A car built on delicate tolerances
I had to replace the two front tires at 12,000 miles. The stock tires were quite expensive to replace. The stock tires are really a performance tire. There's the disconnect. This is really a high-performance "family" car. Performance is one thing, silliness is quite another.
The car had a recall on the fluid level sensing units in the gas tank. Prior to the recall the system was working perfectly. The problem is that now they've been replaced they've never worked properly again. When I picked up the car from the recall service the service manager told me that they could only fill the gas tank to 3/4 mark because the car was "on a hill". The truth is that the new sensors don't work over the 3/4 capacity mark. After some time I finally got their attention and after a "diagnosis" they finally concluded that "yes" those replacement sensors "were not functioning properly". New replacement sensors were ordered. It had to be returned once again to repair "the repair".
The front rotors and pads had to be replaced at 27,000 miles. Sure, I understand that this car is plagued by a short warranty period, but to have to even think of replacing rotors and pads on a $30+K car at 27K miles is absurd in first principles. I live on a dirt road which is rather common for folks in the Northeast. Further, in the winter time it's not uncommon for cars to get dirty. It was explained to me that because I live on a dirt road that it should be considered "normal" to have to replace these parts. I see this as a questionable position for the dealer and Volkswagon. Rather VW should consider that the rotors and the venting holes in the rotors are poorly designed. Furthermore, the replacement parts, being highly priced (i.e., pads at $140 for 2) just adds insult to injury. As they are apparently planning for premature failure, they could consider pricing these parts more reasonably.
You know, this is really a wonderful "concept" car; fast, tight, well appointed, apparently safe. Too bad it's flaw is so significant; really high cost of maintenance and repair.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 26th February, 2002