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2008 Volkswagen Passat review
by Matt Brogan

2008 Volkswagen Passat 2.0TDI Sedan & Estate Review

Models tested:

  • 2008 Volkswagen Passat 2.0TDI Sedan & Estate, 5-door, 6-speed DSG, 2.0-litre diesel, $44,990 – $46,990

Handling, Performance, Quality Fit & Feel, Quiet

Reverse Gear, Basic Stereo, Torque Steer.

CarAdvice rating:

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

– by Matt Brogan & Alborz Fallah

Alborz – Before getting myself to Volkswagen Brisbane, I was a little pessimistic about the car, “Not a Paassaaat…” I said to myself in that 8-year old tone-of-voice better suited to words like “homework” or “vegetables”.

One thing automotive journalists don’t like to admit all that often is that in this day and age, it’s quite rare to really hate a car, yes the Proton Savvy and the Colt Cabriolet made me incandescent with rage, but I didn’t HATE them, I just wished they would go away and drown in the Brisbane river.

For some reason I was expecting bad things from Volkswagen’s family car and to make matters worse, it was a diesel, so it was instantly going to be boring, noisy, gutless and people would think I was married with 3 kids.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

Besides, picking up the Passat meant handing back the keys to a car which I’d just fallen in-love with, the Volkswagen EOS (expect a review on that shortly). Alas, I sat in the Passat, glanced back towards the EOS for the last time and with a loud sigh, I turned on the diesel motor.

When they say first impressions count, they don’t lie.

Next page…

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

The most obvious problem with the Passat diesel is that it’s just too quite, and while you may think that is a good thing, I don’t, because it means I can’t go on and on about how utterly annoying it is to drive a noisy diesel.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

At one stage I sat on the side of the road playing with all the controls (which look exactly the same as the Jetta and EOS) trying to find a fault – unsuccessfully, I then spent an entire week driving it as hard as legally possible, I even swore at it in German to make it angry, but that didn’t work either.

I really didn’t want to like the Passat as I thought that would be a sure sign that I am getting old, but there is so little to dislike. It’s smooth, refined, beautiful, economical and practical, and if you’re expecting me to say it has no soul, it has that too (even if it is German).

Although not a performance car at heart (wait for the R36), being a VW means it’s no slouch either. As with all cars that come through the Brisbane office, the Passat was taken through the Mt Glorious driving range to find out if it has any sporting credentials.

There is nothing more entertaining than seeing Japanese performance cars pull over so a diesel Passat can pass, and pass it did. But how? It only has 125kW of power and goes from 0-100km/h in 8.6 seconds (sedan)!

The important figure that potential buyers need to consider is the 350Nm of torque, which allows for excellent in-gear acceleration from low revs.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

All that torque is sorted through a 6-speed DSG gearbox which, as always, provides silky smooth gear-shifts. The diesel 2.0-litre engine redlines at around 4,500 RPM, so under hard acceleration gear-changes come hard and fast.

Going around Mt Glorious for the third time, a few things became obvious. Firstly, the Passat is no boring German family car, it really does have some character.

Around twisty corners there is noticeable body-roll (as you can see from the picture above) but unless it’s pushed to the extreme, it’s compliant and very well behaved.

Torque steer is a word I hate writing, but the Passat has forced my hand. Power out of a tight corner and the steering wheel will remind you that you’re, after all, just in a front-wheel drive 2.0-litre turbodiesel.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

Nonetheless the Passat performed the Mt Glorious run exceptionally well – and it wasn’t due to the ESP, as that was turned off for the final run.

If you want a proper performance-orientated Passat, you should either wait for the R36 or go for the 3.2-litre V6 FSI (using the R32 engine). But what you get with the diesel model is a saving of $12,000 and unbelievable fuel economy.

Matt – While Alborz was still going around Mt Glorious (we think he gets lost and doesn’t know how to get back, so he keeps going around and around), I was taking a different approach.

Next page… One of the many things the Germans do well is building motor cars. Their long history in ordered, precise and no nonsense engineering sets them apart from so many of the world’s leading marques, I mean just how many cars do you see these days being hailed as ‘German designed’.

The net benefits to us of course are safe, reliable, quality products for a sensible price – well at least as far as Volkswagen is concerned and the new Passat is testament to that philosophy.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

My test model, the middle of the range 2.0TDI Estate (wagon), boasts an elegant, stylish and modern design which although classy enough to be distinguished from the masses, is subtle enough not to attract thumb nosed glances from those jealous types.

It’s a well finished vehicle, even down to the smaller details so often looked over in mass produced vehicles.The doors for example have that reassuring solid feel on closing, and with solid linkage hinges, will stay open at one of the three pre-determined clicks rather than lofting back against your leg in a stiff breeze. The driver’s door even boasts an umbrella holder.

Then there’s those little luxuries, which although common place on many lesser brands these days, actually work the way you’d expect instead of being second rate attempts at cashing in on someone else’s title.

Take for example the Climate Control. I can’t begin to think how many cars I’ve jumped in which claim to have climate control only to be faced with an automatic fan – fail. The VW however has a true dual zone climate set up which when dialled to a temperature will maintain it flawlessly until otherwise instructed, no bailing out when it can’t be bothered any more. It also comes up to temperature surprisingly fast and with little fuss or noise.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

One reason behind this is that the monitoring of such systems by the on-board computer is done so frequently that there’s little room for error. Take the cruise control as another example. I locked the cruise on 100 through some demanding up and down hilled sections of road and not once did it over-run or lag, even when needing to slow down some steeper declines. This is the way it should be – no nonsense.

Passat is also a very quiet car. There’s next to no air noise and no road noise to speak of. Part of the reason for this is the design of the sill panel. It flares slightly outward to prevent under body noise rising through the door skins and side windows. Although the upshot of this is a far quieter cabin, the down side is you will end up with dust on the back of your trousers when you jump out.

Next page… Your usual run of options quite expected from a mid-$45K vehicle are of course there with fast glass one touch power windows, folding/heated power mirrors, at speed remote central locking, electric tailgate ($750 option on Estate), heated (front only) leather trim, climate, cruise, full trip computer, auto lights, auto wipers, bluetooth, six stack CD and electric memory seats with 3 presets and electric lumbar support.

The seating is comfortable without compromise. Some comfy cars usually end up so soft that on the first corner you’re visiting the passengers lap. Handy on a first date but hardly something I’d like to live with day to day. The Passat is different. It’s adjustable to suit any position you could care for whilst still offering a level of support needed at the cornering speeds this car is capable of.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

Now I bet I can imagine your thoughts right here, did he say cornering speeds? This is after all a station wagon is it not? Well, I guess if you look at it that way, then sure, it’s a wagon, but punt this thing in to a corner and the level of grip offered is remarkable.

Again and again through corner after corner the Passat sits flat and steady offering just the slightest hint of body roll at threshold limits. The handling is superb for such a large FWD wagon, the Pirelli tyres are brilliant, quiet and effortless in their approach to sharp or sweeping corners.

The braking offered is again surprisingly reassuring, flat and progressive. The pedal feel is so well weighted in terms of feedback that stopping with no “sit back” is achieved with very little adjustment on the driver’s behalf. There’s very little need to adjust your pedal pressure on stopping to ensure a smooth stop, even under aggressive braking. The ABS is very well set up for a car of this size and even on loose gravel roads found its footing very quickly.

Drive by wire (electronic) throttle pedals car be a little disconcerting to the uninitiated. Think of it as a foot operated speed control lever than purely an engine rev pedal. On traditional cars the amount of throttle pressure required gradually lessens as speed increases as the engine needs fewer revs when gearing becomes shorter.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

With the drive by wire system, the amount of input required is constant no matter which speed, which means simply that if you push a certain distance the amount of speed gained will be quantitative to that input, regardless of speed. It’s hard to explain, but drive one for a week and you’ll wonder why it’s not more commonplace.

When you realize the technology powering this vehicle is quite sophisticated by comparison to your average wagon, you appreciate the need for such little technologies. The 2.0-litre TDI may look rather tame on paper, but utilizing some clever technology and the über-shmick DSG gearbox the amount of power delivered to the front wheels is really rather impressive.

A seemingly meek 125kW may not have the appeal first noticed by number hungry consumers, but take stock of the 350Nm offered and the variable geometry turbo used to pump that power through the electronically controlled six speed DSG box and things begin to take an interesting turn.

Next page… Performance mayn’t be a word associated with your average wagon, but then again, Passat is far from average. It manages the 0-100 run in 8.8 seconds which although doesn’t seem much, certainly feels quick in a large wagon and is impressive given the fact that after all it’s a two-litre oiler under the bonnet.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

There’s a brief turbo lag till about 30km/h, then a big surge to 80km/h. After that the pull is steady but linear through to about 180km/h and then on to a top speed of 227km/h a little more leisurely.

There is a little torque steer under heavy acceleration but it’s quite manageable and is very well sorted by the switchable ESP without being intrusive or overly controlling. The ESP is also appropriate in its control over your driving in that it won’t intrude until you’ve really made a mess of things, which I must say takes quite a bit.

You really have to be a very sloppy driver, incredibly distracted, or find yourself in a very sudden evasive manoeuvre before the ESP light comes on. Yet another indicator of a well set up vehicle utilising a great chassis to maintain vehicle dynamics instead of relying solely on the ESP to bail you out.

Fuel economy is tremendous, with highway cycle returning 4.3 litres / 100km when cruising at 100km/h (cruise on / climate on / ambient temp 26degs) and around town returning 8.1 litres/ 100. On average this came to 6.2 litres to 100km, half a litre under the ADR 81/00 average of 6.7.

I almost got to the magic 1000km limit from the 70 litre tank, falling slightly short at 990km. I put this down mainly to the fun had experiencing the turbo surge from 30-80km/h.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review
2008 Volkswagen Passat review

Back to the DSG box. It has gained a lot of respect from critics, including myself, and in fairness, I fell in love with this box in the Golf GTi, but on the Passat TDI, it does seem to suffer a little. I can’t put my finger on it, I’m not sure whether it is confused by the turbo lag, (which is rather evident til about 30km/h) or whether the strong early torque takes some settling, but either way there is a certain gap before anything happens when moving from stand still, especially in reverse. When reversing, especially uphill, it feels like it’s not grabbing or like the park brake is applied. Strange.

Once you’re on the move though it is reasonably fluid with the strange exception that it will appear to hold third or second coming in to roundabouts and the likes, before briefly selecting second or first then back again first or second ever so briefly, with seemingly no change in throttle pressure. It’s very brief, and you do have to be on your guard to notice it, but it does happen nonetheless.

Otherwise, I’m still a fan. It’s a great box once your moving, superb for knocking down a few cogs for passing, maintains even torque delivery out of corners impeccably well and in sports mode really sharpens the delivery to harness even more of the tidy torque curve down through the hoops.

2008 Volkswagen Passat review

Next page… Jumping back briefly to the park brake, it’s another one of those little marvels a lot of manufacturers seem to be toying with these days. Some are floor mounted, dash, consul, right of the seat… Passat is a push button, toggled when you apply pressure to the brake pedal and activating a servo which locks the rear callipers. It’s kinda nifty, very simple to use, and frees up some consul space for some nice big drink holders, and some extra storage.

Storage abounds in Passat. There are two trays under the centre dash vents to pop your phone in, a purse/wallet holder above your right knee, deep cavernous console, big door buckets, the umbrella holder in the door (sorry I know I’ve mentioned it before but I think it’s cool), chilled glove box with separate storage above for the owners manual, and a large cargo area with separate side buckets, retractable cargo cover, pull up privacy shield and under floor spare wheel storage for the standard full size alloy spare wheel.

The interior lay out is very spacious overall, and there’s a clear intent within the design to use a mix of materials in strategic areas to not only improve the quality feel of the cabin, but to lend a more pleasing aesthetic tone to the overall space, giving the illusion that the cabin is actually larger than it appears.

Dull black tones further in to the lower parts of the dash and again up toward the windscreen present the feeling that this space is rather larger than it really is, and through your peripheral vision, almost appears to not exists. It’s pleasant, subtle and puts more emphasis on those things you should be more focused on, like what’s on the windscreen.

When you do tilt you head downward, the classy red backlit twin circular instrument pods relay an instant and concise read out whilst the centre display contains vehicle, audio and trip computer settings, all interchangeable by a four button control located on the steering wheel under your right thumb. The other side controls Bluetooth, audio volume and mute functions, as well as other audio features, including radio and CD.

As you may know notice, the Passat has made an impression on us that won’t soon be forgotten, and really sets a benchmark to which other manufacturers should be meeting. From it’s lovely, quiet, flowing drive, to it’s raft of features and quiet comfortable ride it really is a family wagon you’d be more than happy to show off to your mates. Why test the rest when you can drive the best.

Click to watch Volkswagen Passat – Interior video

CarAdvice overall rating:

How does it drive:

How does it look:

How does it go:

  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel
  • Power: 125kWTorque: 350Nm
  • Top speed: 227km/h
  • Safety: Eight airbags, ESP and comprehensive protection systems as a standard.
  • 0-100km/h: 8.6 sedan – 8.8 wagon
  • NCAP rating: 5
  • Turning circle: 11.4
  • Fuel tank: 70 litres
  • Fuel consumption: 6.7/8 litres per 100km sedan/wagon
  • Fuel type: Diesel

  • Frugal One

    *****PRIMO!***** #2

    Is C/A owned and run by VW-Group? :-)



  • golfschwein

    Matt, you were impressed by the seats’ comfort. Other testers have noted that Passat’s driver seat is a little flat and unsupportive. No sign of numb bum?

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Of course not.

    The rest of the German brands are still a tad hesitant to give us regular access to press cars (but that is changing so expect BMW/Merc reviews in the not-so-distant future)

    In the mean time we will review all that is available from the VW group. Check out the car review section for other brands!

  • Adam J

    This looks 40 times better than the old Passat and you have to wonder why people still buy the Japanese competitors when u can get 1000kilometers per tank!

    • Eric

      Because the Japanese cars don’t go wrong all of the time. See below for my experience with VW

  • Cinderella

    If it was $2,000 less for the sedan, we would consider it, but its just too expensive, and half the good features are options.

  • Jason

    Don’t know what you’re on about Cinderella but for 45g to get behind the wheel of a semi-luxury euro car that is actually made in germany, and not in South Africa like its other german competitors, is pretty darn cheap.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Anthony

    Cinderella, there is no other car on the market besides a PUG 407 that offers this level of engineering and luxury kit (and size) for the money. Name one, if you can

  • Matt

    Hey Golfschwein,

    I think the reason so many others found the seating harsh is… well, have you seen the size of your average motoring journo (think biggest loser). I on the other hand am about 5’6″ and 65kg. So to me, the seating was great. You just have to adjust it right to begin with.


    • handshandy

      Thanks for sharing your weight and height, I must tell you this sight is not for picking up other men

  • Reckless1

    Compared to the Honda, well – no Honda thanks….

    Cinderella seems an apt name when for a lousy $2000 this car would be bypassed, in favour of what??????.

    You could always buy the “poor cousin” 2.0 diesel with 103kw and 320nm, which costs $2500 less, and the rest is the same. Performance and economy would be barely different for everyday use.

  • http://www.ausringers.com Liam

    Another tick for the VAG family. 8)

    It would be interesting to see a comparo between the Passat and the new Mondeo. I know the Mondeo is not available as a wagon, but the hatch version is pretty nifty and has loads of space in the back. The Mondeo is considerably cheaper as well, so it would be good to see if there is a reason for that.

    Oddly though, the Mondeo in Australia is not available with xenons or factory Nav, and I would have thought for what is a European car that they would have been available. As noted the list price is already low enough (against the Passat anyway) to allow a customer to fully spec an XR5 Mondeo with options like xenons and Nav, if they were available, and still keep costs around the mark with the Passat.

    I’m not sure if Ford Australia is hoping for the Mondeo to compete with Passat, but in real terms it does. However, the Ford dealer I went into last weekend has a lot to learn about keeping up with Volkswagen in presentation and so on.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Matt

    Funny you should mention the Mondeo Liam, watch this space 😉

  • Iamthestig

    One cool thing I have noticed in VW’s, is that the high beams auto reset themselves when you turn the car off. Such a little thing that is a smart idea.

    Yes, that means that if you turn the car off with high beams on, you have to turn them back on again when you set off later, but it will reduce the number of times people get blinded in error !

    Of course many cars do this with foglights too but the tossers just keep turning them on…

  • Manic Mustang


    I think you may find that with the modeo, the european spec xenon lights, may not meet the australian adr standards, hence why there not available as an option. With the sat nav, i have no idea with that, maybe there too lazy to get the australian disc for it.

  • http://caradvice.com.au Chris Parr

    Anthony I can name one the liberty 30.r wagon
    looks better goes better handles better has awd simalar in size and has better resale…quality of interior is as good if not better aswell..

  • Tony M

    To me, this is the way of the future. I hope our Australian car manufacturers take note of what is coming out of Europe. The next step will be the hybrid turbo diesels.
    We have an ageing population who is more dicerning in what they buy and also have the cash to buy. When leasing they are moving away from the bread and butter (?) Falcons, Aurions/Camrys and Commodores which depreciate at an alarming rate and are looking at VW Passats, Mercedes, Volvos, Subarus etc. When I read these articles I worry that our car manufacturers are hand strung by what the American parent car companies are telling us to do.
    What I would like to see here in Australia is a AWD turbo diesel sedan with 125kw and 380Nm. So far the closes car is the Subaru which might get to Australia next year.

  • o

    crappy adr standards we really dont need them europes are already high enough judt some way of some org getting money

  • golfschwein

    ^ Que?

  • http://badger Badger

    The Passat is a good car, i have a 2006 4motion (all wheel Drive) 3.2l, done 70000km, mainly qld country roads, great on fuel, very good handling, way to much power. But, there is always a but, try and get any kind of service, ie warranty problems fixed by VW, front struts, both replaced this took 12 months, complete steering rack, replaced, car had to be put on a tilt try and taken to the nearest dealer, 200km away, electric over hyd steering, could not turn the steering wheel, great if you want to drive in a straight line, lots of road noise, and heaps of rattles. Please dont get me wrong, overall a good car. But vw australia service is crap.

  • Steve

    “The most obvious problem with the Passat diesel is that it’s just too quite”


    They make good cars, but like Badger said, when things go wrong they’re a bit like Apple. Great computers, but warranty is a nightmare.

  • VW Fan

    The 2.0 TDi from VW is very noisy and the vibration is quite obvious..

    Probably I should not compare with the FSI engine.

    Most of the features mentioned in the article are option. The price will go up to 55k.

  • No Name

    Hey VW fan – VW’s Tdi engines in the past have been ‘indirect injection’ this makes them perform better than the more modern common rail engines but at the exspense of noise. VW are now replacing the indirect bit with common rails in order to achieve the Euro5 emissions, this should hopefully reduce the noise as common rail is more efficient and quieter.

  • VW Fan

    Thanks for the info, No Name.
    I will go and try the latest VW TDI to see how it goes.

  • James

    Im looking at buying a Passat 2.0T FSI over the Subaru Liberty 3.0R sedan. Badgers comments on service, or lack of, have me thinking I should consider the Liberty more. Any comments on the pros and cons of either car would be appreciated, especially service costs

  • Peter

    I’m not sure if this is the right place to make a comment but I have a 2007 Passat Wagon 3.2 DSG and while a good car in many ways, around town it’s a dog under 70kph. Volkswagen say the car is running to spec (whatever that really means)and have witnessed the car labouring around town, but they just fob me off. Volkswagen are very disappointing / frustrating to deal with.

  • Owen

    I too have driven the Passat but only with the diesel engine and DSG “box”. I hated it! The massive hesitation when the throttle is pressed was just horrid. I have talked about this with Passat owners overseas and it is typical of the DSG box in both VW and Audi’s. It apparantly is a popular complaint to the point where VW dealers in Europe can tune this out to some degree electronicaly. I then talked to the dealer about service costs. If you are thinking of buying a Passat, you should sit down with the dealers service department and ask to see the recomended prices of all of the services up to 150′000k’s. If your chosen Passat has a DSG box (the 4 cyl petrol uses a regular 6 speed auto) then you need to be aware of the $600 to $700 hit at around 60′000 and again at around 120′000 for the DSG service (does not apply to the regular 6 speeder in the 4 cyl petrols) on tp of the normal VW high service costs. At around the 70 to 90′000 mark there is a major service of over $1′000 (can’t remember all of the details on what is done). This (if your car has DSG) is on top of the DSG service so you pride and joy will hit you with close on two grand of workshop joy in short time. If you have any say in it, trade when the warranty runs out. These Passats (i’m talking current shape/model) are renowned world wide for crook electrics, breaking plastic cam belt tensioners with devestating engine damage, dodging central locking actuators, windscreen wipers becoming detached at speed and the petrol engines not liking high sulphu content that we get at some outlets here in Oz. They do not like ethenol blends either. You should also find out about the warranty exclusions on engine damage due to fuel contaminants before buying particularly if you live in rural areas or do a lot of country kilometres where fresh, ethenol free high octane ULP is available. VW are very specific on using the boliger ULP and if you damage an engine by using standard grade you might be in for a rude shock. I walked away from the Passat after researching all of this and reading the Lemon cars guide at the local newsagent. Again if you are looking at buying the Passat I strongly suggest you read this book and ask the dealer a lot of probing questions. If the answers are at all vague or sound odd, get them written onto the contract becasue all of this might save YOU some money later on.

  • Travelling R

    I picked up my brand new Passat wagon 125kw 2.0 TDI on Monday. It is one of the best cars I have owned and I have owned a Pajero diesel, XR6 Turbo, Toyota Cressida, and even a 1980 Passat and many in between.

    There is NO LAG when the engine is warm. The only lag comes when starting from cold and that may be a diesel characteristic.

    The finish is better than any Australian produced vehicle and is similar to Japanese and other German brands. Electronics is easy to use and very logical. The car has a larger interior than many wagons of similar size. The motor is smooth, torque, revs well at high RPM. DSG is smooth and changing gears are not noticeable.

    Those people who make judgments without having the opportunity of owning one and living with one should really speak to people who have one.

    There is just no comparison. Not the Audis, not the Mazdas, not the Toyotas. Comparable to BMW and Mercedes.

    My research on service cost does not match what Owen on top reported. But in reality I have not had services yet so I won’t argue that.

    Take it from a new owner. The choice has been perfect.

  • Greg Jenkins

    I have owned a 2007 2 L diesel Passat for 18 months. It uses about 3 L of oil between services and the dipstick is almost impossible to read – a bad combination. It blows out a big cloud of black smoke every time I accelerate hard and the rear end wobbles and shimmies over bumps (and the rear tyres wear out before the front). The dealer tells me that this is all normal and that we will have to ‘agree to disagree’. I am very interested if any other owner has had these issues. If this is normal then this will be my last VW (I have owned 6 so far)and the last diesel that I will ever buy.
    Greg (Perth Western Australia)

  • Golfschwein

    Greg, my dealer advised me that the diesels do use oil. This I knew before I took delivery. Mine’s a 1.9 Golf. I keep a 1 litre handy for topping up between services, but I’ve had that for close to a year now and it’s only half depleted. I don’t want to get caught short and it MUST be VW/Audi synthetic oil for diesel engines. Topping up with Castrol or similar is not advised.

    The smoke’s normal.

  • Travelling R

    Greg, My 2008 2.0 TDI 125kw model is new. I tried to see smoke coming out of it when I accelerate. I could not spot it. The only way is to have a car behind at night with the lights on. But blowing smoke in a diesel is normal. It happened to my 3.2 ltr Pajero. Do not concern yourself.

    Did your rear tyres really wear out before the front. This would really surprise me. Again I was testing the car over bumps and under acceleration and mine stayed firm.

    I have never even looked at the dip stick in my Pajero. I must check this out regularly if the 2 comments above is correct. The oil pressure light should come out if there is a problem. Again a point that new car buyers should not concern themselves with. This car is a point and drive and look under the bonnet to top up windshield wiper fluid and check if the engine bay is clean.

  • Don E

    I have a 2007 2.0 TDI 103kw wagon. Have had it just over a year and travelled 42,000km. It uses oil at the rate of 1.5 liters between services (1 liter per 10000km) so I carry a liter bottle for top ups as well. I have assumed the oil consumption is due to the turbo. It does blow a diesel cloud when accelerating hard. My average fuel consumption is 6.3. The cars trip computer is generally slightly more optimistic at 6.1 L/100km. I do a fair bit of distance driving on VIC roads. Fuel economy is very sensitive to the quality of road surface. It is a very quiet car particularly at freeway speed. My only complaints are some annoying minor creaking plastic sounds from the centre console, noticeable particularly on hot days. Also I find the base of the diver’s seat a little narrow on long drives. This being seat design with raised sides rather than actual width. I am not a big person at 85kgs and maybe I should have chosen the more expensive electric adjustable seat. I am very happy with the car.
    Don (Victoria Australia)

  • Unhappy VW owner

    i have owned a passat 2.0T for 11 months to date, i have brought it back 8 times for various creak and rattles and broken trim, currently there is a slight rattle in the back which is apparently due some spot welds coming loose inthe parcel shelf, which requires 1 week to fix so i have taken it back for that yet. Incidentally the day after i got my car back from my last regular non service related visit, i found another loose piece of trim on the door. The centre console creaks like a mad man when it gets hot and the best reponse was, oh the clips are tight on the trim. Build quality is POOOOOOOOR for a usually well built brand, my whole family drives VW and yet the passate, the flagship of their brand, built in Germany has a worse build that my older gold 2.0 sport. I am not impressed.

    The drive of the car is pretty decent with good… PERFORMANCE and i say that with capital letters because i m ean every and ONLY letters in that word. Acceleration is good if u push on the pedal. incidentally it means that u get no where near that stated fuel economy… ( this is for the 2.0T petrol engine)

    The actual drive of the car leaves alot to be desired, with road noise high and creaking and rattling around. Body roll is very noticeable unless you get te optional sports suspension.

    Overall… its good value for money for what you get, but the enjoyment of driving and frustrations of bringing it back so many times… is fairly blunted..

    I am actually now considering trading it in at 12 months for a Lexus IS 250.. performance slightly worse, better drive and handling etcetc so yes..

  • Simon

    Just bought a passat TDI 125KW wagon. You’d have a hard time trying to wipe the smile off my face!
    The build quality is great, the feel when driving is outstanding considering its a passat and a wagon.
    I have no issues with the standard stereo. 6 stack cd/mp3 with 8 speakers, ample volume and enough bass for everyone except the die-hards. The power when accelerating comes in multiple “pulses” as the DSG flicks through the cogs and the turbo comes on. With a full boot and 4 average sized men, it showed contempt for any weight difference as it glided from 0-100 with ease. I’m not sure why torque steer was listed as a problem. I haven’t encountered anything in that regard.
    I do agree the DSG is touchy around idle, particularly in reverse. This would be the biggest criticism I have. Well, apart from the poor attitude I got from the VW sales rep!
    I am very pleased with my purchase, considering the combination of economy, power and comfort.

  • Simon

    Forgot to mention that the stereo is great at low volume levels – because the cabin is so quiet! We could clearly make out the words of songs which were un-intelligable in our other cars (BF falcon, 2000 Camry) at the same speeds and low volume levels.

  • http://evo Frugal One

    DON E –

    Uses 1L of oil every 10,000km, rattles and smoke and your happy??? WTF!

    1 word…………….LEMON



  • No Name

    Do yourself a favour Frugal, get out of that 70’s Landscruiser and drive a modern diesel. YOu’ll learn a lesson. Admittedly the VW diesels with direct injection are a bit rattly the newer common rails are much quieter especially when moving, comparably to a petrol.

  • Simon

    I’m not sure how anyone could come to the conclusion that it is a lemon unless they are completely ignorant, or merely after a bite.
    So which is it Frugal One?
    Also love to know what you are driving?

  • Travelling R

    Those jealous people without a 125kw Passat please find another blog. Mine is a month old and done 3200km and it is the best car in terms of fuel efficiency, all around built and ride quality.

    I have had the V8s and sports cars. Its now time to get real and get something that will not see a petrol station for an average of 900km. 1,100km in a mix of country and city. Good acceleration for passing anything in country roads. Gear box that could be mistaken for a F1.

    I drove down from Falls Creek and used the sequential paddles. Brilliant drive.

    I drove from Albury to Gosford to Mona Vale to Cronulla to Mona Vale to Palm Beach and filled up at Brookvale with the gauge between empty and 1/4. Beat that!

  • Simon

    What options/colour did you get Travelling R??
    You mentioned sequential paddles. I didn’t think that was in the TDI??

  • Travelling R

    hi simon

    I just meant the sequential gearshift. I didn’t think paddles were in the steering wheel. My mistake. I got a white one with leather seats. The leather is great. Comes with heated washers and floor matts and heated seats which work great.

    I’m glad to see someone here who has one. You do not see many in the roads. Its a great country car.

  • badger

    Just a follow up to the previous email i sent in, over all this is a good car, (3.2l 4motion), what stops it from being a great car, now close to 80000km, is vw, there service is crap, its not the dealer, its vw, the rattles in the front end are still there, the dsg does lag around town, the only way to over come this is to drive it like a manual. My next car will not be a VW, there has been way to many problems with this car, a could list them all, from having the car towed 200km to the nearest dealer because i could not steer it, it would only go straight, could not turn the steering wheel, to the complete front end being replaced etc etc etc. Remember this is a $50000 plus motor car, german built, not a korean import. Not that there is any thing wrong with korean cars. Look long and hard at one of these before you buy, and to top it off the resale is crap, no one wants them.

  • Simon

    Sounds like you were really unlucky Badger.
    Had my Passat for a little over a month now. It makes me hate going away for work. Parking it at the airport and waving a teary goodbye. Pick up a hire car. XR6, Aurion, Commodore, 380, even a new lancer, all make me wish I was back home in my comfy VW. Admittedly, we’re not talking apples and apples. But that’s exactly my point!
    Travelling R, I test drove in a sedan with all options – was a real nice car but I wasn’t convinced the leather was a good option. Have the cloth seats and find them very comfy, they don’t look as good but I’m certainly happy (not to mention saved 2G). I did want the bi-xenons but would have had to wait 4 months. Apparently they aren’t a very popular option, yet I have read rave reviews on their performance.
    Agree its a great country car. The torque is simply brilliant when cruising or overtaking.
    I got the wagon, “arctic blue” with real dark tint and auto-tailgate. The paint looked a bit ordinary in the brochure, but am happy to say its so much nicer to wear in the flesh.
    Safe motoring


  • Simon

    Might only be my observations, but most critics of the passat seem to have the petrol versions. Would love to hear any feedback….

    • handshandy

      Yes I have a VW, I have started wearing a sweater draped over my shoulders, playing squash and only drink wine and lattes.

      I have developed a distinct smugness and Im now hated by everyone

      I say stuff like “speed isnt everything, build quality, economy” and go on and on about it. I have become very boring

      Has anyone else had that problem with there VW’s??

  • glenn

    hi Simon i have purhased a 125kw diesel passat sedan 5 weeks ago, have travelled 5500km so far mainly country trips.totally delighted with its performance and fuel useage.very quite and great handling in the country roads. it will sit on 140-180 with ease even seen 210km.filled up at dubbo the range to empty showed 1250km to go, no rattles no problems at all. my last car was a nissan maxima only 2 years old,it does not compare in any way to my new passat only time will tell if i will be happy as i was with the maxima

  • Simon

    *cringe*……..don’t get caught!!! Where did you achieve those speeds?
    I have had a maxima for a hire car over 2 weeks, can’t say I was a big fan, but can appreciate why other people would be. The seats seemed somehow all wrong and no matter how much I adjusted it, comfort escaped me >:o(
    Was impressed with it’s power delivery considering it was released well before the Aurion’s V6. Very snappy engine indeed. The other dislike was how it constantly bit me with static electricity whenever I got out. It was painful, and something I had never experienced so badly from any other car.
    Which dealer did you buy your passat from and how did you find their service?
    Also just read from cars guide that the passat has sold more than 15 million units over 3 decades making it among the most popular cars on the planet! Who knew!?!?

  • Bob

    Hi Simon
    I too have a 125kw diesel wagon and I reckon it’s fantastic. It looks and goes great – love the fat torque and I get 4.5 l/100k for highway driving. I find the leather seats much more comfortable than my previous car (Outback H6)and it’s just as smooth & quiet to drive. The standard features are impressive – autohold, rain sensing wipers, light sensing headlights & auto dimming rear vision mirror. I also got the auto tailgate which is a hoot and very useful. This is one classy vehicle.

  • VW Fan

    I have a 2007 125KW TDI Passat Wagon. Have done 12,500kms since January without any concern. Regularly get 1,100km out of a tank, with a mix of city but mostly freeway driving, albeit the Monash Freeway/carpark. Was considering a Liberty but the luggage space was far too small. A friend bought one, and with a pram in the boot it is full, and he has had to buy a roof pod. Diesel was also the other selling point. Considered a Mazda 6 diesel wagon, but thought it too be bit tinny. I have the electric preset seats, a gimic really but the heated seat option is proving to be a winner on these winter mornings. Dont even need the heater on with them. I am yet to have a full service so cannot comment on that yet. Dealership has been good to deal with so far. They have made regular contact to make sure everything is going well, and have been sending the Volkswagen magazine for free. This is my first VW, and at this point in time I would not hesitate in getting another or recommending to others. I have novated mine attracting a nice fleet discount. $44K including, window tint, leather seats, memorey seats, boot liner. No matter what product you buy, there will always be a few ‘lemons’ that have slipped through the cracks. Thats what warranties are for!! Frugal One your obviously a wannabe VW owner- enjoy your Hyundai Tucson

  • SA boy

    Hi VW Fan, Good to know the PASSAT is a good car. Considering to trade in my Disco for a 125 TDI. Just wondering if $44K includes on-road cost?
    I would like to take the free on-road promotion and negotiate a good price as yours.

  • rave

    Hi there….I will be moving to Melbourne soon ( migrating) actually. Passat FSI has always been one of my favourite choices. Could anyone suggest which is better..as in comfort, power and economical…Passat, Mazda 6, Accord VTI , Camry …Thanks.

  • Simon

    Will likely be up to your personal opinion Rave. They are all good cars in their own right but the passat in in a slightly different league to the other listed cars.
    It really depends on what is most important to you.

    SA Boy I really doubt you’d get a new 125KW Passat for $44K unless it had no options and you are in a position to buy it under a fleet car arrangement.
    Good luck all the same – its a pleasure to own and drive.

    VW FAN – very happy to hear someone is getting looked after by their dealer. Of several friends I have with VWs, none of us had good experiences with the dealers. Would you like to tell us who you bought from? (Provided that you aren’t a dealer!!!) :o)

  • Simon

    Sorry…. I left out Bob!
    Another happy passat owner! :o)
    How was your dealer experience?

  • Travelling R

    I haven’t had a post here for a while. I still love my 125kw Passat. Although fuel economy is excellent. My fuel burn this time was not so good. 10.68 lr/100k (8.9 in the computer) but all done in town, not once over 70kph and many times feeling crap and stressed so I didn’t care for easy fuel saving driving. I had the particle filter sensor come in twice asking for a better ran to clear itself.

    One other small annoyance. The reverse light is not strong enough. With tinted glass and the glare resistant rear view mirrors it is very hard to see behind while reversing.

    The temp gauge is 2 degrees on average higher than the actual outside.

    Now isn’t this getting picky. :-) So hard to fault that I had to find something because nothing is every perfect.

    Those who are thinking of getting one. Get it. Those who have one – Aren’t we lucky. Those who bought something else. HAHA – sorry about that.

  • David B

    Had my 125kw Passat(all the bells & whistles) for 8 months now and love it BUT there are a few little things that are annoying.Reversing up hill is abit unnerving – like the brake is still on,wierd!!The reverse light is pathetic and headlights are average at best.The car has developed some annoying rattles and squeaks which the dealer said they would attend to,no problems – we will see.Apart from these rather minor problems I really DO love it,just hope I am not disappointed.

  • col

    My passat is only a month old & I love it . I see a few people have not figured out that to give a better reverse light just put the lights on & pull out the knob to light up the rear fog light. ie. The red dot in the middle of the r rear light cluster
    My only concern so far is the engine vibration at at between 1250 & 1500 rpm. It has improved in the first 1500km & am waiting to take it back for the dealers comment.
    Has anyone else had this problem.

  • David O

    Hi Iv’e just completed 8,000 Klms (July 08)in (2) different 2.0 Turbo Passat Wagons. Both 6 speed manuals. First left Hand drive, Hamburg, Germany to Bergin Norway: second Right Hand Drive, Newcastle UK to Lands End and back. The manual is even better in it’s power delivery than the auto and at 160 Kph on the Hamburg to Berlin Motorway with 4 adults and a ton of luggage it was better than a V8 – especially in 5th – rather than 6th. Both vehicles gave remarkable fuel economy too however I want to express a few concerns that mean I WON’T be buying one here. First, both vehicles were unconfortable to get in and out of, secondly I could never judge the end of the bonnet and third I found the ignition system with the funny key and the manual requiring the clutch to be depressed regardless of whether it was in neutral or a gear – downright quirky. I stalled both cars several times at lights and roundabouts, then I ended up hitting a guard rail in Norway because in difficult weather conditions one is really having to sit low and forward to overcome the poor forward vision that the tiny windscreen provides. I’m prepared to bet that the next model has a much lower waist and a higher ceiling and front screen. So I give the engine 5 and the body 2. Maybe Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond can cut the roof off one for me and put a few bricks under the drivers seat to elevate it enough for me to see over the bonnet – then it really would be a straight 5

  • Melts

    I am planning on buying a 125KW passat wagon early next year. Having owned a Jetta TDI DSG now for the past 18 months, and encountering no problems from the Passats ‘little Mexican cousin’ I have no hesitations at all in trusting my money in the hands of VW. When I first got the Jetta the service guy told me to bring it in at 7,500 k’s instead of 15,000 k’s as they tend to chew a bit of oil in the first 5,000 – 10,000 k’s. He was right, it used about 500ml. I decided to just top it up and wait till the first schelduled service (15,000). Have now done 44,000 k’s, and have not noticed any usage since.
    I have mine on a novated lease, so get some discount, but first two services cost me $230 each. Next one due soon, so will post back.
    To me the VW diesel/DSG combination is truly a car you learn to appreciate more and more as time goes on. I recently learnt from my local dealer (Hi Dean!) that the DSG detects driver style in the first few minutes of drving and adjusts shifts to suit. So if you get in and slowly take off into town, stop and start calmly a few times the gear shifts wil be fairly modest. But as DSG owners will know if you start putting your foot down a bit the gearbox will react differently, though it does need some time to adjust to this new drving style, hence the sometimes apparent hesitation. If you keep driving it hard you notice it shifting up at higher revs and down through the gears earlier, pre empting your ineviatable acceleration. Great I think.
    I usually drive fairly modest and achieve 5.8 lt/100k’s on average. As VW quote 6.2lt/100 k’s for my model Jetta I would expect to get in the low 6 -6.5lt/ 100k’s out of the Passat.
    Have looked into my resale value on the Jetta, and have never had a car like it! FANTASTIC
    Funny how nobody is mentioning safety here either. I have two kids, and what car could we compare the Passat to?

  • VW Fan


    Sorry for the late reply.

    Essendon VW- Mt Alexander Road.

    I bought mine through a lease arrangement. Because Essendon VW where not one of the preferred dealers of the leasing company they were very keen to match any quotes and beat by $500. So $44K did include on road as the basic purchase price before options was $36700. Sometimes you just gotta play hardball.

    Have since had it serviced. Must say they were very good also. Courtesy car provided, Passatt was washed and vaccummed inside as part of service. And because I bought the car from them also, unlimited Km on the courtesy car and no need to re-fuel. With todays fuel prices, you might argue I came out in front.

  • Melts

    VW FAN
    I had a qoute from my local dealer, which is also on novated lease. $48,500 driveaway which includes meatallic paint, leather, fog lights. I thought this was a great deal, what do you think?

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/9932/2008-volkswagen-passat-review/6/ UNDECIDED

    My partner and I are thinking of a new car upgrade. I have driven my Honda CRV 98 and loved it, he has a Jeep.
    Looked at the new Honda, didn’t like the six gears as down low was useless, engine too quiet. Took the new Forester for a spin, heard that engine quiet well, as well as tyre noise.
    Seen a Jetta in a car park and liked the look of it. Off to the VW dealer and fell in love with the new Passat. Took it for a drive, after driving a diesel 4X4 for many years was very very surprised. Very responsive, good vision, comfortable seats. I did notice that with the lock brake on reversing uphill to awhile to move, and also from stop start at lights a slight hesitate to move off. The talk of service does scare me as we live in Cairns Far North Queensland. But I must say the dealer was great and maybe it could work in our favor being in a small town, word gets out.
    Have found reading the reviews very interesting, and lemons come in all cars. My father had a Peug Diesel 504 and loved it. I do a lot of city driving so don’t know if I would get the economy as stated, but every now and then do a long haul to blast the cobwebs out as you should in all cars.
    Thanks for the great advice and knowledge.

  • Travelling R

    Hey undecided,

    The lag with the turbo in reverse or from start can take a little getting used to. Thats one of the disadvantages of a small displacement engine that delivers good fuel economy and loads of power and torque. Do not let that dissuade you from the vehicle. 125kw is same power as a Mazda 6 2.4 litre engine gives but with 120nm more torque.
    Around town and with quick driving expect 8.8 l/100k. A Subaru Forester will give you 13 l/100k. It will tell you when it wants a good run. The particulate filter clogs us and an indicator light reminds you that it wants a bit of a run to clear it.
    I’ve had no trouble with service from the local Veedub dealer.

  • http://internode.on.net Pete

    Hi, never written to this blog before so here goes.
    I own a 2006 Passat 3.2 wagon, from new, and absolutely love it. Options fitted are seat memory, metalic paint and tow package (for the boat). Have covered 34000k and averaged 9.8l/100km. The only problems have been rattles in dash in very hot weather. Apart from this the car is a pearler.

    Very good size for my purpose: wife, 2 teenagers plus large dog. I’m 6’4″ and at 115kg find the seating brilliant. The best feature is the seat memory working from the keys – my wife’s key adjusts the seat to her setting and my key to my setting. Have done several long holiday trips and the car performed very well.

    Looked at Subaru Liberty wagon – too small, Mazda 6 wagon – bigger but a bit tinny. Tried Camry and when I asked the Toyoya dealer if there was going to be a wagon version he told me “There already is – the Kluger!”

    My only regret is that the 125KW doesn’t come with 4Motion AWD.

  • Simon

    Mazda 6 bigger?
    Perhaps you are speaking of the new one? The old model (good looking one) was certainly smaller than the passat. It (diesel) used more fuel, was slower 0-100K and had 10K service intervals instead of 15K. On top of all that there was no auto option and it wasn’t 5 star safety. For all these reasons I chose the passat over it. It just wasn’t in the same league. Perhaps Mazda will fix these issues. Then it will certainly be an alternative as it is a fair bit cheaper!
    I’m almost up to 15K now. Car still makes me smile. Only real dislike is when you attempt to accelerate briskly while turning sharply into another street. It seems the steering angle sensor’s input to the computer delays the acceleration. Combined with the initial turbo lag, this has been unnerving a couple of times when pulling out into traffic. Not sure if there is a fix but will be asking Mr VW when service is due. Thats assuming I get serviced at VW too! ($$$!!!)

  • Steve-Poyza

    I’m sorry to you VW fans, but I’m not a fan of the current Passat. I think it looks a little awkward from a certain angles. Especially there is just something not right about the rear tail lights of the sedan.

    I’d go for a Renault Laguna Estate from $45,490 instead. It is a much better looking (although I’m sure many of you would think otherwise, Aussies don’t seem to ‘get’ Renault’s design language), nice curves and the exterior looks exceedingly elegant. As Matt Brogan said in the Laguna review…
    “From almost any angle, the car is stunning, quite Bavarian in sculpt, and although I’m not personally a fan of the tail light positioning (in the hatch), just about every other angle of the car strikes a chord for aesthetic pleasure.”

    One of the other main things about the Laguna is that there are much fewer on the road than the Passat, so it has that exclusive status that can be hard to find these day. The interior is smart, stylish and so much more individual than the Passat’s generic German look.

    I’m sure much of you will disagree with what I’m saying but I dare you to take it for a test drive THEN judge it if you must…


  • Tilemaker

    Hi All,
    Very interesting to read the likes and dislikes of the 125kw Passat.
    Have had a 1.9TDI Passat back in 2003, I think that was the old TDI engine which was very sluggish and did blow smoke. Have had 2 A4’s both sedan and wagon ( both whilst working in the UK ) really enjoyed the 6 speed manuals as there was no or very little lag. Have just ordered a 125KW Passat last week, not sure how i’ll go with the DSG but it sure drove ok on the test drive, will be here 1st week December, I must admit I was impressed with all the extra’s they are including nowaday’s. Looked at the Mondeo however Ford do not offer road side assist?? when I asked why rep said no assist on imports?? I thought the Mondeo was a good car for the $’s but put me off ordering because of this.
    I love diesal’s have been driving them now for nearly 6 yrs and can’t fault them. I think the VAG have a build and finish quality equal to BMW ( pay for the badge ) and Merc ( retirees cars ). Driving a new Commodore Omega while waiting for my Passat to arrive. Biggest load of thirsty junk on Aussie roads with little standard extra’s and a crap audio system, and the car interior is like something out of a chinese plastic toy factory.
    With GM in trouble and Ford looking very dodgy If your parting with big $’s don’t buy anything from those 2 boy’s!!.
    Price paid for the 125KW inc mettalic paint was $44,700 drive away, with the first 3 services thrown in for free by the dealer excluding any parts or oil.

  • Simon

    Took passat in for inspection service. I’m told she has 42 computers on board. They plugged it into their system which talks to VW germany and looks for updates. Sadly none were found – already have the latest.
    I’ve noticed that the times where I have had frustration from an unresponsive engine have always occured just after I have set off somewhere. This could be coincidence but during the first couple of minutes driving the onboard systems are meant to be adapting to your driving style. Perhaps the system is not sure how to perform and this could explain its driving ambiguity.
    Steve, I can understand the looks aren’t for everyone. I’m actually grateful for that or else the passat would be as common here as the corolla. I’m curious from your post, you prefer the laguna’s looks – no problem there, but suggest once you’ve driven it you’ll think highly of it. I’d give it a go no probs. My question is, have you driven a passat?
    On another note, I’ve been exploring upgrade options for the passat.
    Towbar: there is still no aftermarket options here. $1800 for genuine simply isn’t going to happen.
    Performance: Harding performance offer an Oettinger product and increases power from 125Kw to 143KW, torque up 30 to 380Nm (400 for non-dsg).
    Being only 14% increase in power & 8.5% torque, the $2200 asking price (which is only software) is out of the question.
    Lucky I’m generally well-pleased with her.

  • Steve-Poyza

    Hey Simon,
    Don’t get me wrong, in many ways I think the car looks very elegant (I love those nice alloy wheels). There just are a few areas that look awkward (like the rear lights of the sedan, which I think look flat :S I’m not sure how to describe) and I prefer the Laguna’s less conservative, more swoopy and sculpted styling.

    You do have a good point however. I’ve had my fair share of experience in the last generation Passat, but not the current model. And the Passat has a V6 with 4MOTION all-wheel drive over the Laguna’s 2.0 turbo front-wheel drive. So I guess I should test it out before I say anything, so I’ll try arrange a test drive soon hopefully.

    Thanks for hearing me out, and I’m also glad to hear that you also prefer cars that are exclusive and not seen everywhere like a Camry or Mazda6 (the 6 still being a good car, just a few too many of them around).


  • Gary

    Just bought the new (09)Passat 125TDI wagon with leather, park assist,Bluetooth, auto tailgate and window tint for $46000 drive-away.Great dealer and factory bonus applied – seemed like an alright deal. Another dealer in Brisbane quoted $6574 MORE and said it was the best price in town. It pays to shop around. The vehicle has to come from Sydney so will keep the forum informed on satisfaction level.

  • Simon

    Agreed, I’m not a fan of the sedan tail lights either. I’ve got the wagon and think it looks much better.

    What was the factory bonus Gary?

  • Simon

    Oh and FYI haven’t been impressed with Austral. Their customer service was sub-par. In my experience, eclipsed by even Ford and Holden (Chermside & Aspley dealers that is).

  • Iain

    Is there any way of telling whether a Passat has the 125KW engine or the 103KW version?

  • Simon

    the badge on the rear of the 125Kw has a red “I” in the “TDI”.
    Apart from that, not sure if there are other external differences.
    I’m sure if you are having a spirited drive, the 125Kw will make you smile more!

  • Simon

    Was at the dealers today. The 103KW diesel didn’t even have a TDI badge.

  • Miki

    Hi guys just wondering if anyone has any feedback on the 01 passat V6 i had a 99 1.8T and loved it to bits had to swap it as insurance was waaay to high for a P plater. Getting off my P’s now but prefering a v6 as i’ve had a Holden VY v6 for a bit now and thought it would save on insurance either way. wouldnt mind the 07 but dont have that kind of $$ lying round =(..i’ve found a few 01’s several with cloth interior(not my liking) my old 99 had cream/beige leather seats a sunroof and the stereo gave my freinds with ‘subs’ a run for their money =D wondering if anyone knows where i could get a set of leather seats from, rather pay 5k less for cloth and get new seats..just me tho..any i dead?? i love these cars even with all the problems i had with the 99 (turbo change,drive shaft going twice) it was still a very nice cay for the yr altho im guessing the problems i had were from a previous accident it was in before i got it
    any feedback would be great

  • Joel1

    I am considering buying a second hand 2003 Passat V6 2.8L 4motion. I have been reading on the web about the so callde “sludge” problem, mostly from USA blogs. Is this a problem with this model in Aus? Is this model ok? What should I look for/ask?

  • Stuart

    Hi all.
    Ordered a Passat 103 TDI Estate and take delivery in March this year. When I ordered the vehicle they only had a 125 TDI in stock which I was very impressed with the performance “I have been driving a ford Territory for 3 years”. The company I work for would not come up with the extra cash for the 125 as the Passat was already more expensive than my other options. Just wandering if anyone has driven both and is the difference “Extremely noticeble”. I could not bring myself to go find one to drive as I was already wrapped with the car. Also, has anyone towed with one, I would appreciate any feedback.

  • Ryan

    yeah…I just purchased a 06 VW Passat..When I turn the volume up it will go up…then go right back down. Sometimes the volume will stay up for a minute or two?

  • Archie

    I have had VW’s for 12 years, but after the agony of living with the new Passat (2006 Model), I can’t stand the site of them ! Great looks, features, safety and 2 L FSI engine, but the plastics and interior have been a nightmare. After only 8 months it started to creak like a ship out of the front console, and still does, despite 7 visits to the dealer in 2008, and rebuiliding it 7 times. I suspect the body shell flexes, and it’s unfixable. 5 or 10 other failures- handbrake, seat belt, gearbox, power window, ventilation stpper motors, door seals, etc. I thought I got a Friday car but I read the Dog and Lemon guide which rates it’s quality as poor. The dealer told me VW never replaces cars – maybe because they’d go broke!

    My advice, if you have heaps of time to waste,love seeing the dealer service guys each month, or drinking their latte, buy a Passat ! My mental image of the VW brand now
    is that of the local $2 Shop – lots of features, poor build!

    Has anyone else had problems, or just me ?

    • Eric

      I have a 2006 2.0T FSI and have had endless problems with it. A short list:

      Coil pack failures
      AC compressor failure
      Electric windows (started at 6months and took 3 years to finally fix!)
      Turbo Pressure Control Valve
      Convenience computer and steering rack
      Interior trim paint peeling

      VW servicing is expensive and poor (oh we forgot to book your loan car; we only have a Caddy for a loan car; oh the part isn’t in yet (they forgot to order it); come back next week if it still having problems (ie they never got round to working out what was wrong), it’s normal for disc brakes to need replacing at 25,000km,……)

      A friend has a diesel and he has had problems with the DSG gearbox.

      • Taffy

        I’m hearing you. I’ve a 2008 Passat Station Wagon, 2.0L Diesel, 125 TDI. Done 65000kms. 3 warranty repairs in 18 months. Crap warranty repairs from the dealer – had to take the car back a number of times as they didn’t have the tools to do the job. On one occasion they took 3 days to even look at it after it was towed in (all the injectors needed replacing).Crap service from the dealer. No courtesy vehicle and consistent BS from them.
        Won’t be buying a VW again. Would like to be able to offload the one I have but the resale/trade in figures are ridiculous. Very disappointed and dishearted. I thought buying a $50K vehicle with the view of reliability was going to buy me out of these type of issues.
        Hope I don’t end up with a list as long as yours!

  • Mark

    I have had a Passat V6 4 motion station wagon since September 2008. Done 8,000 kms. Overall very happy with the car – much better than the Volvo Cross Country I had previously. However there have been a couple of frustrations.

    First I have had the lag problem other have referred to – which can be a big safety issue when I try to get into a line of traffic. There is a delay in resposne, you press harder on the accelerator and then there is a sudden acceleration – sometime too much in heavy traffic. At my 15,oookm service a couple of weeks ago the dealer provided a “software update” that seems to have lessened but not removed the problem. The other comment from the service department was that the lag comes with using your left foot on the break. Finally I was told that any remiaing lag was simply “part of the DSG system”

    Second the ambient temperature guage is generally 4-6 degrees higher than the actual temperature. I have been told that the workshop connected it to the computer “and found the guage was operating within acceptable limts. This I find hard to believe given the technology elswhere in the car.

    Third I got the dynaudio option – fantastic sound. I asked for a brochure about the system – after all it was $2000 – and finally after 4 months of numerous questions to numerous people, was told there is none.

  • Simon

    Mark the lag problem is something I mostly encounter within the first few minutes of driving. It seems the computer hasn’t decided how to optimise the engine management and DSG to match the conditions and driving style. I’m surprised it’s a problem in the V6 as in my mind it was related to turbo spool.
    There is also the inherent “lag” with 1st gear on the DSG which I suspect is the way it’s programmed to protect the clutch. It’s probably programmed for a compromise between jerky operation and a long engagement (riding) of the clutch. Do a search for “DSG launch control”. And if you dare – let me know how it goes. It seems to be disabled on the TDI.
    Try manually shifting +/- when you need to drive “assertively”. When you get used to it, it’s a bit of fun!

  • Simon

    By now many TDI owners have come to realise that the Passat has hi spec, low ash oil which costs a BOMB. They don’t sell it in large quantities to mechanics thus keeping the cost up. One good thing about the warranty period finishing will be the ability to use a lower cost but just as good oil.
    Damn VW and Castrol got us by the short and curlys till then.
    Only plus is 15K service intervals, but if the oil was cheap, I’d change it more often anyway.
    Have been going to my local Ultratune and been happy with their service. Cost is less than half of genuine VW service.

  • Dave

    Yeah, something they dont tell you. The oil is around $30 per litre. But hey that is a diesel thing not only VW.

    If I were in the market for a family car I would seriously consider the passat 125kW diesel wagon or the Peugeot 407 diesel wagon. They are both fantastic cars for the dough.

  • Simon

    I like the 407 too although I had one try to drag me off recently. Not sure who he was kidding!

  • Kelvin

    Gotta buy a new wagon next 1-2 weeks. What do you reckon 407 or passat 2.0 diesel. When is the 408 due, would I get a good deal on the 407? Is the current passat model staying for a while. Thanks

  • Alex

    Kelvin, the 407 will still be around for a couple more years and the Passat will be around for longer again. You’ll be looking at the current models then, so I would say just get the one you like more. They’ve both got good 2.0 diesels, they both have pretty good reliability records, they both have good quality interiors and are both good to drive. They also have big boots, which is the point after all.
    However, there are a couple of things to think about. If you are planning on keeping it for a long time, French cars tend to just keep going and going but if you were only going to keep it for a few years, Volkswagens hold their value much better than Peugeots.
    The other thing to consider is that the Peugeot would certainly stand out more because it looks more distinctive.
    They both make great all rounders but I would also suggest that you look at the new Mondeo wagon which is also brilliant, possibly even better than the Peugeot or the Volkswagen. The Renault Laguna Wagon is also worth a look. You may get a good deal on one already because they sell terribly. The Laguna is also a good car with a lovely interior and all the things the other have, but will lose it’s value quite quickly.
    However, if it does come down to the 407 or the Passat, as I wrote at the beginning, just get the one you like more. The one you feel better about buying is usually the right choice.

  • Naz

    Hi I’m buying a saloon Passat 2006 tdi 2.0 /140 bhp black with 65000miles I’m scared cause some reviews people are saying to many problems they have had with them but why are germans sinking on eletrical issues I love the shape but I wish it lasts me for 4 years atleast I have a Lexus is200 but I hate to see it go petrol monster it’s drinks it fast

  • Christian

    “The most obvious problem with the Passat diesel is that it’s just too quite …”

    Oh my god, did you seriously mistake quite for quiet? The kind of thing I notice from 17 year olds on facebook?


  • http://bit.ly/lvTikh Passat Fascist

    I’m proud to be the owner of super-efficient Passat BlueMotion diesel, it’s an awesome spacious sedan that gets Prius mileage..

  • Peter

    Thinking of buying an “08 Passat sedan with TDI & DSG. It has 78,000 km’s on the clock.It has every conceivable extra bar a sunroof with an asking price of just over $30k. All the above comments have confused the hell out of me. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated