Volkswagen Passat Saloon (99 - 05) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

Yes I know 2 stars sounds improbable for a new Passat , let me explain... I've had almost all rep mobiles over the past 15 years, and because I've had a fairly free choice of car upto 22k I've always been able to spec something quite nice. This time around my company got a job lot of Passats, so i had no choice, therefore I'm probably a bit grumpy and biased. I'm not snobby about the badge, I rated by Mondeo and my 407 very highly. But I am totally failing to see where the 'quality' of the Passat is. My major gripes are simply the interior, in the first few days driving the following niggles: 1) cup holders are cheap feeling flimsy plastic that completely obstruct the gear shift in use and are awkward to slot the cup in. 2) sunglasses pocket barely holds one pair of sunglasses without a case, and the catch is feeble. 3) lower right storage bin has the upper latch completely exposed so you scratch your hand very easily as you reach in 4) glovebox tiny 5) speedo dial only in mph therefore by European law there has to be a km/h digital readout. Therefore no mph digital readout which is not helpful for speed camera compliance. 6) sat nav is hopeless. In just 100 miles almost all motorway from Essex to Eastbourne my Tom Tom disagreed on routes 4 times, and they are both supposed to be assessing the traffic continuously. 7) yes there are a few 'digital tricks', good Bluetooth etc. but why only the old style ipad connector? I could go on but no more space in this

Chris Cooke, February 22nd 2014

TDI Bluemotion Tech SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG50 mpg

I have owned my Passat since April 2011 and covered around 20k in that time. Lets start with the good. Great engine: Pulls hard, quiet and refined. Bit chuggy on start when its cold but runs well. Economical: Average well over 50mpg on a long run and around 45ish on my short daily commute. (Had 60mpg at times) Cabin: Cabin is well laid out and comfortable, more than enough for 4 adults, especially the leather seats but...... see the cons for more. Boot: Very large. Handling: Excellent on the motorway and nice to drive on the A roads. never going to be a B road monster. Running costs: Insurance has been broadly good and the tax is only £170, servicing is good at an independent VW garage. And the bad.......... Reliability: Throttle died £350, Brake pad failure £100, Glowplug £70, Handbrake switch £40, Air in the brakes £££, sticky ABS pump £££, intermittent handbrake faults. Cabin: Rattles and squeaks, rubberised finish readily wears off doors and door handles, upgraded touchscreen stereo is a bit glaring at night (should have darker night mode). Overall i really like this car. Its fast, comfortable and nice to drive on a long motorway slog. BUT........ It's let me down time and again. Only luck I've had was i had a VW recall to replace all 4 diesel injectors for free (at £500 a pop). If you have a good'un i think this would be an amazing car, but i feel a little too jaded by the experience to get another. Maybe a BMW 3 series or Ford Mondeo next.

Chris Hope, Somerset, October 6th 2013

Sport TDI 4dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG47 mpg

Bought car 2009 at 40k miles on clock. Since then I've had to replace both rear electronic brake calipers, to be fair this is probably wear and tear but the bill was eyewatering, Β£200+ each for the work. Then car would not start at times, new immobiliser module needed Β£500+. It started jumping out of 2nd gear, went to specialist and was told it was a common problem, best cost option was to fit a recon gearbox, Β£500+. Nice car to drive on motorway and not to bad about town, mpg in town around 42 on longer motorway trips I got over 47mpg so happy with that. Mine was an estate which does have large boot with good access. Equipment level was poor, I know it was only the S model, but I thinks it is the only car I had in the last 20 years with no rear speaker for the radio! Basic radio/cd, basic air con, no cruise, front only electric windows. I would have been happy with car if the breakdowns had not happened or the bills had been less. However I did get fair price when selling car on so the depreciation cost are possibly lower than some other cars. Would I buy another passat, no.

Robert Mobile, June 12th 2013

S TDI 4dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG44 mpg

Had this car for just under 2 years, covering 56k mainly motorway miles. Replaced a 10 plate Audi A4 SE. Passat 1.6tdi was the only option for me at my last company. Standard SE kit is pretty good but surpassed by the new Highline models. Dab, iPod control, auto windscreen/lights, cruise as standard. Seats comfy, and loads of room in the back and huge boot. Very comfortable drive, better than the A4. Drivers position is excellent. Bad points: Loads of rattles within the car, mainly dash and from the doors. Couple of whacks to the dash or doors would normally sort them out. Interior finish not as good as an A4. Reliability is so so. Had an engine management failure whilst on the M3 that caused the engine to go into safe mode (30mph) whilst in the outside lane. Scared the life out of me and also the cars behind! No issue, was resolved with a software update by VW. Couple other electric failures which have been covered under warranty. The main issue for me was the awful 1.6tdi engine. 0-60 in over 12 seconds, awful in this day and age. Car would struggle to overtake in 5th or 6th gear, and would also struggle up minor hills in second gear and advise you to drop into 1st! Because the engine is so weak, fuel economy is very, very poor as you have to drive the car hard in lower gears. Urge everyone to get the 2.0tdi if possible, as the 1.6tdi will frustrate keen drivers. Now driving a VW CC 2.0tdi 140 that averages 55mpg. That's economy you expect from a Tdi Bluemotion engi

Rob O'Hare, June 6th 2013

TDI Bluemotion Tech SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG43 mpg

Company car driver, commuting to work everyday in combination of motorway and town/queing traffic and had the car 4 months. I love the feel/drive of the car, and is really easy and comforting as you "drift" along. Would have preferred the 2 litre version, but did not come into the List Price my company uses to base it purchases on, as the 1.6 is a little underpowered to my mind. That said, when up and running at speed, it is happy to cruise along very comfortably. Annoyed they brought out the Highline version just after I ordered the SE (with all the options that it now includes!) as meant it being a real result of a car! I really like it, and would not swap it for anything else in its category. Just as good a drive and as much "fun" (what does that actually mean?!) as a Mondeo, but cheaper to own as a company car (ridiculous Ford List Prices!) Mine is in the Autumn Brown and it looks great (I think all the Greys/Silvers, etc. are just soooooo dull and boring as EVERYBODY has them!)

Ashley Brown, January 21st 2013

TDI Bluemotion Tech SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG42.6 mpg

Bought the Passat 2.0tdi bluemotion 170, specs stated 52mpg town 68mpg motorway, Although we all know getting these is almost imposs ! the best I can get town driving is on the dash 45mpg yet from filling the tank to the brim and then refilling comes back at a mer 32mpg at best. Motorway driving staying at 70mph shows 68mpg on dash, but again filling back to the brim gives a massive 47mpg, NOTHING like the specs given by Vw even if you was to remove 10mpg from the specs its still nothing like they say you get and when taking back to the dealer they just fob you off. dealers just take your car put on a computer and then say nothing wrong. then come back with all the rubbish of run with less fuel blah blah (even though it would then be a unstable reading as you are told not to allow the tank to run dry. About time specs given by dealers are the specs you can get, like you wage is going to be Β£200 then givin you Β£80 and saying well its a average figure. Anyone able to help on this please do get intouch as the car now has 12k miles on it and at this rate will be gone before it has 20k.

Geoff Howarth, December 2nd 2012

TDI 170 Bluemotion Tech Sport 4dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

After owning a 3 year old 2.0 TDi Passat Highline with only a mere 29K on the clock,I recently decoded to purchase a late 2011 Passat 2.0 Tdi Blue Motion S with a milage of 14K. To say I am satisfied is an understatement,I didn't think for one minute that it could surpass my Highline for comfort and all round driver satisfaction,but quite amazingly it has on nearly all counts. The deciding factor initially which drove me to go for this model was the reduced price from a local VW dealer,plus the fact that previously my insurance and road tax cost me Β£730 a year,and now this is reduced (after changing insurers) to Β£410 a year.Furthermore this car is even better on mpg than my Highline.Already I am averaging around 57 mpg,quite fantastic. In conclusion I am very pleased with this car,I particularly like the Blue Motion technology of stop/start which I think is a great idea of saving fuel instead of ticking over needlessly when stationary burning fuel.A great overall saving on a years motoring costs. For a large car it has everything,excellent build quality,economical to run,excellent to drive,all in all simply a great all rounder.

Brian Scott, Lancashire, August 3rd 2012

TDI Bluemotion Tech S 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG57 mpg

I have always somehow hated VW's for their obvious and dull design and I reluctantly accepted this one as my company car... well, after nearly a year of use and well over 50.000 km on the clock I must admit I am totally surprised! I am a keen driver and I do trash it around quite severely; but the car seams to be made out solid rock: no squeeks, no rattles, everything working as if it has just got off the production line. After owning an A4 and 5 series and recently a S-Max, I have to admit, this one drives very well - sporty when needed and relaxing on the long trips. Mine is the 4-motion version, which, I believe, gives it additional grip and it is great to drive on snowy roads (great fun too, if you wish some thrills...). The average consumption is 7 ltr/100 km, which for a car of this size, the permanent 4-wheel drive, my heavy right foot and 200 km daily on the highway, is a miracle. But also other costs are well below the rest of the cars I owned: the regular service is 200 EUR. The drawbacks? Hmmmm... none. Well, perhaps the design, which is neat, but a little anonimuos. But yet again, this car is not meant to show off. Perhaps I wonly wish it had a few gadgets more, such as the DSG gear box and perhaps that it had a dozen of BHPs more. But all in all, a great car and after cruising from badge to badge, this Passat makes me put the hated VW brand on top of my wishlist for my future car choices.

Dejan Bozic, April 22nd 2012

TDI Bluemotion Tech S 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG55 mpg

Hello all, I have just received my company car (Bluemotion Sport 140BHP) in the middle of February, 12 and the car surpasses the test drive!! I had a choice between the Audi A4, VW and the BMW 320d and I am so glad I made this choice. Please ignore the other reviews on the Start/Stop issue as they probably did not bother to talk to the VW guys on how it works. It does not work until it reaches full temperature or will not work if you have the CD player/heaters on full blast. As with all cars, the manufacturers always exaggerate the miles per gallon but I consistently get 50 to a gallon by doing 80-85mph on the motorway. I reckon a full tank with do 750 miles minimum. The interior is excellent and the gearbox is amazing (no forcing). It is very quiet for a diesel and all you hear is the wind. What is also noticable is that the way it is designed. I had a rental insignia and when you drove it, it feels like a big car but when you are in the new passat, it feels alot smaller. I do not know why!! My brother has test driven it and now he is trading his works beamer for a passat in six months time. You know when you have a nice motor when people in the street come up to you and talk to you about the car which has happened to me four times already. Ciao!@!

Craig Seymour, Dorset, March 2nd 2012

TSI Bluemotion Tech S 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG46.8 mpg

Having been a bit concerned about some of the poor reviews of this car I decided to take the plunge and trade my 40 month old Jetta which had continuing clutch judder problems. This car was bought as a demonstrator at 6 months old with 3K on the clock and had all the toys of a SE and more.It was cheaper than a similar Golf. Owned for a couple of months. Very pleased with the car so far. Extremely economical about 59 day to day use and about 64 on a run. This will probably improve with milage.Cabin spacious, engine quiet and refined. Using it sensibly to avoid any DPF problems. If I had to be critical the paint seems very soft on the bonnet and stone chips are already more of a problem than on previous VWs. I will update this site as the car ages.

Steven Bedford, Norfolk, August 27th 2011

TDI Bluemotion Tech S 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG62 mpg

Quality product. We already have a 59 plate 2.0 170 Passat company car and bought this 2.0 130 one as our other car. It's not that pretty and it's not that sporty but it's a great car all the same. Build quality is superb, ride quality is superb. Economy good too at 32mpg (with a fair deal of urban driving). This car excels at comfy traffic driving and enjoyable long drives and motorway drives - that's all the driving I do! Buy one. They are quality and great value on the second hand car Market.

James Colvin, Nottinghamshire, August 10th 2011

S 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

Not quite sure what cars the other reviewers are driving, it's most definitely not the same as mine ! The Passat has a good quality interior, easily a match for my previous car, which was a much more expensive Volvo. Equipment levels are good and the ICE connectivity is excellent: music can be played via CD, USB pendrive, SD card, iPod/iPhone, AUX in for an MP3 player and bluetooth streaming from your device. I have fitted a 70Gb 2.5" hard drive to my car, with ALL my music on it, it works a treat. The ICE unit also has Bluetooth and DAB, as well as Sat Nav. The trim doesn't rattle, at ALL ! and the ride is very quiet, even at motorway speeds. I have the sports seats which are extremely comfortable and very supportive, should you decide to press on. Interior space is impressive, room for five adults and the boot is large and a good shape. The four bag hooks in the boot are handy, as is the auto opening boot lid. The economy is excellent in my opinion, the car now has 5K on it and is turning in 54mpg AVERAGE. On one motorway/town run at 70-75mph over 148 miles it returned 64mpg, pretty impressive for the size of the car. Start stop works well as does the auto hill hold and auto handbrake, only downside is when I drive my wife's car I forget to do it manually - soon all cars will have this feature ! The only thing missing, which is why it dropped a star, is the parking sensors. They should be fitted as standard and should not be a cost option. Other than that very impressed :)

Matt Collins, August 3rd 2011

TDI Bluemotion Tech Executive Style 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG54 mpg

Not quite sure what cars the other reviewers are driving, it's most definitely not the same as mine ! The Passat has a good quality interior, easily a match for my previous car, which was a much more expensive Volvo. Equipment levels are good and the ICE connectivity is excellent: music can be played via CD, USB pendrive, SD card, iPod/iPhone, AUX in for an MP3 player and bluetooth streaming from your device. I have fitted a 70Gb 2.5" hard drive to my car, with ALL my music on it, it works a treat. The ICE unit also has Bluetooth and DAB, as well as Sat Nav. The trim doesn't rattle, at ALL ! and the ride is very quiet, even at motorway speeds. I have the sports seats which are extremely comfortable and very supportive, should you decide to press on. Interior space is impressive, room for five adults and the boot is large and a good shape. The four bag hooks in the boot are handy, as is the auto opening boot lid. The economy is excellent in my opinion, the car now has 5K on it and is turning in 54mpg AVERAGE. On one motorway/town run at 70-75mph over 148 miles it returned 64mpg, pretty impressive for the size of the car. Start stop works well as does the auto hill hold and auto handbrake, only downside is when I drive my wife's car I forget to do it manually - soon all cars will have this feature ! The only thing missing, which is why it dropped a star, is the parking sensors. They should be fitted as standard and should not be a cost option. Other than that very impressed :)

Matt Collins, August 3rd 2011

TDI Bluemotion Tech Sport 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG54 mpg

had my passat for 3 weeks and thats enough for me, utter rubbish build quality and quality of materials. very cheap and nasty for a Β£21k car. trim is already worn and failed around gear stick and centre console vents in the rear of the car. dash rattles, seats are a joke, start/stop system makes it own mind in traffic, handbrake is a gimmick for future visits to garage, onboard computer cant be used during driving so whats the point, radio is very basic and no bluetooth, seats unsupportive, controls are very flimsy. i would gladly take back my 3 year old mondeo instead of this car. this is my first new VW and my last. make sure you keep the car for a few days testing before you buy this Β£21k car, as there are much better cars out there for less. VW did you design this car on the toilet. stay away from this car its rubbish.

Magnus Le Gallez, Ross-Shire, July 30th 2011

TDI Bluemotion Tech S 4dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG48 mpg

I've had this car for just over five years.Bought it with 90k on the clock and it's now closing in on 150k and in that time the only thing i've had to buy outside of normal servicing brakes/tyres etc has been a door locking unit.Had a 3 series BMW beforehand and didn't expect the Passat to be as good but have been proved wrong.Engine is powerful and most at home on the motorway, have registered a massive 63mpg on the motorway at a steady 65mph.On my daily commute of 40 miles round trip it returns at least 47mpg and that's coming through the city with stop starting at traffic lights.Travelled a number of times down to Cornwall in comfort with the wife and two kids with the boot easily accomodating luggage and double buggy.have spoken to friends in the motor trade who've said that this model (a 2002 plate) is far superior to the newer Passat which has left me with a headache when the day finally comes to change.

Danny Atkins, west midlands, April 12th 2011

S TDI 130 4dr

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

I have had my Passat TDI 130 from almost new ( ex Fleet car with 30 k on the clock ) and I have say its been perfect with not a single breakdown or issue in 6 years . Its now on 140K and still going strong with no rattles or squeaks. Other than routine servicing and a new clutch at 130 K ( I had been towing a caravan for last few years) its been cost and problem free. I admit its not the most exciting car to drive but always gets us there in comfort and with 45 plus MPG

Michael Whitehouse, Shropshire, March 14th 2011

SE TDI 130 4dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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 tdi PD engine. Go for the CR one. Based on the dealers comments and the recovery drivers they seem to know about the PD engine. It is a lovely comefortable motorway cruiser with a big cabin and a cavernous boot. Great vehicle with lovely touches. Lockable rear seats so have a nice secure boot. Coin draws at a sensible location to grab toll money from. Comfortable, if slightly narrow, seats. Reasonable handling. Just pray not a hot summer as the air con is VERY underpowered even from new. Had it checked and they said was right, but it could not cool the cabin and if anyone was in the rear then the windows had to be opened on a hot day. The cons...the reliability. 3 injectors failed - one after another. 1st one at 86k and sat in dealers for over a week. No warning just cuts out and you are left with extremely heavy and unassisted brakes and stearing. VW not interested but know it is an issue according to all 4 local dealers. 1 turbo failed at about 50k Hand brake switch broke so brake would not come off Hand brake wiring loom failed with same result as above Rear boot would not shut as catch failed with less than 2k on the clock Front suspension struts and stearing rack replaced under warranty Rear window switches replaced both on passenger door and drivers door at seperate times. There is more but you get the idea!

Matt Bond, February 28th 2011

SE TDI 4dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

Well this is the 6th Passat I have had and I have to say I think VW is slipping. They charge a premium price but it no longer has the premium feel. Pros: A LOT quieter than the previous version 2.0 TDI has more pull low down and down't suffer from the huge hole below 2000rpm like the other one did. DAB radio is lovely, just don't expect it to switch to FM reliably unless listening to a BBC channel. Better mpg, Cons: Front seats are AWFUL. Numb bum after less than 2 hours. A LOT worse than the previous ones. Wind noise is significant now. The ride feels harder and seems jumpy over rough road surfaces. The general feel of the plastics is cheap. eg the soft touch plastic by the window alreasy has a dip in from my elbow resting on it for one drive. The auto start stop....well sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. Makes an interesting game at the lights....will the car restart or wont it! Ditto the handbrake. I always park with the car in gear. On several occassions it has been resting on the gears rather than the handbrake. Rain sensing wipers.... No coin draws. They were perfect before for parking and toll money. Real pain now they have gone. Now have a ash tray that rattles as full of coins. No reversing sensors. COME ON VW! On a car like this they should be standard. Don't want anything fancy, just go beep beep will be fine. Like the last one, guess the distance at the rear is a fun game. Hope this bumper is a solid as the last one was.

Matt Bond, February 28th 2011

TDI Bluemotion Tech SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG54 mpg

The car looks and when it goes drives great. VW used to be known for reliability, not anymore! I have had this car for six month now and it has left me at the side of the road looking like a fool six times!!! Car looks great when sitting on the drive which is about all it is any use for... Talking to people my experience is very common, the only surprise everyone seems to have is that VW have kept their good name??? Our last car was a Mazda which did not go wrong once in its 14 years. But we thought we would try something more β€œup market”. My priorities have been set straight and I know what my next car will be...

george hodges, February 27th 2011

TDI Bluemotion Tech SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG50 mpg

Coming to the end of my 3 year lease on this car and so sad to give it up. It's been v.reliable not a thing wrong in over 50k miles. still looks stunning (when clean!) and agree with previous entry that for your money you'll have to go along way to get better. Engine is wonderful, could listen to it all day and with 140ps there's the right amount of power all the way through the range without giving you whiplash. It's making my new car extremely had to find.

John Noble, Merseyside, February 17th 2009

SE TDI 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG48 mpg