In Reply to: Pondering E34 purchase vs. Passat. Help with ???s posted by skya on September 24, 2001 at 11:26:16:
The V6 engine is smooth and almost as powerful as the I6, and the ride is compliant in a Euro sort of way, without giving up too much handling. However, the E34 has so much more potential than the Passat. Throw on a well matched set of springs and shocks to the E34 and there is no comparison, even if you did the same to the Passat. RWD and 50/50 balance give the E34 a huge advantage in handling if you stiffen the suspension.
I'm not impressed at all by VW quality as the turbo in our 1.8T died at 56k miles. It cost $2k to replace. Avoid the turbo! There's also many more squeaks in the VW's 1998 interior than in our 1993 BMW's interior. Control arms go on the Passat and Audi A4 as well, which will cost about $1k to replace. The Passat also uses a timing belt, which needs to be replaced at 60k intervals if you're smart (I've heard of them breaking).
All in all, we're selling our Passat early next year and probably buying a new E46.
Oh, you found a Passat V6 4Motion for $15-20k? That's an amazing price!
93 525i 5-spd/Dinan Stage 1 (Koni)/Sharked/BBS RK
98 Passat 1.8T wagon tiptronic/loaded with options & soon to be for sale