2002 Volkswagen Passat TDi 130 Sport 1.9 130PS turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
A car you buy with your head rather than your heart
Plastic engine cover worked loose and rattled.
Tyres wear unevenly.
Uses a fair bit of oil (a litre every 2,000 miles or so)
Does what it says on the tin. Functional and dull, but comfortable, economical and effortless motorway transport.
Midrange torque from the 130PS turbodiesel is very impressive, and combined with a 6 speed gearbox, returns a steady 46 mpg. A bit grumbly from inside the car, but not too bad.
Steering overlight and lacking feel. Soggy ride and poor body control even in Sport trim. Not a driver's car by any stretch of the imagination, and quickly feels out of its depth when hustled along a twisty road. Newer rivals such as the Mondeo totally outclass it in this department.
Interior mimics the entire car - inoffensive, slightly bland, but soothing and relaxing. Ergonomics are very good, choice of materials first class. Seats are "500 mile comfortable". Noise levels generally low apart from aforementioned grumbly engine.
Reliable save for a few niggles. Hopeless and exorbitantly expensive dealers. 46 mpg average, 51 mpg best, 38 worst (German autobahn, where it recorded an indicated 135 mph incidentally). Add in very low depreciation and it's not an expensive car to own. Even with 76k on it, mine is still worth over half its new value.
A review I once read said the Passat was a car to respect, but not to love. Spot on really. I'd have another though because it does what it does very well, but only as long as I can afford something fun for weekends.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th May, 2004