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    Thread: What's the verdict on the Chattanooga-built Passat?

    1. Member spongebob_squarepants's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 11:09 AM #1
      These have been on the road for a while, how did VW do? Are the American-made Passats about the same quality as the VW's made in other plants, or is there a noticeable difference?

      A VR6 Passat is on my short list (along with a Charger / 300 V6), so I'm looking for feedback on these if anybody has any seat time in one. But I'm not interested in buying a US-built VW if it's Westmoreland all over again.

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      09-07-2012 11:12 AM #2
      I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that the cars are probably identical from one factory to another. It may of been different 30 years ago but I don't think this applies anymore.

    3. Member SoCalDubber's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 11:16 AM #3
      I took a 2012 TDI SEL Premium down to San Diego for VW training for the past couple of days.... Put about 400 miles on the car. I'm SO in love with it. I can't figure out why you'd get another car in the segment. Practicality and comfort of a Camry with the ride characteristics and refinement of a new Volkswagen

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      09-07-2012 11:30 AM #4
      Published review seems to note it being quite good. Aside from the character difference to older cars/CC being more "beige". And unlike the Jetta they didn't intentionally cheapen it. The few I've checked out at the dealers looks like mostly the same level of finish compare to a CC, but bigger...

      Quite a few review did point out the steering wheel feels offset to one side vs where you are sitting. Never drove one so can't comment on that and it did not jump out at me when I sat in the showroom...

    5. Member dwagner88's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 11:35 AM #5
      Good luck finding the VR6. I work at the plant and I hardly ever see them. And I've never seen one on the road. Not too many get built. On the other hand, we can't build TDI's fast enough.
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    6. Member spongebob_squarepants's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 12:05 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by RacingManiac View Post

      Quite a few review did point out the steering wheel feels offset to one side vs where you are sitting. Never drove one so can't comment on that and it did not jump out at me when I sat in the showroom...
      Yeah I remember reading that now. Why the heck would the steering wheel be off center from the drivers seat? That would drive me bonkers.

      True - I don't see many VR6's on lots. I owned a TDI before and don't really want another diesel as much as I'd like a strong NA V6, despite the extra fuel costs. I think gassers are just more fun.

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      09-07-2012 12:13 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by dwagner88 View Post
      Good luck finding the VR6. I work at the plant and I hardly ever see them. And I've never seen one on the road. Not too many get built. On the other hand, we can't build TDI's fast enough.
      Good news! What's not to love about a full size sedan that can put down 37 MPG average? Based on feedback from others, it sounds like the Passat may very well best my Jetta TDI in fuel economy as well.

    8. Member TooFitToQuit's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 12:37 PM #8
      Did you know the roof doesn't have any rain gutters?

      The tour guide told us this when we went there a few weeks back. Neat tidbit.

    9. Member SoCalDubber's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 12:42 PM #9
      Shoot me a pm, I have a few VRs on the lot, one of which I can do some great movement with!
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    10. Member nicoli's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 12:58 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by dwagner88 View Post
      Good luck finding the VR6. I work at the plant and I hardly ever see them. And I've never seen one on the road. Not too many get built. On the other hand, we can't build TDI's fast enough.
      Is the plant a nice place to work? I've heard stories about the bad attitudes of workers in GM factories back in the day, and how they'd practically, purposefully build things in a shoddy manor. I know things are much different nowadays, even at GM, but I hope people take pride in their work and are compensated well at the new VW plant. I also hope US built VWs prove to be some of the most consistently reliable in their current lineup.

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      09-07-2012 01:16 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by TooFitToQuit View Post
      Did you know the roof doesn't have any rain gutters?
      My GTI has very shallow one, and it's kinda annoying if the car has been rained on and you open the window before you drive off...

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      09-07-2012 01:47 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by SoCalDubber View Post
      Shoot me a pm, I have a few VRs on the lot, one of which I can do some great movement with!
      When I bought my B5, I was happy with the 1.8T. The 2.8V6 was a solid engine, but the 1.8T left nothing to be desired (except a quick ECU upgrade).

      This time around, we have the 2.5l 5cyl vs the VR6? I haven't driven either - how would you say they compare?

      I like the idea of the VR6 in theory, but I bet the 2.5 is competent enough for just about everyone - no?

    13. Moderator PsyberVW's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 01:49 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by RacingManiac View Post
      My GTI has very shallow one, and it's kinda annoying if the car has been rained on and you open the window before you drive off...
      Are there ANY new cars with decent rain rails anymore??

      My ML was the last car I remember having one, and it was pretty subtle. Worse offense: getting your door panel and arms soaked at drive-thru windows :/

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      09-07-2012 01:53 PM #14
      It's really funny this is mentioned now that I think about it....its something I never noticed before in any other cars I've lived with for a while(98 Camry, 03 G35), but I have got water on me a few times in the GTI in the year that I've owned it...

    15. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 01:55 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by dwagner88 View Post
      On the other hand, we can't build TDI's fast enough.
      im glad to hear that

      the new ones ive driven/ridden in are great. i dont own one though so i cant really speak to build quality... but for the money/size/fuel economy i dont know why anyone wouldnt buy a tdi passat if they were looking for a car that size. the rear leg room is insane... enormous cars

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      09-07-2012 01:55 PM #16
      Only knock I have on the B7 Passat is the road noise.

      I drove a TDI when they released and it had more noise than my MK6 Golf.

    17. 09-07-2012 01:58 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by PsyberVW View Post
      Are there ANY new cars with decent rain rails anymore??

      My ML was the last car I remember having one, and it was pretty subtle. Worse offense: getting your door panel and arms soaked at drive-thru windows :/
      SUVs - yes. Cars, not so much, and those that do have the "rail" at the roof seam, well above the door, rendering it rather moot...

    18. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 03:05 PM #18
      Probably too soon for Consumer Reports to have issued their beloved circles. I can only imagine that the B7 will improve upon the B6 and B5/B5.5, each of which had certain known issues with the base turbo engines and given how solid the 2.5 is/has been.
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    19. 09-07-2012 03:19 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by RacingManiac View Post
      My GTI has very shallow one, and it's kinda annoying if the car has been rained on and you open the window before you drive off...
      Yeah I am starting to realize that, get in the car after it has rained, pull out of parking lot, and see the both sides getting wet woops, guess I have to adjust acordingly and not open the windows until all the water is off

    20. Member spongebob_squarepants's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 03:32 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by PsyberVW View Post
      When I bought my B5, I was happy with the 1.8T. The 2.8V6 was a solid engine, but the 1.8T left nothing to be desired (except a quick ECU upgrade).

      This time around, we have the 2.5l 5cyl vs the VR6? I haven't driven either - how would you say they compare?

      I like the idea of the VR6 in theory, but I bet the 2.5 is competent enough for just about everyone - no?
      The wife drives a 2.5L Jetta and it's a good engine for a daily driver, but hard to get very excited about. In the heavier Passat, it'd be underwhelming to me.

      I've owned a 1.8T and a TDI, but always wanted a VR6, so if I choose the new Passat over the Charger / 300, it'll be a VR for sure.

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      09-07-2012 03:34 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by invisiblewar View Post
      I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that the cars are probably identical from one factory to another. It may of been different 30 years ago but I don't think this applies anymore.

      Where else is the US version of the current Passat built??

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      09-07-2012 03:38 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by NoDubJustYet View Post
      Where else is the US version of the current Passat built??
      China, I believe...

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      09-07-2012 04:57 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by spongebob_squarepants View Post
      Yeah I remember reading that now. Why the heck would the steering wheel be off center from the drivers seat? That would drive me bonkers.
      Dude, try driving a Karmann Ghia. The Passat is nothing in comparison, I'm sure.
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      09-07-2012 06:32 PM #24
      I've heard there is an immense lack of skilled trades and technical know-how in that area of the world... Apparently the plant and process had to be designed with this in mind (simpler, but sometimes 'older' approaches to certain tasks... I heard some of the welding and body crimping equipment is pretty dated in terms of what is available on the market). Can the Chattanooga employee chime in on this (it was info I got from someone in the robotic automation field who had been to the plant and many other car plants). He said there was a lot of hand-finishing to achieve the VW-standard body gaps.

      Quote Originally Posted by invisiblewar View Post
      I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that the cars are probably identical from one factory to another. It may of been different 30 years ago but I don't think this applies anymore.


      In a perfect world... yes. In the real world, yes there is variation between plants and a lot also depends on the local supplier. The variation will not be great, but it will be there.

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      09-07-2012 07:53 PM #25
      No wagon, no care
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      09-07-2012 07:57 PM #26
      I had one as a rental in Toronto a couple of months ago. And basically... it was a rental car. An appliance. Nothing more, nothing less. Decent materials and construction, but completely unremarkable.

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      09-07-2012 08:02 PM #27
      My mom went from an '01 Accord to a Passat 2.5 S with Appearance Package and she loves it. For the money, it simply can't be beat. $21,300, with a $23k sticker. Feels very solid for a car in that price range.

      Day of purchase, from this:



      to this:

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      09-07-2012 08:25 PM #28
      My dad's been driving his 2012 V6 Passat for about six months now and I can tell you he loves it. He had one QC issue where a bolt from the exhaust came loose and needed to be serviced immediately. He's also had an issue with the oil pressure light going on and off which turned out to be a faulty sensor.

      He went from a CC to the bigger Passat and feels it much more comfortable. I've driven it a few times and though it doesn't feel fast at all, it does 0-60 in about 6 seconds. It may just not feel quick to me because I'm used to a highly modified 2.0T.

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      09-07-2012 08:29 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by brekdown29 View Post
      It may just not feel quick to me because I'm used to a 2.0T with a chip.
      okay

    30. Member brekdown29's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 08:34 PM #30
      ^says the turd who has no idea what modifications my car has^

    31. Member dwagner88's Avatar
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      09-07-2012 08:45 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by Live-Wire View Post
      I've heard there is an immense lack of skilled trades and technical know-how in that area of the world... Apparently the plant and process had to be designed with this in mind (simpler, but sometimes 'older' approaches to certain tasks... I heard some of the welding and body crimping equipment is pretty dated in terms of what is available on the market). Can the Chattanooga employee chime in on this (it was info I got from someone in the robotic automation field who had been to the plant and many other car plants). He said there was a lot of hand-finishing to achieve the VW-standard body gaps.





      In a perfect world... yes. In the real world, yes there is variation between plants and a lot also depends on the local supplier. The variation will not be great, but it will be there.
      To a certain extent, there was an initial lack of skilled workers. There has never been an auto plant on this side of the state before, and a large portion of the local manufacturing industry went nose up in the 90's. However, the local community college has been very proactive about educating line workers, to the point that they have a large campus on site at the plant with a downsized production line simulation. They get enough applicants that they are able to easily weed out people who aren't willing to work hard using a quite grueling simulation of production. There are also a lot of borrowed workers from Germany and Puebla, and quite a few that relocated here from Detroit during the carpocalypse.
      The body shop equipment is beyond my area of expertise, and it's not an area of the plant I've been in yet. Can't comment on that, but to my eyes the panel gaps seem excellent. As with any process, there are some bad eggs that get pulled for a rework before being released for shipping.
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      09-07-2012 08:53 PM #32
      The 300/Charger are very competitive in this segment and drive very nice for the price point. They are still off of a modified W210 E Chassis and with RWD gives it a nice feel. Our customer care rep here at work drives VW and Audi product (Her husband works for VWoA) and says the Passat is still as nice as it used to be so I can see how the OP will have a tough choice. Personally the Charger would get my $$$ in an SXT form with nav, leather and xenons. Dodge has been putting some big incentives on the Charger to keep the lines moving so there should be a good deal to be had on them.
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      09-07-2012 09:07 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by VadGTI View Post
      My mom went from an '01 Accord to a Passat 2.5 S with Appearance Package and she loves it. For the money, it simply can't be beat. $21,300, with a $23k sticker. Feels very solid for a car in that price range.

      Day of purchase, from this:

      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...428_173303.jpg

      to this:

      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...428_173256.jpg
      I thought мать-Law-Bear didn't like it because it was a big, oversized boat which for some reason has dual-zone climatronic while my seven thousand dollar more expensive GTI does not (grrrrrrrrrr!)
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      09-07-2012 09:26 PM #34
      All I know is every time I see one I want one. A TDI.
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      Personally I love them and I think it is the best car in the segment, closely followed by the Fusion.
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