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Reader enlists Ray's help in choosing a car

I read the article about Stefan wanting help in a decision to buy a either a new 17 Passat, or a used 12 Touareg, and Ray recommended the Passat because it was new and came with a warranty, and recommended against the Touareg due to electrical issues. My experience with VW’s is that they all have electrical issues, and logic alone should lead one to conclude that if the Touareg has issues the Passat will too. In addition to that the Passat AC systems seem to fail between 60k to 70k, problems with the EPC, engine, and battery light’s coming on due to faults detected, a lot of shoddy VW dealer mechanics, overated MPG figures, lots of recalls, stereos going dead, backup cameras failing, gps systems failing, and the list goes on. Everyone I’ve ever known to own a VW starts having lots of problems after 50k to 60k miles, and being German they’re not cheap to fix unlike American and Japanese cars, $1,200 for just the fuel pump, not including installation, is a steep price for such a part, but that’s the German automobile way. The only way I would recommend that vehicle, or any VW for that matter, to anyone is if they buy an extended warranty and then sell the car at the end of that warranty! Better yet just recommend a Toyota Camry, or a Honda Accord, or a Kia Optima and have a car that can be driven 200,000k without much being done to it.

That logic holds most of the time, except when it doesn’t. In this case, the Touareg is made in Bratislava, while the Passat is made in Chatanooga. So, maybe Bratislava assembly workers suck, or maybe the engineers were different (probably) and so one could have problems while the other doesn’t.

As an example, the Cavalier is/was an absolute dog of a car, but assuming that this therefore means the Corvette is junk would be somewhat of a leap.

Beyond that, shoddy dealership mechanics exist in all brands - some of the biggest shop-morons I’ve ever encountered have been at Acura dealerships.

All that said, I do agree that VW isn’t an ideal choice.

OP has a valid point, but the question Ray was presented with was a choice between those two . His response that of the two the Passat was the clear choice seems a reasonable one to me. I owned a VW Rabbit years ago and indeed had one weird electrical system problem with the fuel pump relay, but other than that, no electrical issues. VW’s designs tends toward performance, and performance cars are generally not as reliable as standard daily driver econoboxes. If the choice included a Camry, Corolla, Accord, or Civic, then Ray’s response would probably have been different.

I understand Ray’s response, but he should have at least mentioned the others in passing.

I don’t find VW leaning toward performance at all. In the quarter mile it takes a Beetle Turbo, Jetta, Passat turbo, Tiguan, Touareg V6 or TDI all run in the 16 seconds area, Golf Turbo 15 seconds, even their fastest car they ever made that was produced in enough numbers not to call it rare the V8 powered Phaeton was just under 15 seconds. VW has never been known for performance; sure they had some rare cars like the 2002 Golf R32 that beat the quarter mile to 13.9 seconds…that is fast for a VW but that was their fastest and they only made 1 year of that car that could run the quarter that fast, the next year it ran slower.

If the writer of the question wanted performance he needed to look elsewhere, including outside the ones I mentioned, the writer could get a used Acura 4 door TL for the price of the buy back and get performance, 4 doors, luxury, and reliability.

So the cars I mentioned stayed in the same performance catagory as the VW the writer wanted, yet have vastly improved reliability with lower maintenance cost.

Man I am from the midwest, saw that and thought it was a cute reference to Germany, implicating Bratwurst, I have never even heard of that place, but my 1950 globe is not serving me so well, Many countries today I could not place, Like my neighbor lady, I am from Belarus,