2002 Volkswagen Passat GLX from North America
Great performance and ride that compensates for repair aggravations caused by dealer
Daytime running lights have both gone out at one point - a common problem I see on lots of Passat's driving around - this is an obvious problem that VW should admit and fix or offer discounted replacements.
Thermo-coupler went bad - was replaced under warranty. Then a few months later, started having problems with the transmission slipping into low gear, but revving really high rpm's, especially from stops - took to dealer four times and got a new part each time having to do with electronic controls (transmission & electronic control units, etc) only to question mechanic enough to have him go back to thermo repair - wound up being a loose wire!! Fortunately, VW U.S. allowed dealer to extend warranty as it all started at 49,500 and was fixed by 52,000 and they covered it until fixed - lucky it happened before 50k.
- just took in for the 65k check (at a local shop) and one of the axle boots had broken open - wound up replacing one of the independent wheel axles. As with some other minor repairs, I got the standard response that hurts your wallet..."for most other cars, this wouldn't be so bad, but VW costs $xx more for this.." because I guess the parts are hand-made in Munich or something.
- VW dealer repair costs too high - I take it to a trusted local shop (CarX) who keeps it running fine, since then maybe coincidental, but need for repairs has been minimal.
I've had a testy relationship with this car, but we're still together. I think the good has outweighed the bad.
- has had mechanical issues that overall haven't been big deals, but incompetent local dealer resulted in several xtra trips and aggravation.
- since staying away from dealer it has run much better, only one odd repair so relationship has improved as it has aged.
- I'm very pleased with the fit and finish, haven't had any radio problems like I see elsewhere, no coil problems - but mechanic said that happens a lot more on the GLS models than the GLX's.
+ It gives superb performance with great pickup at all speeds, nice stable ride even at 73,000 miles, just glides on the Xpressway, and comfort of seats (got a bad back) + heated are great. Co-workers still impressed by inside looks, has leather etc. So altogether make it worthwhile overall. I'm crossing my fingers - plan to keep it till it dies or comes back to kill me in the wallet. But I bought it off Ebay for a great deal so I feel like I'm getting solid value right now.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th February, 2006