2001 Volkswagen Passat Sport 1.9 turbo diesel 130PS from UK and Ireland


A chronically unreliable disappointment


Clutch and flywheel (UKP1300) at just 56k to solve clutch judder.

Rainwater soaked footwells thanks to pollen filter housing leak. The water going where it shouldn't also wrecked an expensive control unit that runs the alarm system (UKP550 all in with labour to strip the interior and dry it, and replace the control unit)

Drivers window regulator disintegrated (UKP150)

Front suspension bush wear (UKP350)

Uneven front tyre wear (can't be fixed)

General Comments:

Any good qualities it has (engine, styling, interior materials) completely overshadowed by disgraceful reliability. This was a VW main dealer supplied car and still has a full VW history.

My old Avensis wiped the floor with it as a piece of engineering.

Just under £2.5k worth of unscheduled repairs and component failures in the 3 yrs since the warranty expired. A supercar wouldn't cost much more.

Will never own another VW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st June, 2007

27th Aug 2011, 15:03

My mate has a 1998 Porsche 911. A 10000 mile scheduled service costs him £2000, and his back boxes went on the exhaust too, £2000 a side. The problem is every car has its foibles and common faults; to think VW is any different to any other manufacturer, you would have to be dreaming.

2001 Volkswagen Passat gls 4motion 2.8LV6 from North America


Great performance with great appearance


Just had all the front end control arms replaced. 89000 miles covered by warranty.

General Comments:

I have owned this car since new and am very satisfied with the performance and reliability of this car.

The dealer has taken care of the few issues we have had and customer satisfaction seems to be important to them.

The 4 motion-all wheel drive system works great in the snow.

Nothing bad to say about this vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2007

2001 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 from North America


VW= Very Wasteful


Exhaust and sensors every 3-4 months.

General Comments:

This car may look stylish, but it is costly to have. The problems may be minor, but they are expensive. It seems like the dealerships already know that car is crappy so that's why the service advisors know nothing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th November, 2006

2001 Volkswagen Passat GLX 4Motino Wagon 2.8 liter V6 from North America


Great performer with unacceptable reliability


Fuel pump malfunction - bad ground (two trips to the dealership) at 10,000 miles or thereabouts.

Control arms needed replacing at 50,000 miles (!) ; VW called this "normal wear and tear"; may be failing again currently (73,000 miles).

Clogged PCV system leading to valve-cover oil seepage and burning-oil smell.

Door chime malfunction--would not stop chiming

Water pump failure, leading to timing-belt failure at 60,000 miles (unbelievable!).

Seat heater failed at 55,000 miles.

Intermittent, wacky electronic gremlins.

Rotors must be replaced along with pads.

4Motion system is tough on tires (on my third set).

General Comments:

I have a love/hate relationship with this car (although my relationship with the dealer network contains no love whatsoever). The car is powerful, quiet, comfortable, and can get through snow like nobody's business. It handles well and is extremely safe. The interior is fantastic--looks great, feels great, wears great (so far), and can hold my family of five quite comfortably. Outside and in, this 5-year-old car still looks almost new.

That said, the problems that crop up often lead to catastrophic failure, requiring a tow to the dealership for EXPENSIVE repairs. (The BEST accessory I bought with this car is its full, 100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper extended warranty from WarrantyDirect).

I cannot drive this car with full confidence--it is my wife and family's main transportation, and I fear that the car will leave them stranded. What VW deems "maintenance," other brands consider "major repairs." Water pump, control arm, and timing belt failures are common problems (peruse Google for evidence), although VW of America, when asked, will state that yours is the first instance...

My Saturn (which, from a driver's perspective, I hated) did not visit the dealership once in its 70,000 mile life (T-boning by an SUV led to the uber-safe Passat). The idea of a Honda requiring control arms and a timing belt at 50,000 miles is just plain laughable. Passat owners are adamant that Japanese makes do not have "that Teutonic feel"; maybe so, but they are closing in, and their reliability is astounding.

I want to love the Passat--it really handles superbly and confidently when all is working--but the cost and reliability concerns (and pathetic manufacturer/dealership support) mean that I will never again own a Volkswagen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th October, 2006

29th May 2008, 12:15

Unbelievable for a timing belt to go at 60K; I think not as the timing belt itself states to be replaced at 60k.

A PCV valve is replaced with a tune up somewhere between 40-60k, so either you did not get a tune up, or that person that performed the tune up did not change it.

In addition, every BMW since about 2000 replaces their rotors and pads, which is not unheard of and at times is better in the end. Do not blame the car if you do not take care of it as you should.

13th Feb 2010, 08:19

Having to replace rotors along with brakes is insane. Numbers, statistics, safety can all be skewed. Volkswagen can claim safety in numbers --- especially when replacing "new" parts with new parts. People want cars that are going to be reliable. There is no need for a water pump, fuel pump and rotors to be replaced so soon. It's bad enough when it is required that your rotors be "turned" while on your car, it's worse when the rotors require replacing! Imagine, after the technician reviews the job scope... you will soon be required to replace the caliper (s), brake lines, and possibly the master cylinder! Dealership costs are outrageous, and often, integrity is lacking.