The diesel engine is very smooth-running and quiet. There is no turbo lag at all, which means that at speeds above 40mph you do not need to drop a gear to overtake. Just put the fot down and the engine responds immediately.
I regularly have four adults in the car and don't feel any drop in performance at all. If I cruise along the motorway to work at 55mph, I can get up to 60mpg, which is excellent.
Since buying the car in August 2001, I have taken it to France four times. I go to Calais on one tank of fuel, and return on one tankful. That is despite four people in the car, a roofbox on top, normal luggage and lots of wine etc on the return trip.
Over the past 30 years of driving and having had many cars, the Passat has by far been the best one I've ever had. So much so, that when the new one comes out this year, I will buy one.
The interior of the car is of a very high standard with leather seats, climate control and 6 CD interchanger. The ride in the 1.9TDi Highline is OK but feels spongy compared to a new Vectra SRi or a Mondeo.
The acceleration is also good, but the car sounds a bit loud when starting up. The one thing I did not like about this car was the very short drivers seat! The back of your legs end up hanging a good 5-6 inches over the front of the seat making for an uncomfortable long distance ride. This car would be perfect if they sharpened up the handling, lengthened the front seats and fitted cruise control as standard.
The Passat is not as comfortable car as my previous Omega. It has better quality leather but the depth of the seat behind the leg is less and does feel as though it could be deeper.
I am impressed with the handling of the vehicle as the four wheel drive has great flexibility. The car is very smooth and quiet except at the higher end of the speed range. Between 70 - 85 mph it is a very nice motorway vehilce, above that not so.
The rear standard darkened windows are a gods send for the kids and the centre arm rest is not so obtrusive so as you wish it up all the time. The engine revs freely and the take up from the off is very pleasing. the clutch I find very strange.
I am a professional driver and my job involves driving at high speeds on occasion, this needs smooth gear changes and I must say that in most cars I can manage this quite easily. This Passat clutch is very strange and is an art form to get right. As a result the gear change is somewhat lumpy unless you give the engine a good dose of revs.
I find the suspension to be adequate for the car, contrary to reviews. The cruise control is very user friendly and seems to cut back on the average fuel figures. The boot is huge and could easily store three or four golf bags and trolleys. A complaint would be that the glovebox is useful for nothing as it has the service schedule book in.
Overall a very good competant car and I would reccomend it to anybody who wanted a responsive drive. 4 stars.
Having had a 1998 1.6S Passat, which was excellent, I went for the TDi Sport.
However, the Sport has been a let-down. The ride is very fidgety without providing much advantage in the corners and still rolls too much. Having an SE courtesy car, I found that it provided a better ride over all surfaces with no failings in the corners.
The torque from the TDi often proves too much for the grip available when pulling away from junctions on anything other than dry roads. Having said that, the car’s cruising and overtaking abilities are both excellent and, once on the move, it is very easy to drive and the seats and driving position are both very good.
Equipment levels are good and I find the car economical, regularly getting over 50mpg on a decent journey. The 6-speed gearbox is easy to use and seems much better than the 5-speed in the S and SE models I’ve driven.
Running costs are good, though the car has an appetite for tyres. Servicing has proved inexpensive and the dealer has been efficient.
The interior quality has, however, been poor.
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Owned for 1 year, as family runabout Pros good size, general build quality, powershift gearbox, good to drive, low costs Cons handling slighly…
Had this car for 90k from new. A 56 plate. In over 2,000,000 miles driven this one has broken down the most of any car I have had. DO NOT get a 2.0…