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I guess we see same car differently... (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 5-series (E34) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Andrew Fischer on October 20, 2001 at 08:29:20:

In Reply to: Really ? posted by Dragos on October 19, 2001 at 12:25:12:


I'd only get a leather interior. Much easier to clean when the kid pukes, spills milk or whatever.
I still hold the VW leather is nowhere near the quality of what is on the e34.

I drove a '91 Jetta GLI for years and my wife had a '92 GL when we looked at the Passat.
I was used to the feel of the cable shifter that is common to many front wheel drive cars. I didn't have any problem finding gears or makeing quick positive shifts. I do remember hill starts in a 4cyl manual. Minimal turbo lag and then zoom.

I agree the Passat steering is overboosted. So are the brakes. Most cars are. When I let others drive my 535, they often mention how heavy everything feels.

The interior -- I guess we just plain disagree here. We kept our '92 Jetta GL eight years. After four years the interior looked bad. After six, the interior was shot. I replaced some parts twice. By the time we sold the car, plastic parts were breaking everywhere. My '91 GLI would have been the same, but it got a new interior twice after being stolen and striped twice.
The Passat is better then the Jetta, but much is the same 'ol VW.
No comparison the quality of the e34 interior. Even the new BMW's aren't as well made. They look nice now, but I don't think they will hold up as long. After 217,000 miles my e34 is still wonderful inside. No way will a Passat manage that.

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)


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