29th Mar 2017, 18:07

100,000 km.

Well, here we are. Just moments away from crossing that line (100k). Bought Michelin X-Ice for winter. They're good. But from my memory, not as good as the Pirelli Snows that I had on my previous Santa Fe. One funny thing, they appear to be quieter than the Pirelli All Seasons I run on. And a little softer riding.

The car is now past the three year bumper to bumper warranty and repairs are starting to hurt. Power seat switch (seat won't go down) ($350cdn). Power door latch ($700cdn). Key fob dead (haven't bothered, but I know it's expensive). Radio can't remember the last station after you shut off the car. I have decided not to repair another thing until it is turned in to VW for Dieselgate, unless it affects safety.

I won't be replacing it with another Passat. I'm not impressed with the handling. Just not quick or tight enough. Too many turns on the steering wheel lock to lock... etc. Ride is just OK. Finding too many uncontrolled or poorly controlled vertical motions.

While fuel economy is a major saving, I found that $400+ for an oil change/maintenance every six months is just too much. Now that it is past the powertrain warranty I'll be seeking a lower cost option until it's finally returned to VW.

Options up for consideration: Chevrolet Equinox Diesel (2018). Mazda CX-5 Diesel. Have considered hybrids, but they're either too weird (Toyota, Nissan, BMW), or just too low rent (I'm talking to you Hyundai, Kia, Nissan), or the battery eats up the trunk (I'm talking to you Ford "C-Max, Fusion"). It doesn't appear that the car makers take their hybrids seriously. They just want to sell enough to meet CAFE.

30th Mar 2017, 12:07

VW has gone downhill in the last few years really fast. Shame really, myself I was a big fan of their 80s and 90s cars and had a few Passats and Jettas, and they were all pretty good and reliable. How the mighty fall.

26th Jan 2018, 02:04


Here we are, 2018. Done all the paperwork and selected the return to Volkswagen option.

Waiting for Mazda to deliver the CX-5 diesel. Watching fuel prices heading up. Sticking with diesel. I can't get my wife to look at the Equinox/Terrain diesel, yet. So we wait. But Mazda better be delivering before March/April, as the repairs on the Passat are beginning to mount. And I'm avoiding some work on the car as I expect to be rid of it, fairly soon.

The Michelin snow tires are definitely not the best, in spite of all the marketing and hoopla, in my experience. I would rate them average in snow. Slightly above average on ice. But, they do ride nice, and are very quiet.

22nd Jun 2018, 01:31

134000 Km.

Will be done with this Passat on July 19. Got our Passat scheduled to be returned to VW for the Dieselgate program.

Couldn't wait any longer for the Mazda CX-5 diesel or Honda or Toyota Hybrids. Had to capitulate for a CX-5 gas as there isn't much time left for the Dieselgate program and wasn't sure how long the process would take once started. Plus unattended repairs were mounting up. Especially the front brakes, a safety issue. My second VW. My last. Though the first, a '89 Golf GTI, I loved, except that there likely wasn't a part on the car that actually came with it on the day I picked it up from the dealer, when I sold the car four years later.

VW's cheat soured me on the Passat. I have just about loathed this car since the scandal broke.

I hope the CX-5 will be a better buy. See you on the Mazda pages.

22nd Jun 2018, 08:50

Totally agree with you. VW were good back in the day. I had a few Golfs and Passats in the 80s and 90s, and they were great. But then post 2000 models, the quality went downhill. To be fair you could say that about a lot of manufacturers, not just VW. Maybe it was cost cutting, or maybe cars were just starting to get too complex.

Anyways, Mazda is a good choice; generally they are good cars, but watch for rust as they still seem to rust a bit earlier than some other cars.

22nd Jun 2018, 17:58

"Fiat will show them how to make cars"


23rd Jun 2018, 22:47

Too complex, I'd say. A friend with a Mazda CX-5 (here in New Zealand - no it's a general export vehicle, rather than one possibly assembled in North America with localised parts) has had the iLoop warning light on needing a rather expensive battery, because the car is not driven long distances. In Europe, there are Toyotas (Avensis?) not sold elsewhere, which have problems with the direct injection system (now, that's Toyota - and Toyotas never, ever break and are engineered for absolute reliability). Emissions, safety and "environmental" requirements that keep getting tighter force all car makers and their suppliers to keep coming up with groundbreaking solutions and components which only time and use can fully test for dependability long-term... and the standards change again rendering them obsolete just as they are being fully ironed out. Everyone knows turbos are precision items that require exacting maintenance (the type of oil, how often it's changed, how to drive to ensure longevity), and are more prone on the average to fail from user indifference affecting the long-term service life of the engine. But everyone is fitting small displacement turbos - because it's how they can deal with emission regulations (like how cars are taxed by CO-2 emission in Europe). I remember maybe 18 years ago, VW got rid of the 1.8T in the Golf here in NZ and replaced it with the 2.3 V5 engine with no turbo - same power, but less complicated.

28th Jun 2018, 16:34

Totally agree. You wouldn't be the guy I had a convo with on this website in the Skoda/Mazda pages a couple of years ago? I think the posts are still there on the Skoda Octavia/Mazda 6 reviews...

Anyway, the general conclusion was that yes of course modern cars are great and all that, and they have come a long way, but durability and reliability are as variable as ever, and it's frustrating when you had cars back in the 80s and 90s that got to about 10 years old with lots of miles and still running well with nothing more than basic maintenance. Yet you have modern cars needing very expensive repairs at only a few years old. Progress, I think not. Myself I'm in the UK and still running about in a 2004 petrol Ford Mondeo. A great car that I will keep until the very end. My 2002 Skoda Octavia was written off; would still have had it otherwise, especially being the last of the great diesels of the 90s. But would never dream of having a modern diesel, even if someone gave me one.

29th Jun 2018, 12:56

I may have been that person you had a conversation with - I've been reading Carsurvey.org everyday since roughly when it started, and I do like Skodas. I've been driving a 2001 316TI for the last 8 years. Yes indeed - new cars are a mixed bag. They've become just complicated and expensive to fix. But in saying that, while growing up, cars were nearly junk by the time they were 10 years old (rust), "overhaul" was a common event in a car's life, a car simply would refuse to start one fateful morning for no apparent reason, automatic chokes were hopeless, etc. Not many cars rust quickly anymore, most starting problems are due to failed batteries, engines start up and idle without problems in icy weather. But when the non-basics fail - could be a body control computer, the valve-body of an auto transmission, even the injectors of direct-injection petrol engines, items which were not dependent on care and maintenance, cars that are otherwise durable are written off due to the cost of repair.

29th Jun 2018, 22:43

Yes I think I recall the convo, I've been looking at this site for years as well, and many other car review sites.

I think the key to getting the best out of reviews is to look for patterns - if something is consistently bad or good then that's a good gauge. But generally people with older cars complained most about minor problems like interior trim peeling and door locks being sticky in winter, as you'll know older cars didn't have remote locking so had more wear and tear on locks. Bigger problems were things like rust, and the odd serious engine problem like head gaskets, but only at a very high mileage.

So my biggest problem with modern cars is although they are a bit tougher and more durable, the smaller electronic stuff and environmental legally required things like DPF on diesels and the subsequent larger dual mass flywheels and stronger injectors, all cost a fortune to put right at a relatively low age and mileage. This simply was not the case for older cars. I'd also still argue used beats new for value for money in the long run.