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Old 05-23-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
Sniper X OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Central New Mexico, 7420ft above sea level
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VW owners, chime in!

So I might be looking at a few used cars. I am leaning toward a VW since I love the driving experience. This will be a purchase for a commuter car for me, that I WILL take on trips out of state from time to time probably a couple times a year.

I am also considering another Honda Civic or Prelude for the same use but would prefer a better driving experience.

The candidates are so far, 2.0 turbo or a VR6. Which is more reliable, and how is the mileage of each in a 5 speed or auto in a 4 door?

I am looking at the Passat and Jettas. How is their longevity compared to say the Civics and Preludes?
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:47 PM   #2
fierostetz
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mk4 is less reliable than mk5 and mk6. The mk4 VR6 is an awesome engine, sounds great, fun to drive. The 2.0 is an engine, it makes the car go. Electrical woes are likely to be a factor on a mk4 vw. Check out vwvortex.com
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:49 PM   #3
fierostetz
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you stated 2.0 turbo, I missed that - you're looking at a mk5 or mk6 gti then? the mk5 2.0t was more reliable than the mk6 one. decent mileage, decently reliable. I'm on my 3rd 2.5l vw golf (i trade in at the end of the warranty each time, as the Golf is always worth substantially more than I owe by that time) and love the 2.5 engine. Decently peppy, ok mileage (especially 2011 and newer! different gearing) and without the pricetag of a GTI. I use mine as work car for hauling IT equipment. Next go 'round it's probably a golf TDI or a jetta sportwagen TDI.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:27 PM   #4
jdiaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper X View Post
So I might be looking at a few used cars. I am leaning toward a VW since I love the driving experience. This will be a purchase for a commuter car for me, that I WILL take on trips out of state from time to time probably a couple times a year.

The candidates are so far, 2.0 turbo or a VR6. Which is more reliable, and how is the mileage of each in a 5 speed or auto in a 4 door?

I am looking at the Passat and Jettas. How is their longevity compared to say the Civics and Preludes?
Just a quick note about the 2.0 turbo.....we have two of these cars, and have been pleased with them. And they are easy to work on, with respect to oil changes and minor tune-ups. Lots of room under the hood and parts are available everywhere.

Mileage is 25city/31hwy virtually all the time. With the 18+ gallon tank in the Passat, its an easy 525 miles of 75mph cruising between fillups.

jdiaz screwed with this post 05-23-2012 at 06:36 PM
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #5
redirt
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buying used? check the coolant, there's a goofy purple "lifetime" coolant that doesn't mix well with the regular green stuff ........... and turns into a jelly when they mix; my mistake was not knowing that about the engines when buying, not mixing them post purchase. expensive parts too,at least here, on maui, for no good reason. i like my scion iq that we traded it in on...
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
C Squared
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You are commuting? Is it more than 25 miles? Love my diesel...

I have an 02 Jetta wagon, Wife has an 02 Golf Both TDI

Ok, we only drive 12 miles to work... Still love them. They are kinda not stock any longer...

More power and MPG still really good. Me mid 40's or better her high 40's or better.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
RocketJohn
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For you? Sniper X? VW? Honda?

You know you want this:

The BMW 335D of course...



another commuter choice:

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Old 05-23-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
Anglewood
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I have an '08 MkV GTI with the 2.0T FSI. 50,000 trouble free miles so far and I love it. It's decently fast, yet also practical. The Jetta GLI is basically the same car but with a trunk. The MkV GTI and GLI were manufactured in Germany and don't have the reputation for electronic woes that the Mexican manufactured cars do. If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

-Connor
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
NikonsAndVStroms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglewood View Post
I have an '08 MkV GTI with the 2.0T FSI. 50,000 trouble free miles so far and I love it. It's decently fast, yet also practical. The Jetta GLI is basically the same car but with a trunk. The MkV GTI and GLI were manufactured in Germany and don't have the reputation for electronic woes that the Mexican manufactured cars do. If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

-Connor
Do the Mexican ones still have fit and finish problems? Most people I know had Jettas and Golfs ranging from 95-05 and everyone had a long list of minor issues.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:44 PM   #10
zellersc
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VW = meh...

I owned a 1995 Golf Gti VR6 that I bought with 65k miles and drove it to 165k before trading it in on a 2004 Golf R32 (3.2L VR6 w/AWD) that had 45k miles and traded it in with 110k. The '95 golf never really gave me any major hassles. It used about a quart of oil in 5-7,000 mi at the end of my ownership and got 20/24 mpg with a 5-speed.

The 2004 was fairly maintenance free until the check engine light came on and said the cam chains were worn out at just over 100k miles...I traded it in for a non-VW shortly after that. The A/C on the 2004 always made a weird noise and it had a "funny" idle problem that was apparently a common issue on the VR6. It'd idle fine for a while then the idle speed would creep up to 1100-1200 rpm until you drove it a little bit then it'd be fine and then it'd creep up again. The dealer didn't know what was wrong with it and couldn't replicate the issue. I also had front wheel bearings go out at 80k miles...I'm glad that car is gone

Watch out on the VR6, they had a few that had bad cam chain drive gears that wore out prematurely and it's an expensive fix! Most were out of warranty and VW never acknowledged it as an official problem so the owners were stuck. If I remember correctly, the V-6 used in some of the Passats (and Touareg's in some years) had a bolt that holds on the oil pump (or oil pump drive gear?) fail and trash the engines. There was a recall on them so make sure it was done if you start looking at one.

My biggest beef with VW is their dealer service/parts departments. That's what ultimately drove me away from VW's. They're going to have to build something really fantastic to get me back. I do miss the VW driving experience but I don't really miss the "ownership experience"

There's a very active VW forum at: www.vwvortex.com that will help you when you narrow down to a specific model.

good luck!
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #11
John Nash
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2012 Passat TDI

I just bought this new 2012 Passat TDi in Jan. Had my first service done yesterday 10K miles. I love this car so far.Mileage always 40+ mpg. Lots of room inside,fit and finish also very nice.Any other diesel this size would be $50K + Car has lots of power and DSG tranmission is smooth as silk.I hope it lasts me 10 years and 300K miles.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:53 AM   #12
jdiaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikonsAndVStroms View Post
Do the Mexican ones still have fit and finish problems? Most people I know had Jettas and Golfs ranging from 95-05 and everyone had a long list of minor issues.
I have a buddy with a high-mileage 07 GLI......he never had the usual coil or DSG issues, but had an AC compressor die prematurely and lots of warranty work for squeaks and leaks. His Mexican-built car looks as nice inside as my German ones.

+1 on the dealership experience, although mine tries really hard. I have more issues with sloppy mechanics.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:45 AM   #13
goezer
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Pissed Never Ever Again.

This is from someone whose dad bought his first VW in '56. there has been a volks in my family continuously since then up to '08.
My sister had an '04 golf she bought new (2.0 5 spd)
loved the car and was going to keep it for 10 years, UNTIL the oil light came on on the highway, no, the engine didnt explode, she pulled over shut it off towed to dealer after she checked the oil herself.

nothing on the stick. Dry. Dealer maint since new, bought 2 other VW's there. Oil change was 1500 miles ago.
Upshot was ' Its not our fault some of our cars had the engines assembled with THE RINGS UPSIDEDOWN and now you own an oil burner. No, we wont fix it under warranty, it needs to use a quart every 750 miles before we are guilty. your nice modern German engineered KamphWagen only uses a quart every 1200 miles. GO AWAY,LADY.' Car had less than 50k on it when this happened.

proud owner of a Corolla since then.

My wife had an '06 passat from new that had A/C that would not keep the car cool when it got over 95 deg. $28k car and bullshit A/C? In PHOENIX? FAAAAAAK YOOOOOOU!
No, we wont fix it, THEY ALL DO THAT!
Bluetooth button will never work.
Rear brakes need replacing EVERY 25k, including rotors
REAR brakes?.
VW only oil.
VW only batteries.
VW only 40k timing belt inspection or you have NO warranty coverage on the engine.
What happened to simple, tough little cars that just work?



Never Ever Again.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:06 AM   #14
PaddedHat
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03' Passat, 1.8T stick. Bought the car two years ago, 88K miles, outstanding condition. In the last few months it has had well over $3K in repairs and maintenance. About 1/3rd of the work was done by me, the remainder by a close friend at an independent shop. That said, if all the work was done at the dealer, the final ticket would of easily exceeded the wholesale value of the car. I strongly disagree that the car is easy to work on, anything but an absolute piece of shit, or that much of anything is accessable.

VW continues to take the classic German design mentality to extremes. Take a problem with a multitude of simple proven solutions, ingnore all of them. Design a complex, expensive and underbuilt solution and run with it. Frail dual mass flywheels that can't even make it to 100K miles before grenading. Coil packs that fail continuiously. Removing the entire front of the vehicle to change a water pump, or timing belt. A delicate front suspension composed of multiple ball joints, each the size of a cat testicle. All issues that competent engineering could of easily avoided before the vehicle even left the design stage, but no, these fucking idiots take great pride in this type of stupidity.

In the last twenty years, I have put hundreds of thousands of miles on various GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Honda products. None of then even got close to being as bad as this VW is. Although it was an expensive, and dissapointing lesson, especially to a guy who owner twenty one air cooled models in my youth, I have no concerns about dumping the car for a decent pile of coin. The trick is to find that magic time period between CEL lights, and find another deluded fanboy who thinks these pieces of shit are just the dog's balls........
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:33 AM   #15
papalobster
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Joined: Jul 2001
Location: FDL, WI
Oddometer: 12,881
2000 Passat Wagon, 2.8 30 valve v6, Tiptronic auto with 139k on it. I bought it cheap.

2.8 V6 (not the VR6) doesn't like to hold it's oil. Cam seals and valve cover gaskets are common leaking points. Luckily, it holds like 10 quarts, so a lot can leak out before it's an issue

Needed the fragile upper control arms replaced when I got it. That was a 12 pack job, about $100 in parts and a Saturday afternoon. No big deal really when one ball joint for my 1ton van costs the same

Had a broken rear spring, found out a spring kit that drops it 1" was cheaper than buying one VW spring

I'm due for a timing belt in a month or so. That seems like it's going to be a bit of work.

Parts from VW are expensive, but there is a lot of aftermarket support alternatives.

If I had to do it over again, I would have opted for the FWD version instead of 4 Motion (AWD). The VW AWD is more rear biased than my Subaru was, so the rear tends to step out a bit in aggressive winter driving. The FWD's pick up a couple more mpg too.

But, for what I paid, and what I got, I'm pleased with it. I'd like to get a newer Passat TDI, but that is not in the budget.
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