A performance family sedan that is safe and fun to drive
At 40,000 miles I had to replace the rear brake pads and rotors. The pads had worn down to the rotors. I had noticed a grinding noise from the rear wheels and took the car in immediately for a brake inspection and discovered the condition. Interestingly, the front brake pads had at least another 20,000 miles left according to the brake technician. I was informed that the rear brake pad wear was somewhat premature, but not out of the ordinary for the Passat, and in some cases even substantially less (20-30,000 miles). I have never got less than 60,000 miles out of brake pads on any previous vehicle that I have owned. What I find disconcerting is the inconsistency of wear between the front and rear brakes. Generally, front brake pads wear faster than rears, and at the very least should be reasonably close in overall wear. Replacing the rear rotors was expensive and avoidable if I would have been aware of the rapid wear of the rear brake pads. Is VW over-engineering the front brakes because that is typically the higher stress point on the braking system? VW needs to address this brake wear problem on the Passat. Hopefully, I won't find other little surprises with the Passat now that I have over 40K on the car. Overall, I really enjoy driving the vehicle, and find it a quality product.
This is a well engineered vehicle that drives and performs well. The verdict is still out on the long-term reliability. I keep my cars for the long haul, so I want the Passat to hold up well. That is yet to be determined.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd December, 2003