Which is more important? Mileage or age



black 2002 Passat, 67992 miles, $6998

dark green 2004 Passat, 88600 miles, $7798

Assuming both are in the same good mechanical condition, same features etc.

I’m thinking it’s better to get a newer vehicle, but if the older model has less miles then that’s less wear and tear. Which would you purchase?

Price is not important. My main focus is on purchasing a vehicle that I will keep for about 5 to 7 years (the average time I have kept each of my past vehicles) and wanting to know which would hold up longer with less problems.


The difference between the two based on miles or age is too small to be meaningful. What would be meaningful is the current condition of the cars. The one that received proper maintenance, was not driven like a hot rod and had fewer short trips would be by far the better choice.


I would not purchase either one. Passats of this vintage have dismal reliability and are very expensive to maintain and repair.

Buy another Altima and you’ll be much better off.


Agreed. An Altima, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, or even a Chevy Malibu is a far superior choice to a VW. German car = huge repair bills.


Generally speaking, the newer car is better as long as the maintenance is good. Two years in the elements is more damaging than 20k well maintained miles IMO. Key add on’s like side air bags, stability control abs…these are features that make a case for newer car. Having said all that, how about a newer Corolla/Civic with fewer miles than either ? If you’re that concerned about which is more important; it’s more important to buy a more reliable vehicle than either to begin with; with “fewer” problems.


Agree with you guys; I would not buy either one. If you want 5+ years of good service out of a $7000 or so car, there is a wide choice. A Hyundai Elantra, Mazda Protege are a few others mentioned above, that come to mind.

Even a well-maintained Passat of those years is a potential time bomb as far as repairs go.


Whichever one has a clean bill of health from YOUR mechanic. Both are due for timing belt/water pump replacement due to age, expect to spend about $1000 on this maintenance item, factor in that much for new tires.
I wouldn’t pay more than $5000 for either of them, less if they haven’t had the belt replaced(if it does have a belt that is, not sure on this)


Condition is more important.

And less miles isn’t necessarily less wear and tear. Stop-and-go driving is more wear and tear than highway cruising. Running old oil is more wear and tear than changing it regularly. Leadfooting it all the time is more wear and tear than moderate acceleration (and so can be accelerating too slowly).

Oh, and I would not get a Passat if I were worried about reliability. But if you must, get the 04. Around 00 was the nadir for VW, and the farther away from that you get the better.


My son’s Jetta was in the shop 90% of the time - best advice: avoid any VW product.

As far as mileage vs. age: I always go by mileage. Say a car is 2 years old, but has !00,000 miles - heck! That is like, what? Ten years worth of wear and tear!

Irregardless, stick with Toyota or Honda. Avoid ALL Volkswagen vehicles!