2004 Volkswagen Passat - GL (M5) FWD Sedan
Pros: Interior and exterior design. Good looking car!
Cons: Transmission, ASR, wipers.
Advice: Speak to the current VW owners about the quality of the service dpt. in your area!Beautifully looking car, beautiful interior, clear and easy reachable dash controls. Very classy inside-out. CD,AM/FM and Tape- all nice. Great 1.8T engine, brutally assassinated by a 5-speed manual trans. (automatic is even worse). First and second gear are very short - engine gets ahead of the gear every time. Third and fourth gear are OK. Fifth actually works very well with the engine. Turbo comes in very softly and exactly on time - very well done. Extremely annoying ASR (you'd better turn it off in the snow or on the water-it takes you out of control of the car.) Device controling the RPM's (rising and descending very slooowwwlllyyy)kills all the fun and I do not think it adds any more safety. I don't think anyone tested the windshield wipers while in motion. Because when it rains you get tremendous overspray right in the line of sight. Strange wiper design... Horrible service from the dealer's service department where I bought the car! (I AM SURE THEY ARE NOT ALL LIKE THIS.) I guess their mechanics are trained to do prescribed maintenance and nothing else. Even then it took them three times to fix my window, my protective plate fell off on the highway after an oil change because the bolt was stripped (he must have seen it), etc. Don't ask them to think on their own when making repairs... In fifteen months that I own the car, due to the total incompetence of the mechanics I've driven more rental cars than I can handle! If they knew what they were doing and didn't have to do everything several times, the amount of my repairs would fall to a third (imagine the cost to the dealership)! Even though every repair was relatively small and simple, they insist on me leaving the car there for the day and then, when I call at 4:30pm if it's done they say it was just pulled in. (I'm kind of tied to this particular shop for its location close to my job). Therefore, the service (the lack thereof)is the reason why I will never buy another VW. I am actually looking to soon get rid of this one, too, just so I don't have to deal with these people anymore. (I need new breaks and I am a little nervous having those guys working on them- I've got family!)
2003 Volkswagen Passat - GLS (M5) FWD Sedan
Pros: Design and quality of interior and exterior.
Cons: The hesitation of the engine.
Advice: Test drive the 4 and 6cyl engines.I have had my Passat for a year and a half. The only dissapointment I have encountered is a annoying and sometimes dangerous hesitation when accelerating from a standstill. Have had it to the dealer a few times and they can't duplicate the circumstance. If considering, consider the 6cyl, or get the manual trans with the 1.8 Turbo.
2005 Volkswagen Passat - GL TDI (A5) FWD Sedan
Pros: Knowing about my fuel averages. The car tells you it all.
Advice: The Diesel TDI is the way to go if want great milage.This car is sharp, and very good on fuel. I have averaged 38 to 44mpg on the highway @ 70 mph. I am mostly a city driver and average 35 to 38mpg. Excellent buy, could not be happier with my purchase.
2004 Volkswagen Touareg - V8
Pros: Offroad abilities, handling in inclement weather
Cons: The Electronics, diagnostic sensors, radio reception, brake noise, a/c whistling
Advice: Do Not Buy This Vehicle VW service is questionable ethicsThis has to be one of the worst mistakes I have made purchasing a car. It drives nice and is comfortable in inclement weather other than that. 1. To numerous to mention diagnostic malfunctions 2. Electronics flicker 3. Early tire and brake wear 4. Brake noise 5. Rear hatch locking, rear wiper noise 6. ALOT of recalls which don't seem to repair anything 7. RECALL on safety systems including seat belts and traction control (no warning light illuminated when it goes out) 8. Battery replacements 9. Climate control useless 10. Sub standard VW service and a real don't care attitude about fixing the vehicle, in addition I don't think they know how to fix the vehicle. Don't waste your money
2005 Volkswagen Touareg - V8
Pros: Keyless entry
Advice: Get a great value for the price.Handled better than my Mercedes SUV.
2005 Volkswagen Passat - GL TDI (A5) FWD Wagon
Pros: Diesel engine
Cons: lack of manual door keys
Advice: Don't get any sound proof or rust protectionWe wanted an economical car to do most of the in town and out of town driving (other vheicle is a 3/4 ton pickup, which we definitely will keep). As its replacing a Bronco, a wagon was a must. We drove both the Jetta TDI (old style) and Passat TDI Wagons (stays old syle for?) and the Passat definitly had more room, Passat accelertation was as good, and handling was close, despite bigger size. A real delightful discovery was to find the Passat GL wagon came standard with the diesel and the automatic transmission. Its a very easy car to adapt to, does not feel low compared to the pickup or Bronco and the diesel engine performace is abosultey terrific. It will break the tires loose, it does hills with no problem. Acceleration for merging or passing is great. The toque is almost the same at the 190 hp V6 gas engine. First long drive was very nice, and the destination has a 700 ft bluff behind town. The people we went to visit lived up on the hill. It had no problem going at any speed desired up the hills, and it takes the hairpin corners with aplomp Fuel mileage in town is better than listed (30+), out of town is at least as good (short trip 36, long trip 40-42). Fuel mileage is is also still going up (1100 miles on it so far). Mileage runs easy to check as two in town trips have predictably idential traffic (one way none, the other way rush hour). I have seen two reports of 44 mpg for highway use on test cars (assume broken in) and not being driven lightly (those with the auto, manual does better still). The trip meter looks to be dead on for average fuel use when checked on one 220 mile leg, filled at start and filled at end (did not need it, but done to verify how accurate trip meter was). A few more checks and I will trust it. Any dings on the car are minor. It needs more and better storage setup in front, a coin holder for sure. I would like all doors with manual keys, and one for the rear lid (only an emergency access if power is off, otherwise key will not work). We have both ridden in rear and had passenger in rear, and even a tall friend (6'2') was fine in the back. Seats 4 just fine, and the 5th person in the middle in back probably ok for in town if needed (not tried yet). We had a chance to try the traction system on an icy hill. Worked extremly well, and no weird front end action, just chewed its way up the hill. We also got into some muddy bad roads and ruts on the long trip, and while it was scraping the bottom, it chewed its way through that with no problems. I would not normaly try that, but got on the wrong road and got into it a bit. Long term is unknown, but reports are generaly very positive, and that its reported good for 200K plus. How well the engine does in cold temperatures (0 F and below) and deeper snow are all open. But there are a lot of VWs in Anchorage AK, and on the long trip (to Homer AK) we kept getting stoped and asking if it was a diesel, and how did we like it. At least up here, they are really paying attention to the diesel. At some point the snow can get too deep, but as long as its only icy and rutted, it looks to do very well. Nasty dips, potholes etc have been no problem. VW seems to want to do all the service themselves, and the book lacks instructions for that sort of stuff. I will get the manuals for it so I can do my own. Service is just oil changes (fuel filters ocaisionaly) and the timing belt at 100k (and I would not go past 90k for that just to be safe, as if it breaks, it will bend valves).
2005 Volkswagen Passat - GLS TDI (A5) FWD Wagon
Pros: gas mileage
Cons: lack of storage space, such as sunglass holder, CD storage, glove box too small
Advice: The engineering outweighed the lack of 'fluff' I'm used to in an SUVDrives like a dream at high speeds. Purchased mine yesterday and on the 3 hour drive home was getting 39.4 mpg. Excellent SUV alternative.