This is my 3rd Passat TDI SE in a row, so I have obviously been impressed by my other 1.9 diesel models. I have covered 10,000 miles of hard driving in 6 months on motorways and A and B class roads and as usual my VW has not missed a beat. Overall I feel that this new 2.0 cc TDI model is a big improvement on my previous ones in terms of appearance and internal trim. I absolutely love the electronic handbrake, which is very effective, and also the pop-up boot lid. I opted for front and rear parking sensors, although, the rear sensors on this car are not as sensitive or wide ranging as those on my my last Passat. The car is more powerful than the 1.9 although the ride is not as good as on earlier Passats. Wind and road noise at speed is negigible. The seats are well upholstered and very supportive and it is easy to obtain a comfortable driving position. My only niggle is that the aluminium dashboard trim reflects onto the driver's wing mirror, meaning that you have take your eyes off the road for that bit longer to be sure of what you are seeing. If VW made the Passat in hatchback form then it would have a world beater. Would I buy another Passat - Absolutely yes!
Jack Kelly, Glasgow
This is a company car; I drive many cars so I hope my observations are reasonably objective. Given my general dislike of this car, it is fair to start with the positives: it offers generous interior space; at motorway speeds the car is refined; the gearshift is precise. As with previous VW diesels I have driven, this one delivers a healthy slug of torque –excellent for overtaking –and good fuel economy. Now the negative points: the engine is unrefined, vibrating through the steering wheel and peddles. The throttle response is poor. The handling, whilst fine on undemanding roads, deteriorates when the road is more challenging. Grip is good but the body control is terrible, lurching from side to side through sharper turns. The steering provides poor feel around the straight-ahead position. The interior quality is much worse than previous VWs I have owned. There is an annoying dashboard rattle that randomly occurs. The lower half of the dashboard, which projects towards the occupants, is made from an unpleasant solid plastic. The electronic parking brake is dreadful; the flimsy plastic button takes longer, requires more effort and is less pleasant to use than a conventional handbrake. It also failed, resulting in an immobile car. My dealer experience was poor; the staff offering a patronising manner and an unwillingness to admit to problems. No car is perfect and this one is not terrible, but the characteristics of this Passat irritate much more than they satisfy.
This is a company car, with primarily motorway driving. The 1.9 engine is economical, with adequate pull. The engine can get noisy at times and feel it should be a 6 speed. Apart from that, its a comfortable motorway cruiser. The gearbox is silky smooth, a lot better than other cars I have driven. The interior is of good standard, with a simple dash layout. I have the S, which comes with a/c, front electric windows, trip computer and cd player, which is adequate for everyday travelling. The car also looks more expensive than it actually is.
Car has covered 20,000 miles and the only problem I have encountered was the boot catch jammed, meaning I couldn't close the boot, but this was covered under warranty.
Overall, it's a good, solid car - handles well for quite a big car and ticks all my boxes for a company car. Only bad point is the slight underpower of the engine - for any prospective Passat owner/driver, would recommend the 2.0 TDI 140.
My 2006 Passat has not really lived up to expectations and has had several problems:
1.electric handbrake failing to release - new switch fitted 2. in dash vent broke - replaced 3. in dash drawer got stuck - replaced 4. various dash board rattles - turn up the stereo! 5. rear wheel bearings are noisy - will book in VW garage soon.
It looks like the infamous fuel pump problem has now been ackowledged by VW - mine was replaced at the last service even though it wasn't defective.
I quite like the electric handbrake but wasn't impressed when it failed to release when taking our garden waste to the local refuse tip. It had to be recovered to VW!
I have owned several Passats in the past and must say the latest model is a bit of a disappointment. It looks good and handles well but build quality is noticeably down. My biggest gripe is the refinement. The 1.9 litre is far more audible in this model than the previous one. Sadly i'll be looking elsewhere when it comes to my next car.
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