Posted by Daryl Welsh on December 21, 1998 at 10:25:28:
In Reply to: 323 comparable to PASSAT? posted by Mark on December 21, 1998 at 00:44:11:
I know you're looking for comments from other 323 drivers, but as a 328 owner I thought I'd relay my own thoughts.
In March of this year I picked up a 98 V6 GLS Passat, and for six months thought it was a pretty good car. I enjoyed the power, the Tiptronic, and the German car-driving experience.
In early October a co-worker of mine purchased a 99 323 w/Premium, and after driving his car just a few times, it became really apparent what a difference there was between the Passat and the 3-series.
The Passat was much looser in its handling, the interior (although nice) felt much cheezier, and I had never liked the treatment from the sales or service staffs of the VW dealers I had been to.
I traded the Passat in and got a new 99 328 w/sport and w/prem eight weeks ago and although I know I took a beating on the trade-in I've been more than happy with the decision.
The Passat is an entry-level car trying hard to fit into the luxury category, but its not nearly there. The 323/328 cars define the class and are what the Marketers at BMW say 'the ultimate driving vehicle.'
I will have to give the Passat a little credit on the interior room issue, especially for the back seats, but the safety and basic amenities of the BMW far outweigh any of the items VW is putting on the Passat.
Hope this helps in your decision