Volkswagen Passat Estate (99 - 05) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

Have had this car for one month and have to say it is a vast improvement on my previous 2.0 Sport Estate. Of course there is no mistaking that visually it is a Passat but the new lines give it a little bit more of a purposeful air in comparison with the out going model, Where you really notice the difference is when you step into the cabin the quality and feel is up with much more expensive marks. The seats are very comfortable and as ever the controls are all easy to use and in the right place. I was in a quandary whether I should upgrade the sat. nav. I didn't and it is my belief that the standard one is quite adequate. There is plenty of room for large people in this car and with the larger rear doors tall people do not have to be contortionists to get in. The addition of heating controls in the back means that rear passengers aren't always asking you to adjust the heating. The ride is quiet and smooth soaking up most of the bumps in the road very well. Thus far I have done about 2,000 miles and am averaging 47 mpg that includes city & open road driving, on a run it averages about 53 mpg - I anticipate these figures to improve as it gets run in.

Merv. Carter, Essex, March 16th 2015

TDI GT 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG47 mpg

The car I bought had been poorly maintained by the previous lady owner for 4 years and the dealer was not helpful with problems but now I have got on top of this the car is proving to be just what I wanted it to be a comfy long distance load lugger, I have the 105bhp engine which whilst not lively returns 50+ mpg even fully laden with my 100kg on call kit (in the military). There is ample space in the front and rear and the boot is ample enough for most trips and caring for the car is imperative, unlike old volvos which thrive on neglect, these cars do not! I spent a decent sum on correcting errors made in the past and now reliability is my reward, adding an external music lead and Bluetooth has made living with the car more tolerable, passengers sleep easily in the comfort and space and quiet on motorways with even budget tyres, repairs are easy at vw specialists and the EPB is widely disliked, budget a switch change for every 2 years and accept a rear brake repair is not DIY, easy to work on yourself though as I do and the fact taxi drivers like these cars speaks volumes. Avoiding the 2.0 injector failure debacle was a wise move and later blue motion engines are a great improvement. Don't expect lightning performance but enjoy a near 800 mile range and get the best spec you can afford as basics like mine had can be frustrating if you have got used to such things.

Ian Lisseman, West Midlands, October 26th 2014

SE TDI 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG48.7 mpg

Just wow and amazing giving me around 48 -50 in town and around 55 in motorways @70mph recently got in -oct 2013 comfortable seats. big boot, lovely for a family with kids i would recommed this car

Ravi Coppisetty, fife, February 19th 2014

Highline Plus BlueMotion Tech TDI CR DPF 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG55 mpg

I've owned this car for just over a year and have done over 30k miles in this time taking total mileage to over 80k. So far no problems and the car is running like a gem. The only issue is this engine isn't particularly fast off the mark and I wish I'd opted for the 2.0 litre. However it has good pulling power once you get going and is a comfortable car for long journeys. The boot space is perfect having a dog and young child having considered 3 series touring and a3 avant which both have smaller boots. My last car was a company car - 2011 model passat sport 2.0litre tdi. This car even though is very similar to drive has been improved and refined in comparison eg. Parking brake is much easier to use, driving controls such as indicator and light lever don't clunk when used and generally the dashboard has been improved to make it feel like a prestige car. I can't compare my experiences to some of the other reviews as in my option this car is great (perhaps I've been lucky). My next car will definitely be another passat estate

Ed Bevington, July 5th 2013

SE TDI 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG48 mpg

I have just clocked up 3000 in my Passat and have to say the Whatcar review just about has the vehicle banged to rights. I chose the 1.4TSI engine as I am a low mileage driver and the diesel option was not cost effective. Performance is more than acceptable especially as I drive mainly on short rural journeys. I manage the lower end of the MPG figures but on long journeys keeping within the speed limits I can easily obtain above 50MPG and more. The engine is willing and quiet and will deliver all the power needed but may need to be worked hard to do so. At cruising speeds it is silent and smooth. The cabin is spacious and comfortable though trim levels could be better in many areas. The highline trim is good value for money and I have a sunroof and electronic doors which do elevate the feeling of luxury. The RNS315 satnav is a fairly woeful radio/nav system. The screen is way too small and the DAB radio reception poor. Overall I bought this car to accommodate my travel and canine needs and the car does this in spades. If only there could be a degree more enjoyment in the driving experience but this Passat does feel that it will do what VW says it will do for ever.

Robert Forbes, Morayshire, June 26th 2013

TSI Bluemotion Tech Highline 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

A fantastic car - just upgraded from a Ford Mondeo, which was OK when it worked but the difference in build quality, layout and even sound proofing is a class apart. It is smaller than the Mondeo but so much better in quality. MPG is impacted by. Not having a 7speed DSG box - so I get about 46mpg on the motorway - which is good considering the weigh and 4 wheel drive system - interestingly I get low 40's driving around town, which is amazing.

Paul Bason, Dorset, June 19th 2013

TDI 170 Bluemotion Tech 4MOTION 5dr DSG

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

I've read the previous comments left on here and I am amazed at how people can complain that this car is bland. I received my car a week ago and clocked up 700 miles. Its comfy. Hardly surprising at you can change every conceivable way to sit. So people who say its not hasn't taken the time to adjust the seat. Economical. I've returned 650 miles a tank on my 1.6 diesel. Kitted out. I have the highline and there isn't anything more you could want. You can switch off the electronic handbrake and gear change indicators etc. the auto hold on the brake makes hill starts easy so I think the person who wrote they were struggling didn't know how to use it. So the only thing I would say is a 1.6 estate is underpowered woefully. However mine is a company car so the tax is great. And as for it not being noticed....who cares . It's a great car and does what it says on the tin. Buy one.

David Meredith, Berkshire , June 11th 2013

TDI BlueMotion 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG53 mpg

I have this model with the sports seat option. This may seem absurd with a 0-62 time that is measured in days but if you are not a fat slug the standard seats are over generous. Of course the economy on this car is far below the published figures. I like the little 1.6 diesel but this should only be considered by Doris Day fans. The car is not cumbersome to drive despite its size. I never worry about resale value but this is a good value purchase at the time of writing. The interior is reasonably durable but lacks any real sense of style (fortunately). Until VW replace this it seems an ideal purchase for anyone who wants a decent car that will be ignored by other road users but still provide an undemanding and reassuring driving experience and considerable comfort. If the statement you wish to make is 'boring old fart' choosing this vehicle will save you the cost of a bumper sticker.

Chris Poole, February 21st 2013

TDI Bluemotion Tech Highline 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have this model with the sports seat option. This may seem absurd with a 0-62 time that is measured in days but if you are not a fat slug the standard seats are over generous. Of course the economy on this car is far below the published figures. I like the little 1.6 diesel but this should only be considered by Doris Day fans. The car is not cumbersome to drive despite its size. I never worry about resale value but this is a good value purchase at the time of writing. The interior is reasonably durable but lacks any real sense of style (fortunately). Until VW replace this it seems an ideal purchase for anyone who wants a decent car that will be ignored by other road users but still provide an undemanding and reassuring driving experience and considerable comfort. If the statement you wish to make is 'boring old fart' choosing this vehicle will save you the cost of a bumper sticker.

Chris Poole, February 21st 2013

TDI Bluemotion Tech Executive 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I rented this car for a weekend for a 400 mile round trip for 5 adults. I was not shown how to start the engine (pretty basic stuff) but had no problem with it. Unfortunately I rented it in High Wycombe and within 3 minutes had to negotiate a hill-start with the electronic handbrake, what's that all about? The driver's seat was the most uncomfortable I have come across in a modern car and I woke up this morning with a stiff neck from the way the head restraint poked forward. The 4 passengers were quite comfy. Heating, aircon and demisting were all excellent, fortunately, because I woke up this morning to a heavy frost. BUT, there are 3 varieties of clock on the dashboard and no external thermometer, even my small supermini has that. And the dashboard is SO bossy, "depress the clutch" "depress the brake pedal" "Bluetooth connectivity not found"!!!!! and telling the driver to change up/down, I should think anyone who can afford to dive this car has been driving long enough to know when to do that!

Mary Faulkner, November 18th 2012

TDI Bluemotion Tech S 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG57 mpg

I have driven my Passat for over 100,000 miles and here are some of the pros and cons. Pros: It's a good looking car. It's fuel economy is good....averaging around 45mpg. Best tankfull- 55mpg, worst- 41mpg, giving me a generous range of 650-700 miles. The build quality is as good as you should expect from a VW, the interior is hard wearing without being pretty, but then Germans do practical not pretty, which is what I wanted from this car. All in all I would say a very practical car that fits my needs well. Cons: Beware, when it goes wrong it's expensive. The unnecessary electronic handbrake would have cost me Β£700+ to fix at a dealer, a faulty ECU cost me Β£1500 and 11 days off the road, a fault with the electronic ingnition would have cost me Β£800+ to fix at a dealer. The ignition fault has had a recall in the USA but here VW refuse to admit that there's an issue! Even though the car cuts out whilst driving. If you search the VW forums you will find hundreds of similar cases relating to this issue but VW UK still buries it's head in the sand. When I called VW UK I was told because our safety laws differ from those in the USA, VW UK will not issue a recall for this fault. VW really needs to be careful on this issue, because it's famous build quality reputation is being eroded by the faults on this model. In conclusion- don't expect trouble free motoring, it'll cost you.

Simon Nock, West Sussex, November 9th 2012

S TDI 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

I ran this car for 4 years covering around 100k from a starting mileage of 13k. The best thing was the engine which although noisy and unrefined was reliable & returned consistently good MPG. The worst things were constant problems with uneven & early tyre wear (despite multiple 4 wheel alignment visits to VW & tyre centres) and the utterly useless servo parking brake which failed to auto release 25% of the time and would auto release when in neutral! After 100k the suspension was worn and the paintwork was lifting in several places. Had problems with airbag fault, diesel pump,rear washer pump, front wheel bearing failure & door handle falling off which were all fixed under warranty. The brakes are good but the handling & performance aren't great, as one would expect for a 1.9 diesel estate. This is not a car that you like - its the economics that make sense, but after 4 years and rust starting to appear I was glad to sell it on and look for something quieter, more comfortable & with better performance.

Mark Wilkin, October 9th 2012

SE TDI 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG47 mpg

I hired this car for a round-trip of 450 miles using a mixture of motorways, A-roads, and town driving. The car was comfortable, spacious, well-built, well-equipped, efficient, quiet, and..............utterly dull and instantly forgettable. I think it must have been designed by an adrenalin-phobic. If it was a person it would be Jean Claude Trichet rather than Jean Claude van Damme. So, if you like beige cardigans this is your car. But, be on the safe side, order it with lane-change warning lest it dulls you to sleep. outgoing head of the European Central Bank, as if you didn't know!

Andy Roberts, October 10th 2011

TSI Bluemotion Tech S 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

I bought this car only a few months ago and it is pretty poor. The fuel consumption is my main complaint as it never seems to be any better than 25 mpg which is awful. The next issue is the engine which moans and groans constantly as it is clearly underpowered. I can't wait to be rid of this bit of junk.

mushtaque ali, June 1st 2011

SE FSI 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG25 mpg

Ive had my car for nearly 5 years now. It was bought in 06 after its first MOT with 120k on the clock. It was an ex-fleet car with FSH. Now its on 155k and in that time since new, apart from service items, its had a rediator, and coolant temp sensor. Thats it. The guy who had it before me said that it never wanted for anything except service items. Its also still on its origonal factory clutch! Tyre wear is practicly non existent on mine. On a run its up in the 55+ MPG and even towing a 1300kg caravan it returns 28-30mpg. There are no rattles inside and everything still works. I was lucky enough to find one with heated seats and cruise + dual climate. If you dont do racing starts with these due to sensitve DM flywheel, treat them well, and put in the correct oil (very important on PD's), these go on forever! Best car ive ever owned. A guy below said his turbo went at 140K, what do you expect if you remap to over 160BHP? DOH.

Gary Hardings, May 12th 2011

SE TDI 130 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

Have had so many faults with this car from new, they are as follows .Came without the cruise control fitted as ordered Β·Left hand panel on the centre console has come loose on 2 occasions. Β·Numerous creaks, rattles and squeaks, including one from the driver’s side β€˜B’ pillar that has necessitated around 10 trips to the garage. Still occasionally squeaks and rattles now. Β·Unable to set the cruise control on several occasions. Β·Noise on driving from within dashboard, increased with speed and burning smell. Β·Bluetooth kept cutting out. Β·Car has cut out twice while slowing down from speed for a junction – fuel pump replaced as a β€˜precaution’. Β·Heating not keeping heat on long journeys – no fault found – not fixed. Β·β€˜Crunching on selecting 2nd gear. Β·Car failed to start several times Β·Handbrake not coming of automatically when pulling away. Β·Handbrake failed a week after being told there was no fault with it – handbrake got stuck on after taking my daughter to A&E, car was stuck o/s A&E for Β½ hour. Β·Unable to open front passenger door. Β·Drivers seat belt would not do up. Brought a VW for the build quality, WONT be buying another. Dealer I bought car from was less than helpful, ignored me when I said I wanted to reject the car after about 6 weeks, when I complained about their service the manager told me there were other dealers. Am now getting rid of it for as S-Max.

Philip Arkwright, Herts, February 10th 2009

S TDI 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

A good car with few niggles

William Young, Argyll, February 4th 2009

Sport TDI 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG47.6 mpg

If you live anywhere it snows, don't bother buying this car or buy the car and get some winter wheels for it. It grinds to a stop on the slighest snowy (<2cm deep) incline (not hill!) and refuses to go anywhere, never mind ESP and the rest. It is without a doubt the worst car I have ever driven in the snow (but has good grip in the dry and is ok in the wet) but I feel the problem is down to the tyres. The car itself is good, the cabin feels well made and dispite the controls for some of the equipment (esp and auto hold buttons are located on the far side of the gear stick) and the radio all being on the wrong side (eg you have to reach across to the far side to change tracks or turn it on) it is generally a nice place to be. The heated windscreen/washer jets are brilliant and well worth the extra Β£95. The electronic handbrake is a bind and does have a nasty habit of either a) not working or b) not releasing - I would gladly see a less 'futuristic' system. The car cruises well at motorway speeds and eats the miles. Would I have another - unfortunately no, simply because of the winter traction and handbrake problems.

Robert Booth, Lancs, January 13th 2009

Highline TDI 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG46 mpg

I have owned this car for 10 months and have put 22,000 miles on the clock and so far so good. It drives really well, is comfortable over long journeys and I get about 44 mpg overall (not bad as I drive it pretty hard). I have read all the horror stories about fuel pumps going etc etc and I know I am tempting fate but mine has been perfect. The only niggle is a persistent rattle/squeak in the glove box area which drives me mad but it goes on the motorway. My 21,000 mile service was only Β£150 which I thought was pretty good. The local dealer in Bristol could not have been more helpful. I was after an Audi A4 but this costs a lot less and has done me proud.

Jules Harbottle, December 29th 2008

Sport TDI 170 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG44 mpg

Purchased new on 29/09/08 and was the worst descision i've ever made Having thought we'ed out used our 04 Galaxy i persuaded my wife to change to a VW. In the last 8 weeks its had the park assist fail, the passenger door aand vw badge adjusted, the parking brake lock on and wouldn't relaese ans has spent 4 weeks out of 10 in the garage, since having back the heater goes off, the elec mirrors have a mind iof their own and the widows were all down on my return to the car in a car park on saturday. We actually gave up with it last friday and bought a brand new galaxy to get back into our comfort zone. VW dealers, head office and the SMMT are all useless and don't want to know. Good deal on the Galaxy though Β£19,750 for the 2 litre TDI Ghia, i wish i could say the same for the trade -in.

Tim Hough, cheshire, December 15th 2008

Highline TDI 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg