Author Topic: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews? (Read 10114 times)

jpluncford21

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2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« on: February 28, 2013, 08:05:15 AM »
My wife and I want to get rid of our antimustachian mistake, a 2011 (bought new) hyundai tuscon, and find something in the 5k range. I have found a 2002 passat wagon that seems to be a good deal at 5,500. The reviews on edmunds are mixed, seeming to be around half and half, but they also seem to be annecdotal aside from a few issues that everyone has (CV joints, water pumps around 100k, serpantine belt at 100k, etc.). All the common issues seem to be routine maintenance for all cars around 100k and don't really scare me. I'll keep digging into review histories, etc. but I wanted to get some respected input from you all. Anyone drive this car or have any experience with them? Any advice on VWs in general? Is this a mustachian purchase or does it lean a little anti mustachian?


tkaraszewski

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 08:24:10 AM »
My friend had a 2001 passat wagon with all-wheel drive and aside from him not taking care of it, it worked fine. He replaced it with a 2011 VW GTI (paid cash) so you can tell he wasn't disappointed with VW in general. I would expect to spend more on maintenance for it than say, a Toyota, but personally I'm ok with that (but then I own a 2002 Audi Allroad).

I considered a diesel passat wagon for the increased fuel economy but they're hard to find in good shape.

5inatrailer

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 10:35:50 AM »
I had a 2001 passat wagon loaded with a v6.
Loved that car but bought and sold it at a profit.

So I bought a 2003 which I LOVE. I have put very little in terms of maintenance into the car. Nothing other than scheduled maintenance- is due for a timing belt at 275,000km.

Heated leather seats, TONS of room (probably more than your tuscon), outstanding mileage (9.5l/100km),

Only thing wrong are a couple of little electrical things (pass seat doesn't warm), door latches don't set off interior lights.
I will drive this car until it has 400,000km on it and then sell it to a smart college kid.

Shop around- there are more on the market now than there used to be- especially now that there is a new body style etc. I wouldn't buy the diesel- doesn't seem worth the extra capital, and oil changes can be expensive.

The car gets waaay better mileage than a volvo v70 (5 cylinder), and is bigger than a volvo v40 ( was also a great car)
Fits 3 car seats across the back too.
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capital

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 11:43:20 AM »
VWs often aren't particularly reliable, especially when they're older. Consumer Reports has per-year reliability surveys in the back of their auto issue, usually going back around 10 years-- it's worth checking that out at your library. If you want to keep a car going for a long time on a small budget, especially if you're not doing your own maintenance, it's probably not your best option.

Here's some of their advice that they have for free on their website:
http://consumerreports.org/cro/2012/04/the-best-used-vehicles-for-under-20-000/index.htm

jpluncford21

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 05:41:20 AM »
I haven't gotten into consumer reports yet. The hard part of this is going to be balancing all the variables here: 1)a style my wife will actually like, 2)a good/decent deal, 3) Good gas mileage/reliability, 4) utilitarian rating (needs to be able to haul 3 humans and two medium to large size dogs). I presented her with a bunch of craigslist options that I had found, but she didn't go for any of those. They were mostly wagons and smaller SUVs. I may be meeting the VW Wagon owner this weekend to look at the car. He lowered the price by 300 if I would be willing to take it the same day, but I told him that wasn't happening. That makes me a little weary of this car. We'll keep looking and keep you guys updated on what we find.

Togoshiman

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 08:19:44 AM »
Mazda6 wagon, Subaru Legacy wagon and Outback wagon are all similar size, power, appointments, gas mileage, etc. There are reasons for choosing each over the others, but all represent good deals on the used market with outstanding utility. Subarus might be better in the snow belt, but I think the Mazda is the best deal all around. The Passat is the only real German equivelant aside from the rare luxo wagons. I think it would be similar to the choices above, but with worse reliability. But a nice maintance high interest savings account might be sufficient to offset that if your heart desires German over Japanese. I went through the same analysis as you are doing, but chose the Legacy.

CptPoo

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 09:38:18 AM »
I purchased my 2000 Jetta in 2010, and for that car it depreciated a ton over the next 2 years. I spent $5,000 on it and within two years KBB had it valued at a little over $2,000. I have had various problems with it, some have been expensive, but most have been routine. Luckily I found a friend of a friend that does really great work on cars at a very affordable rate. He replaced my engine and clutch for me for about $2,000 a little over a year ago.

Maintenance on VW's is a little weird. German engineers like to make specific tools for most repairs (e.g. it takes a special tool to remove spark plug cables) and they add a lot of things that just seems to cause more problems than help. I have problems with this handy little security feature called the immobilizer that does not let your car start if the ignition doesn't detect the correct RFID located inside the car key. In addition, if I detach the battery, I have to reset the security system. Also, a lot of maintenance tasks can be fairly involved because the engine compartment is designed for efficiency rather than ease of access. As an example. When I want to replace my headlights, I have to remove the battery in order to access one of them, which also means I have to go through the security reset process.

My car is also nearing 200,000 miles, so it would make sense that it has more problems. I spend, on average, about $600- $900 a year on maintenance, and with the relatively new engine, I could see this car going another 100,000 without extensive problems. I have enjoyed this car moderately, but if I was purchasing another one today I would probably pick a Japanese car, such as Honda or Toyota, over another VW. Mostly because those cars are much more friendly to amateur mechanics.

capital

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 01:54:34 PM »
Mazda6 wagon, Subaru Legacy wagon and Outback wagon are all similar size, power, appointments, gas mileage, etc. There are reasons for choosing each over the others, but all represent good deals on the used market with outstanding utility. Subarus might be better in the snow belt, but I think the Mazda is the best deal all around. The Passat is the only real German equivelant aside from the rare luxo wagons. I think it would be similar to the choices above, but with worse reliability. But a nice maintance high interest savings account might be sufficient to offset that if your heart desires German over Japanese. I went through the same analysis as you are doing, but chose the Legacy.
Depending on how big your rear hatch needs to be, how about the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe? They're essentially a tall Corolla wagon and thus thrifty and reliable, and mine cost $5000 (needing a new set of tires) when I bought it two years ago and sold for $5500 a year ago, with no maintenance needed beyond oil changes. They're pretty capacious in back, too:

Dynasty

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 12:20:48 PM »
Avoid VWs like the devil!

Especially. ESPECIALLY 2002 era VWs.

If you are FI, and want to lease a new vehicle every two years. Then, yes, a brand new VW with full warranty is a great way to fetter money away. But you will be MUCH Better off finding a well maintained Honda or Toyota of the 2002 vintage.

I cannot stress enough how much to eliminate any thoughts of being a VW owner. 99% of people who own one and say they love it are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and are sympathizing with their torturer.

A VW will not only leave you stranded on the side of the road, but it will eliminate any money in your bank account. Stay far far away from Volkswagen. They are utter crap to say the least.

Here is an interesting account of a 1998 Passat.
http://thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/capsule-review-1998-volkswagen-passat-the-g-o-a-t/

If anything quality was worse in 2002...
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 12:35:09 PM by Dynasty »

Spork

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 01:11:23 PM »
Maintenance on VW's is a little weird. German engineers like to make specific tools for most repairs (e.g. it takes a special tool to remove spark plug cables) and they add a lot of things that just seems to cause more problems than help.

This isn't unique to VW. I've had similar issues with whitebread Fords.

I cannot stress enough how much to eliminate any thoughts of being a VW owner. 99% of people who own one and say they love it are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and are sympathizing with their torturer.

Dynasty's whole post made me giggle, but the Stockholm Syndrome part made me LOL.
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GoStumpy

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Re: 2002 VW Passat Wagon Reviews?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2013, 02:42:01 PM »
I've owned a dozen VW's in my 10 year driving career... and I can agree that as a thrifty financial move, VW is never a good option. Things. Will. Always. Break.

My wife currently drives a 1998 Jetta with ~140k km's, and I've already done the brakes, exhaust, transmission pan gasket... the sideskirt fell off a few weeks ago, the passenger window doesn't work, instrument cluser bulbs burnt out... it's a fun and nice car, but damn does it keep a person busy with the fixing schedule!

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