Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: The V10
Cons: The Navigation System
Advice: Grab it. This is the best vehicle I have ever owned. Fast, solid, handles and looks greatAfter suffering through the torture of a Mercedes ML and a BMW X5 this thing is a joy. It far outhandles and outclasses both and is much better put together. Some minor glitches. You would be better off with a $2.00 fortune teller than the nav system and the 4 wheel drive system has it's share of clunks and thuds and groans. The V10 is amazing, achieving great mileage and performance. It is quiet and people rarely know it's a Diesel until they are told. A beautiful vehicle to look at with an interior that puts the Mercedes and BMW to shame. I would receommend this vehicle to anyone.
Pros: Quality appearance and Off-Road ability.
Advice: Don't buy an '04. VW is at the bottom of the quality rankings mostly because of this vehicle.My review may be biased, as I've been approved under the lemon law for an exchange with an '05 model. I purchased the V8 with the air suspension and the problems have been so numerous that I'll explain a few in brief. 1.) 5 Dead Battery episodes and counting 2.) All the chrome trim around the windows needed to be replaced because it started to discolor. 3.) Squealing brakes, I can't drive with the window down it's so annoying. They refuse to fix it insisting that all disk brakes squeak. Really? Then why, except for my $50k vehicle, is it always so quiet when traffic is coming to a stop at a signal? 4.) It's an off-road vehicle par-excellance and they put on tires that get easily damaged off-road. This with the 18' tires which are meant to be off-road worthy. 5.) Computer glitches, too many “system fault” messages to count. 6.) Manumatic often shifts on it's own well before redline. So what's the point in having the manual feature if it acts like an automatic? 7.) Strange gurgling noises coming from the A/C. 8.) Odd clicking noise when using the rear window wiper, sounds like it's about to break off each time it moves. Sometimes it stutters its way across the window even when the window is wet. 9.) Limited range with the remote. Often have to hit the button multiple times to get it to open the door. 10.) Fuel economy is horrible. Unless I turn off the vehicle at every stop light and drive like my grandfather used to in his Dodge Dart, I can't reach an average of 14 MPG. AVERAGE! 11.) Aggressive downshifts by the tranny sometimes make you wonder if you just hit a dog because the downshift is so abrupt. 12.) Odd feeling when in Auto or Comfort that just turning the wheel slightly suddenly makes your head shake dramatically to one side or the other depending on the direction your turning. 13.) Don't try taking a dip except straight on, you'll get nauseous with all the head shaking. I see a dip and I'll try desperately to avoid it for that reason. So now that you've heard the negative. Here's some pluses. 1.) Relatively fun to drive in Manumatic and Sport. But the ride is occasionally very harsh. However, the car can take on-ramps at almost the speed of my old M Coupe. Impressive. 2.) This thing will do the Rubicon and then drive the paved canyon road like a sports car. 3.) Great looking interior. Classy. 4.) Seats are pretty comfortable, but lacking in lateral support. They seem designed for overweight Americans with gigantic behinds. 5.) Quiet on the highway. Serene cruiser. Great for a long distance trip. That's when the mileage actually seems to be what was advertised. So I'll see if the replacement is any better and reserve my final judgment after I've had a chance with the newer model. Perhaps they've ironed some of this out.
Pros: I initially liked how it looked
Advice: Grab your running shoes and run as fast as you can to another Make/ModelThis is the biggest mistake I have ever purchased. It has been in the shop several times, and doesn't have 2000 miles on it yet. Engine light keeps coming on, oil light, abti traction light, cd player needed to be replaced, as it didn't let cd's back out, and recently it was towed to the dealership because it wouldn't start. They replaced the battery. This is my fifth and last VW. Brakes are squishy, and handling is jerky. This started at about 500 miles.
Cons: car battery dies all the time
Advice: DONT BUY IT!I bought this vehicle in July 2003 and have had nothing but trouble. The battery has died 5 times and VW says there is nothing wrong with the car. Customer service has been a nightmare. When the car actually does run, you can't fold down the rear seats without having the front seats pushed up close to the steering wheel. So if you are taller than 5'9 forget about putting the back seats down!
Cons: Continually stalls even at highway speeds
Advice: Run 180 degrees from this vehicleThis car is NOT ready for market. It stalls and stalls -- they have replaced battery 4 times AND they say this is normal! So-o-o, you have to realize that the dealership network is way over their head in their ability to repair this vehicle. It simply is too sophisticated for the typical VW repair technician. And now you know why, until recently, the VW warranty was only 2 years. They would have been bankrupt if they had a longer warranty. Now trying to get VW regional customer service to respond. No luck -- just lame lip service. Better off with a Lexus SUV or another make. This vehicle is a LOSER!
Pros: The looks
Advice: If money no object get the V8, at least get the seat package, excellent value for money1. The V6 is plenty powerfull for everyday use. Have'nt had to tow anything but the weight of the car is only felt when going up steep hills 2. The base V6 is an excellent value, but for 35 K you would expect there to be a way to adjust the lumbar settings on the drivers seat. The seats are lumpy over extended driving. 3. Excellent Interiors. Very well put together car. 4. Feels more like a station wagon then an SUV
Pros: Shape and driving at speed.
Cons: The service is not up to BMW.
Advice: Buy it. Should get a good deal on most of the standard models.Replaced my 200 BMW 3 series. Drives as well and has great shape. Interior is much better. I like the dark grey with wood and metal the best. It is great in town and on the highway. An overall gem.