My 2002 1.8T Passat 5 speed manual that I am original owner has just passed it's 10 year birthday (135K miles), thought I would give an update for longterm ownership of this Volkswagen.
What is good:
- Paint: I don't know how VW paints their cars, but the paint and clearcoat on this car is flawless. I rarely wax it, wash it only once a month or so, and today it gleans as bright as the first day. No chips at all on the hood or front bumper. Strong finish.
- Engine: The 1.8T is just running strong. No sludge that I can see, the engine still pulls, I'm getting 31mpg on highway, and no oil usage or burning. Great engine in this car. Love how it sounds when I floor it.
- Suspension: Still pretty tight. The minute I put on 17" rims to replace the stock 15" rims the car handled better.
- Interior: still looks really good. Have one tear on the drivers seat from getting in and out.
- I love the interior design. The trunk is huge, the seats fold pretty much flat. I can fit a surfboard in the car, I can also fit in a bicycle with the seats folded down pretty easily.
What is bad:
- Friggin heater core plugs up easily. My heater is operating at 10%. Very common flaw in this car. Will cost $1000 to fix.
- The MFA does not display when it's hot outside, like 80 degrees +. I comes back when its cooler outside.
- Some interior cloth door panels are drooping.
- The headlights are yellowing. I need to figure out how to fix this.
I know the Consumer Reports rated this car not so reliable (I think based on the coilpack debacle), but I have to say, I've driven this car 10 years, and I think I can get another 5 out of it.
I had to order this particular car and wait 3 months for it. Apparently Silverstone Passats with black cloth interior and 5 speed manual 1.8T were extremely rare because I was looking at the dealer's for 7 months and had never saw one.
I remember when the dealer called when it arrived (on a Tuesday). I told him I would pick it up the following Saturday, then he calls me up on Thursday and said "Look, there are 3 different buyers looking at your car right now, you really need to come down and pick it up."
My previous car was a 1984 Jetta GLI I drove for 16 years. After getting the Passat, I told myself that I would never own a car that long again, because the cars had gotten so much better. I might eat my own words.
Additionally, KBB says my car is worth $3500. Ya know, when I was 18 (many years ago) I bought a 1975 Opel Kadett used , that in todays money would equal $3500. I tell you, if I was 18 today, and I picked up a used Passat like mine..... it's so much better car, I would be STOKED.
Also, I paid around $23,000 for my Passat in 2002. That equals about $27,000 today. I have to say, if VW sold this car new, right now, I probably would by another one for $27K. The B5 and B5.5 Passat have a timeless design. They will look good another 10 years from now.
Great car VW!
(edit for mileage added)