Product Type: Volkswagen cars
Newest Review: ... albeit at a much reduced rate. This in itself would not be the end of the world if Volkswagen had not, in their infinite wisdom, decide... more
A great (if flawed) car
VW Passat 1.8 Sport 20V Saloon
Member Name: adamjq
VW Passat 1.8 Sport 20V Saloon
Advantages: Comfortable, Luxurious, Quiet, Loads of Space.
Disadvantages: Water Ingress Problems mean it leaks like sieve.
Earlier this year myself and my partner decided a bigger vehicle was needed due to the imminent arrival of our first born. Having looked around on a limited budget we decided that the Passat offered us the best level of comfort, space and luxury for our money.
That was around six months ago and having had the benefit of hindsight would I still buy this car? That's a tough one but I would have to go with no.
Let me just highlight this car's advantages before I come to the reason why I would not buy this vehicle if I had my time over.
The level of comfort and luxury is astounding for those on a budget, the climate control is truly excellent, the stereo is magnificent with dedicated tweeters, woofers and mid range speakers, there are plenty of cubby holes to store all your detritus (trust me, with a baby, that is a very good thing!). It even has the capacity to use the air con to keep the glove box cool and by extension, anything you place in there. The boot is the largest I have ever had on a saloon and includes metal hooks to secure items, a place for a first aid box and even a 12v electrical point. The pram and all the assorted baby stuff fits in there easily, even when we need to also have a suitcase for us (the parents).
The ride quality is excellent, this car seems to whoosh along and is a joy on long motorway journeys. It's not sporty by any means but if you want sporty, don't buy a big saloon car. It also has an impressive level of sound proofing which keeps out the vast majority of noise (I will detail later why I know how good the sound proofing is!). This car really is tight as a drum and extremely reliable.
Adding up to be a great vehicle, don't you think? Believe me, if I could end the review here I would have to say it is one of the best vehicles I have ever owned but unfortunately we now come to the crux of the problem. A problem know all to well by owners of Passat's built around and just after the turn of the century: Water Ingress.
In other words, it leaks like a sieve. But you won't notice, not at first. Remember how good the sound proofing is? Well the carpets will soak up all that water until it gets to a ridiculous level (at least two inches!). Then and only then will you realise that all is not right.
This problem can be down to a number of things including:
Grommets under battery getting clogged, Air filter not sitting right, Sun Roof and door seals amongst other things. I have had all these things checked and corrected (not sun roof, don't have one!) and I am fairly sure it is still leaking, albeit at a much reduced rate. This in itself would not be the end of the world if Volkswagen had not, in their infinite wisdom, decided to place the brains for the main electronics in the car, under the passenger seat. This can lead to an extremely large bill, of at least £1000.
Also, because the sound proofing is so excellent, the only way to dry the vehicle completely after such an episode of water ingress is to remove the carpet in its entirety and either dry it out (labour intensive and expensive) or to replace it completely (extremely expensive, I had a quote of £800!).
It's a shame because I desperately want to love this car, in all other area's it is excellent but for this one, great big fault. My advice would have to be that if you want a Passat, save your pennies and buy a facelift model as I am reliably informed that the fault has been addressed in these models.
Summary: A great car with a massive flaw.