We purchased this vehicle because we owned a 1990 Passat purchased from Europe when we were diplomats. We loved the vehicle, always reliable, repairs were too expensive. As soon as it cost 1100 dollars for a muffler, that vehicle needed to go.
The Turbo is acting up lately, we are not sure why - the vehicle does not climb past 2000rpm's and the normal turbo sound is gone. The vehicle drives like a normal sluggish diesel.
When we purchased the vehicle, we noticed air coming into the vehicle (not from the windows), it was freezing in the winters, even though the heated seats and heat was on. After fighting with the dealership and eventually switching dealers, we had the drivers side door adjusted and body work done caused by eventual rust/paint damage due to the door being miss-aligned.
The switch for the passenger seat heated seat went out at 120,000kms. - Replaced due to a defect in the heated seats, warranty was extended until June of 2009.
Also, when it was damp/raining outside we noticed the car would Chatter on the get go - it was not from poorly skilled drivers (standard) - Pleading our case the dealer agreed to go "fishing" - It was deemed that the flywheel had a defect which eventually caused damage to the whole clutch system. - Replaced at no charge.
The car also idles very rough - we had something replaced but I cannot remember - also under warranty. Still must be because it's a diesel.
On the city roads - This vehicle gets 800 or more KM's to a tank. With todays gas prices, it's 70.00 to fill.
Very reliable, besides what is mentioned, this vehicle is fun to drive and can beat any other import around the turns/speed wise.
For a 1.9L diesel engine, this car has plenty of power, and will squeal your tires if you know how to drive it.
The interior gets dirty VERY quickly, but there is certainly Volkswagen quality.
The 8 speaker sound system sounds AWESOME. Don't count on lots of bass, but count on a quality sounding system.