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Are Passats Really Unreliable? Expert Advice Needed ?

Hello guys,

I met one mechanic who had a corrolla on display to enquire but he told me the ride was sold. I told him the car I actually wanted was a 2000 - 2004 VW passat.

The guy just hissed, he said those cars are not reliable for a first car.

He reccomended either a Toyota, Honda or Nissan in that order

His reasons for criticizing passat.

1. Low second hand / resell value

2. Low availability of parts

3. Ease of developing faults.

I'l be in Lagos for the next one week and I want to get a ride b4 leaving, so I just one to make two enquiries

1. (For auto experts, Sienna, inspired et al ) Is it really unadvisable to get a passat or like brand as a first car and why exactly, any experiances.

2. ( For serious dealers in Lag) I need a car within the next one week and I have a budget of about 800k. Please I'l appreciate serious offers,

thanks and awaiting your responses.

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16 answers

I am no expert but can say this:

TRUE: Original parts are costly (like any other brand for that matter).

TRUE: Fuel consumption is higher than the Jap cars but not THAT much.

TRUE: Mechanics are uncomfortable just looking under the hood (u would too, but with amazement)

However, for a car built between 2001 and 2004,

It is a pleasure to look at (inside and out).

Definitely a pleasure to drive (road handling and access to function buttons).

Fuel consumption is made up by performance.

And when you do get/fix original parts, you can forget about that part giving you another problem.

The body is near rock-strong. Over-all durability so much better than the Japs.

If your stomach is strong enough to handle the "higher costs" of maintenance, its a VERY alright car. It may take a little longer fixing issues in/around the engine because you have to remove the bumpers and radiators (V6 model). Seems the engine is slid horizontally INTO place from the front, not dropped in from top. You should just see my mechanic in action (thats where most of the expenses go- labour charge).

It also helps if you are the only one using it. That way, you'll quickly notice any changes/abnormalities, limiting your trips to "engineer" to REGULAR servicing. Note the word REGULAR.

Bottom line; only a mechanic who knows his onions (that of VW/Audi/Skoda) will make you enjoy the car. Wrong mechanic and you'll regret owning a car (and thats general advice for ANY car). More Jap mechanics out there, because more Jap/Korean cars out there. And thats because of massive marketing by Jap/Korean auto makers. Check the papers, European cars are'nt half as advertised as the Asian cars. (Thats another story).

To be mind-safe, assured and well in comfort zone - Toyota/Honda

Wild pleasure and unrestrained - need you ask?.

JUST MY "NON-EXPERT" OPINION.

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I believe that VW Passats are quite reliable. German vehicles and Japanese vehicles are quite different it is like comparing apples to oranges. Japanese vehicles have a more comfortable and forgiven feel while German vehicles have a true feel. Both are quite reliable and have dependable engines and transmissions. Both are great choices, You just have to figure out what your driving styles and needs are before buying anything.

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i dont knw wat else to say, my vw gurus have said it all. VW 4 LIFE, VW IS ALL YOU WILL EVER NEED, GO WITH SIENNA, MIDAS, DCORIOUS AND ALL D VW FANS AND FANATICS. WE R SOLIDLY BEHIND YOU. IF YUR IN ABJ, WE HOOK UP , IF YUR IN DOUBT

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@Siena

I FEEL YOU, HO HA!!!!

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I've owned 34 VAG models - starting in 1988 with a '83 Audi 80 Sport, to my current cars, Audi B5 RS4 and Audi Avant S4.

My C4 S4 is 15-years-old, and has covered 141,000 trouble-free miles, still on the original engine, turbo, exhaust and both catalysts. Headgasket is still the original, and all the electric toys and aircon still work. The 4WD system is in great shape too.

My B5 RS4 is 13-years-old, and has covered 220,000 trouble-free miles, and was still on the original exhaust and both catalysts, prior to my converting her to V8 power, and 6-speed manual (old tranny was 5-speed manual) she'd never even had a clutch replacement! All electric gadgets - windows, central locking, sunroof, mirrors etc work. Never had a sunroof leak either.

So, spanning over 20 years, I've had no issues with these cars. All I've replaced have been regular items like brake pads, discs, tyres, serpentine belts, timing belts and water pumps at the prescribed intervals. And of course, regular service items.

I had a short stint with Japanese cars between 1990 and 1992, with a Toyota Celica XT, Toyota Carina Estate and Toyota Celica Supra 2,8i.

While they were reliable, they had no "soul." I spend a lot of time behind the wheel, with a lot of driving on the Continent.

Being stuck in a boring car for 12 hours (from Britanny, France to Girona, Spain) is no joke - mind numbing! So, it goes way beyond reliability, and fuel economy.

I drove the Celica Supra from East London, through Dover and crossed over into France, driving through to Paris - a 9 hour drive. The car performed effortlessly, but it was the most unpleasant trip in memory. I sold the car to a British expat in Paris, and returned home by train.

The Toyota Celica XT was reliable, but it got eaten alive by the Red Terror - rust, and had to be scrapped. It was a 1985 model, and I scrapped it in 1991, at just 6 years old.

I digressed a little in 1995 with an E30 BMW M3 Cabrio, and it was a great car too - typical German build quality.

I've since returned to the Audi camp, and am loving it - in terms of fuel economy, I can more than afford it. If fuel economy was an issue, I'd buy a VW Polo 1,0L with 50hp, and compete for performance with kids on skateboards, and milk floats.

There are Japanese cars that are incredibly thirsty too - a prime example is the Nissan Skyline R34. The R34 was never sold in the United States, and can only be personally imported for 12 calender months, whereby it must be exported, or destroyed. But regardless, I love the R34, it's a high-performance car, and you don't get high performance on fresh air - it burns fuel to produce tremendous power and torque!

Audi was the first manufacturer to offer a 10-year anti corrosion warranty in 1988, when the Jap models were offering 3. I accept the equivalent Audi / Volkswagen will be a bit thirstier than the equivalent Toyota / Honda or Nissan. One of the main culprits is weight. German cars are very well built, and of course correspondingly heavier. The panels are made of heavier gauge sheet metal, so it stands to reason a Jap model with body panels made of baking foil will be much lighter, and use less juice.

It all boils down to personal choice, and the reliability factor. One can't blame a car's reliability on manufacturer issues all the time, often "mechanics" that can't tell their buttholes from their elbows "tinker" with expensive cars, often with disastrous (and costly) results. I love big power, and that's the reason I'm the only person so far, that has successfully removed the smaller 2,6L V6 from my B5 Audi, to install a much larger 4,2L V8. Yes, it'll be thirstier, but I can rest assured, when I plant my foot to the floor, and stir the 360 horses on tap, I'll have a big smile on my face.

No way would I be on my 32nd and 33rd VAG model if they were sheds. Japanese cars, whilst being good cars, fail to stir my soul, or give me the sort of driving pleasure I deserve.

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It's better make a knowledgeable decision, and that knowledge is available online from actual owners(not hearsays)

Go to website like carsurvy.org, msnautos.com and read reviews from current owners.If you have to be in that car 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, you better make sure you made the right choice.You are going to be the one stuck with the car , so it better feels right/good everytime .

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pls send mi ur e-mail adddress so dat i can forward it 2 ur box. or mail mi on (stoscar007@yahoo.com). safeee

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I agree german cars are better manufactured but one has to take into consideration maintenance costs when buying a car.

Newer model germans cost an arm to maintain in Nigeria (cost of replacement parts) at dealerships because our regular 'mechanics' can't fathom new technology. So I will advise you steer clear of german cars if you can't afford the maintenance. chikena !

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No car manufacturer designs its vehicle to be problematic or have poor resale value et al. maintenance is the most important factor and for different cars you have a different "maintenance approach" your mechanic probably prefers the toyota/nissan/honda because they have a better threshold for his "try and error repairs" which the german cars don't accept. anyway in terms of reliability, ruggedness, power etc. I give it to the germans.

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Church!!!! Preach!!!. Newer German cars are to be approached with caution!!!Proceed at your own risk!!!

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German cars are built better than the asian cars. No doubt

However I drove a 2004 BMW 3 series for a while, my worst car driving years I must say. I have bought a Honda now and though I can feel a weaker engine and slightly poorer build quality and less toys, I am satisfied that its not giving me headaches.

With my bad experience I dont think I can touch any German car with a very long pole (well at least till I am rich enough)

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I drive a 2001 passat.

It has given me nothing but trouble since I got it. On top of everything, the parts are expensive.

When the trouble became too much I went online and did some research. Guess what - the passat was labeled a lemon!! It was recalled many times.

Maybe I was unlucky with the car. I've only had it for 2 and half years and already it's almost impossible to continue to drive it so I have to change immediately.

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Thanks a lot Sienna, dcurios and promise

your replies were really insightful.

Osci , pls post pix of the ride you have on offer and the price.

and tell me where u are in lag.

I'll expect ur response later tonite.

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hi contact mi on 07036227367, 08027319543. av got a 00/01 passat 4u, factory fitted AC, power window, automatic transmission,ABS, black colour etc. make it asap

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Siena is absolutely correct! Right from when i was a child i have always love German car (preferred them to Asian cars). Little wonder when could finally afford to get my first car 5 years ago i went for a BMW.

It was a BMW 3 series 1992 model. At that time almost everybody i know kept saying , are you mad? how can you buy a BMW? dont u know it is problematic? dont u know it guzzles fuel? dont u know it doesnt have a second hand value? etc ironically non of these people have ever used a BMW or any German car. As for second hand value, i bought the car 700k and sold it for 430k after 6 years of use (sounds like good second hand value to me)

I used that car for close to six years, i promised u; it was NEVER problematic, it NEVER guzzled fuel, it NEVER broke-down, i enjoyed everyday of owning that that.

In Jan 09 i moved on to a 2009 passat TSI and i have sworn never to deviate from German cars.

My advise to you is do your research online, ask people who use the car or have used it and follow your heart

Good luck

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Your mechanic has been afflicted with the "inability-to-diagnose-faults syndrome."

A poor workman always blames his tools, or the item he's working on, he himself is never at fault.

What has resale value to do with reliability?

I haven't heard of the parts issue, as long as the mechanic knows his onions.

The VW Passat is mechanically similar to the Audi A4, and the A4's not unreliable at all - my car has covered 220,000 trouble-free miles.

In the UK and US, the Japanese cars are generally cheaper than the Germans, both new and used.

I've only owned 3 Japanese cars - a 1981 Toyota Carina 2,0 estate, a 1985 Toyota Celica Coupe 2,0 XT and a 1986 Toyota Celica Supra 2,8.

Whilst all were reliable, build quality was nowhere as good as in German cars, and rust was an issue in those days. They don't rust the way they used to, but build quality is way behind that of German or even Swedish cars.

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