In Reply to: Thats a hard one... posted by Andrew Fischer on October 19, 2001 at 07:43:49:
False assumption. Usually Passats come with that horrible VW cloth interior that attracts dust, pollen and whatnot through the windows. Leather, on the other hand is significantly easier to maintain/clean. Leather in a Passat rises the cost quite a bit.
The Passat with the manual is a fun car to drive. With a manual transmission, the base turbo 4 is quite fast
No, it is not. The clutch action is vague at best, has a long throw and the it engages out of a sudden and not progressively.
The gear shift lever is cable actuated and it's another example of vagueness. Not to mention starting from steep ramps - trying to find 1st gear is quite unsettling.
And then there's the steering - I like the small wheel but the texture (unless it's leather) is very annoying. Not a whole amount of grip and leather gloves make it even worse. As for precision, hah.. What a joke. Overly boosted. (Makes me think of those who criticized the steering on the E46s - they should have tried a VW for size, if not a Japanese car..)
Finally, there are the brakes - no feeling at all through the pedal, there is no linearity and I feel that they are over boosted. To their credit, there's no fade at all.
The biggest shortcoming on the Passat is the interior. Maybe a bit nicer then what they put in my old '91 GLI, but it is still a VW interior. Everything feels cheap, the cup holders are a joke and the optional leather is thin.
I tend to disagree with this also. The dash materials are of prime quality, as is the roof lining and door panels. It doesn't feel like plastic at all, much less cheap. (Wanna see cheap materials ? Climb into an E Klasse..) It doesn't have a glossy finish and it feels soft to the touch. I love the damped grab handles and pretty much everything on board. (No point in mentioning cupholders, I come from the BMW school.. :-))
A pillars are a bit too thick and intruding, the rear window seems too small and the rear view mirror gives the impression that there is a whole lot you don't see.
I'd give it 6 years at best -- If you buy a '99, the interior will look worn out in 3 or 4 years.
I have yet to see that, although I doubt it. (shameful admission : my wife drives a 00 Golf GLS 1.8t - it's nicely built, quite fast - much faster off the line than my 535i - hint for those racer types..)
(I hope you don't take this personal, it's just a different view)