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: 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.
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).
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.
Pros: Fuel Ecomony and oil changes every 10,000 miles
Cons: Storage areas are at a premium. These need to be larger.
Advice: If you like the TDI if it's on the lot -- buy it because it won't be there when you come back.I bought a loaded '05 Passat TDI GLS wagon 2 months ago. I now have 3,600 miles on it and have enjoyed the excellent fuel economy while getting excellent performance out of such a small engine. I never expected my wife to spin the tires the first time she drove it when she was making a turn left from a stop and felt traffic coming toward her! When the turbo kicked in she zipped across the street leaving some rubber behind! :-) I just made trip from Denver to Meeker Colorado and back with my son and our Great Pyrenees. The great trip computer told us that we used 35.2 mpg going out and 36.6 mpg coming back. I also have a large Thule cargo carrier on top and this car and had NO problems doing the mountains at 70 - 80 ... passing other cars. FEATURES I’d LIKE: I would have loved to see this car have power seats, Navigation System, 4 wheel drive, stronger suspension system for a wagon, and some more clearance (i.e. like the Touareg - 4-Corner Air). PROBLEMS: Glove box too small. User manual is too big for the glove box. Need more storage areas (i.e. Thule added). The console arm rest worked well until my son over the weekend put some extra weight on the rest to put it down and now it won’t go up to allow me to relax when I’m driving ? Hopefully the warrantee will fix this.