I have owned my Passat from new since the beginning of August 2008. Prior to this I have owned a Mondeo (nearly new) and a Nissan Primera (from new).
Firstly I must say that the Passat is in a different class to the other 2. As a total package it certainly feels like a premium product in comparison. I do around 30,000 miles per annum so I always tend to go for diesels and this new common-rail engine is so refined compared to the previous cars I owned and the Golf hire car that I had for a month before getting the Passat. The Golf had the PD diesel engine in it which was ok but very loud. This new one is almost silent in comparison both inside and outside the car.
By far the best thing for me with this car is the fuel economy. I was getting used to manufacturers overstating their combined figures by about 6-7 mpg (my 2.2 diesel Mondeo averaged 43mpg (manufacturer stated 48 and my 2.2 Primera averaged 41mpg compared to an official 48mpg). I am averaging 51 (manual calculations) with the Passat compared to the 47.9 official figure. I even got 54mpg on a trip to Longleat from York with a fully laden car (4 people and luggage).
Will I buy another one (I change every year)? Yes, it will be either a Passat or an A4 next time, as long as it has this new common-rail diesel engine in it.
I have owned this car since Feb 06 and covered 84k miles. Plus points? smooth, comfortable motorway car with lots of space. Negatives? never achieved adverised mpg even with careful driving. Had new cylinder head and 2 fuel pumps. Generally doesn't feel as well built and top quality as the two previous models I've owned. Would I buy another - probably, as the VW dealer is just down the road.
We have just had our VW Passat 2.0 litre TDI 140 SE DSG estate for two months, after previously owning a Land Rover Discovery 3 (lovely vehicle, but horrendously expensive to run). A reluctant, but necessary change, buying the Passat has proved to be one of the best decisions we've made. It's classy, well built, roomy, a joy to drive and more to the point, compared to our previous vehicle, fantastically economical! The mpg is practically what it says on the tin, the VED is a lot less and the servicing costs are reasonable. AND the VW dealership has been thoroughly professional and top notch.
Like most people, I have owned many cars and my Passat (estate) is quite possibly the best. I have had no reliability problems at all during the 31,000 miles that it's now done. It is very comfortable (my last BMW had dreadful seats), practical, very roomy and just about fast enough. Tyres are very expensive and during the last 18 months I have bought 4 of them. I would definitely recommend this car.
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