this case normally is 80-100%. After the first 100,000 miles things normally go downhill and that is where the big gap occurs. If you keep a Passat to 100,000 miles the difference is not huge. But both normal maintenance and parts are more expensive.

That was my opinion at one time as well, and it was this rationale that resulted in me purchasing my Passat. Never again. I would sooner walk across the Arctic tundra with two broken feet than deal with VW.

Nice car except for the dumb electric parking brake but the Dealers are rotten !

The folks who buy Vokswagens are normally much more car savvy and also more dedicated about doing routine mainteance. So they still end up spending 80-100% more than the sloppy person who buys a Honda or Toyota!!

The most recent TrueDelta stats on repair (not maintenance) trips to the garage, shows 2006 and 2007 VW Passat making 71 trips, and 140 trips for 2002 Passat, compared to 10 for 2007 Honda Accords, and 26 for 2006 Honda Accords, 39 for 2006 Hyundai Sonatas (despised by VW salesmen), 26 for Hyundai Tucsons, 14 for 2005 Toyota Prius, and so on.

Consumer Reports has similar stats but has low credibility among car aficionados.

Having bought some spare parts for Volkswagens for some overseas friends, I sensed a surreal atmosphere of living in a make-believe world, where VW dealers were proud to be selling you these expensive parts which on a Toyota or Honda you would not need till at 3 times the mileage. I sensed a similar atmosphere in a jewelry shop that sold Rolex watches which need a $150 cleanout and adjustment every 4 Years.

I have to admit that Volkwagens have 1) good seats, 2) hold the road well and 3) handle nicely in traffic.

“I sensed a similar atmosphere in a jewelry shop that sold Rolex watches which need a $150 cleanout and adjustment every 4 Years.”

That’s probably fair, so should we tell everyone who owns a rolex to go buy a timex because they are being ripped off?

If you want (and can afford) a rolex, just pay the $150 and have it serviced. If you don’t think there’s a difference (i.e., they both tell time well enough) buy the $9.99 timex. That is a pretty good analogy.

Personally, I would gladly pay considerably more than a 100% premium to avoid driving a honda/toyota/Hyundai/etc. However, I might buy the timex for my kids who are going to trash it anyway. The kids can buy their own rolex when they get a job.

BTW, I’m not a big fan of either rolex watches or the current VW/audi models.

To the contrary! A Rolex is a traditional, finely crafted mechanical watch and needs these maintenance items. Rolex owners regard it as a piece of jewelry, which is what it is meant to be. We live in an age where quality and functionality are often confused. A $50 Timex keeps better time than a $3000 Rolex, because it is an electronic movement, which also needs no maintenance. I have a Rolex, but it is electronic, and bought for $20US at the Bankok night market. For the last 5 years it has kept good time, and required no maintenance.

You are implying that somehow Volkwagens have higher quality, prestige, and whatever else than Japanese built cars. Mercedes can claim that position, but Volkswagen in German means “People’s Car”; the original beetle was dirt cheap, reliable, easy to fix and long lived. It lived up to its name.

Volkswagen buyers do not feel ripped off because they are buying something different, and are prepared to pay for it. The average German has no great admiration for Volkswagens, and regards them more as an appliance or company car which you drive because the price is right.

You brought up rolex, I agree they are fine watches (I just don’t happen to like that style). I do prefer mechanical watches, my favorite watch isn’t very valuable, it’s an early 20th century railroad watch that’s been in my family for several generations.

I understand that VWs are the lowest end euro cars available in the U.S.; however, I would rate them several steps above anything asian simply because they do have some pedigree (i.e., the brand has been around for more than 15 minutes and will likely stay around for a while). I have never owned a liquid cooled VW, but I’ve driven a few. I don’t really like FWD cars (although I’ve owned a couple) and I don’t really like anything with a timing belt (as opposed to a chain), but the newer VWs do have decent road feel and they do “feel” like a real euro car. I also understand they do not have the quality of a higher end car, and they do not have the simplicity, or the cool factor, of a beetle (I had a '70 bug); but if I was looking for a new $20K car, I would still buy one before anything asian. It’s the kind of thing I might buy for my daughter (who is 16 and bugging me to buy her a car). Although I’m not really a VW/audi fan, I do think they are less generic than asian cars (and more fun to drive) and that alone would justify a few $1000 in extra repair costs. I realize that not everyone will agree.

“I understand that VWs are the lowest end euro cars available in the U.S.; however, I would rate them several steps above anything asian simply because they do have some pedigree”

Yes, but unfortunately, that “pedigree” is one of Nazi origin. There may well be some good points to a VW, but the brand’s beginnings as Hitler’s “people’s car” is surely not one of them. I understand that Osama bin Laden is very fond of Mercedes Benz vehicles, but I would not use that endorsement as a reason to buy one.

“Nazi origin”?

You must be kidding? What about those nice benz diesel engines in u-boats and those bmw airplane engines. I would buy a pre-war “nazi” benz or bmw in second, too (if I could afford one). I guess you were not a fan of the U.S. space program in the 50s and 60s either, where did all that rocket technology (that beat those nasty commies into space) come from? I guess you don’t like Mitsubishi either, remember the Mitsubishi A6M from pearl harbor. Ancient politics has nothing to do with my choice of cars. Someone in the post-war world had to develop automotive technology while the american companies were busy perfecting the opera window, fake wood paneling, and the vinyl top.

At least “Osama bin Forgotten” has good taste in cars, maybe the U.S. could actually find him if he was driving a S600 down Penn. Ave., or maybe not? I guess I should only buy pick-up trucks to be more like our current prez, time to go clear some brush. This has nothing to do with politics.

I am aware of both Benz and BMW having been suppliers of engines for Hitler’s war machine, and I am also aware of Mitusbishi’s role in building aircraft engines for the Japanese military. Hell, even Opel (under GM ownership) was a supplier of equipment for the Nazis, although it likely that they had no choice in the matter. However, the “pedigree” of all of those companies predated their service to Fascist regimes.

VW, on the other hand, was commissioned by the Nazis, and thus, was their creation, so to speak. I agree that this thread is not about politics, but since you seemed to admire the pedigree of VW, I thought that it was important for the less informed, younger members of the board to know a bit of the background of that pedigree. Whether they care about this background is up to them, but it is important to know one’s history, so I thought that I would post that information for their edification.