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VW Passat Wagon history?

Old 09-03-19, 10:27 PM
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VW Passat Wagon history?

Hey, anybody out there knowledgeable about VW history?

I'm trying to research the landscape on Passat Wagons, to find a good replacement for our minivan. The biggest criteria are rear leg room (very tall boys) and decent mileage. Passat Wagon seems to fit the bill. We were able to test drive our friend's and it seemed great.

Looking around, I can't seem to find any American passat wagons newer than 2010. The wiki page on Passats notes that 2010 is the end of the B6 series of Passats, did VW stop selling wagons in the US at that time? Because they still seem to be all over Europe.
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Old 09-04-19, 07:53 AM
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Yes, that's correct. The lack of demand killed it. There have been recent stories that the VW may also stop selling the Golf wagon after this year.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a1...on-in-the-u-s/

I have a 2003 Passat wagon that's still going strong with 182,000 miles on the odometer. I'm 6' 2" and I can sit comfortably in the back seat when I have the front seat set up for myself.
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Old 09-04-19, 08:09 AM
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Hey I know this isn't directly related, but I owned a 2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI and it was probably the best car I've ever owned. Rock solid reliable, fun to drive, and awesome mileage. I would've kept it forever if it hadn't been for the VW buyback. I drove it 2 years and VW bought it back for the same price I paid for it.
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Old 09-04-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
Yes, that's correct. The lack of demand killed it. There have been recent stories that the VW may also stop selling the Golf wagon after this year.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a1...on-in-the-u-s/

I have a 2003 Passat wagon that's still going strong with 182,000 miles on the odometer. I'm 6' 2" and I can sit comfortably in the back seat when I have the front seat set up for myself.
Awesome, thx for the confirmation. My tallest is 6'3" and growing; fortunately we'll also be able to keep the front seats more forward.
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Old 09-04-19, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
Hey I know this isn't directly related, but I owned a 2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI and it was probably the best car I've ever owned. Rock solid reliable, fun to drive, and awesome mileage. I would've kept it forever if it hadn't been for the VW buyback. I drove it 2 years and VW bought it back for the same price I paid for it.
Cool. How was the rear head/leg room on that? My understanding is basically you lose an inch or two of rear leg room for each step down from Passat-->Jetta-->Golf

Our current 2nd car is a 2002 Golf GTI VR6, and (assuming wagons have the same backseats as non-wagons, and the GTI rear seat is not somehow different than regular golf) that rear leg room is definitely NOT sufficient
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Old 09-04-19, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Cool. How was the rear head/leg room on that? My understanding is basically you lose an inch or two of rear leg room for each step down from Passat-->Jetta-->Golf

Our current 2nd car is a 2002 Golf GTI VR6, and (assuming wagons have the same backseats as non-wagons, and the GTI rear seat is not somehow different than regular golf) that rear leg room is definitely NOT sufficient
I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam and fit comfortably in the backseat. I never sat back there with another adult. Our kids were little then, so I'm not real sure on sizing. I know you can fit 2 child seats AND a teenager (albeit a petite one) all in the backseat, but it's very tight with all 3. That's all about width though, not head or leg room.
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Old 09-04-19, 09:27 AM
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Also what is the time range of the buyback? I assume a 2010 or earlier Passat Wagon would not be affected, so I would have to worry about whether it had been fixed or not
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Old 09-04-19, 09:37 AM
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I'm driving a 2017 Golf Sportwagen. The. Best. Car.

I'm a short guy and I bought it because it was the right height for me to put bikes, ladders, kayaks, etc. on my car's roof without having to get a ladder to do it.

I'll keep it because it drives, stops, accelerates like a sports car and I can pack it like a small SUV. A great vehicle.
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Old 09-04-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Also what is the time range of the buyback? I assume a 2010 or earlier Passat Wagon would not be affected, so I would have to worry about whether it had been fixed or not
It only applied to cars with the TDI engine, and I don't think they ever sold the Passat TDI in Cali.
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Old 09-04-19, 09:49 AM
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As I go shopping, is there anything I should look for/ask about in terms of maintenance/service history?

Like I know from recent experience with my golf that the 'crack pipe' in the cooling system is a weak point, so if I were shopping for a golf MK4 I'd want to ask whether that is original (i.e. due to fail) or already replaced.
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Old 09-04-19, 10:09 AM
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I have an Audi A4 wagon that I love but will probably hand down to the kids when they turn 16 next year. I would get a new one, but don't care for the "Allroad" version that seems to be the only option in NA. So I will look very closely at the VW.
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Old 09-04-19, 01:26 PM
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We love our 02 Passat. 1.8T
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Old 09-04-19, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
We love our 02 Passat. 1.8T
I have the same engine - awesome bit of engineering. Still pulls like it did when new. I wished the electrical system was as hardy, though.
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Old 09-04-19, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Cool. How was the rear head/leg room on that? My understanding is basically you lose an inch or two of rear leg room for each step down from Passat-->Jetta-->Golf

Our current 2nd car is a 2002 Golf GTI VR6, and (assuming wagons have the same backseats as non-wagons, and the GTI rear seat is not somehow different than regular golf) that rear leg room is definitely NOT sufficient
The counterpoint to this is that Passat and Jetta grew over that time span. Friends of ours have the B6 Passat wagon. I haven't sat in the back seat, but the overall size of the car definitely grew over my B5.5. I haven't compared stats, but just eyeballing it, I'd say the the current Golf wagon model is about the same size as my '03.
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Old 09-04-19, 02:54 PM
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We had an Odyssey since shortly before tall boy was born, drove it into the ground, sold it at at 170k and bought a 2013 Quest (in 2017). The boys did complain that the Quest was smaller.

Ready to not have a minivan anymore.
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Old 09-04-19, 03:01 PM
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Aw man, I love our '16 Odyssey.
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Old 09-04-19, 03:06 PM
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Our 05 Odyssey was a great car. It just got long enough in the tooth stuff started needing to be fixed and we didn't know when it was gonna end
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Old 09-04-19, 03:13 PM
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This doesn't answer the OP but I just bought a dieselgate Jetta sedan, post-government mandated fix-- at a screaming deal. I wanted a wagon but I got the sedan because it was a manual and the manuals are going FAST. The wagons are pretty much impossible to find right now too because they disappear before they even make it to the showroom floor.

I've never had a VW, or a diesel, and they weren't really on my radar, but I was car shopping and I test drove this thing and fell in love. Plus it's low mileage, it's in super good shape, and really comfortable, and I got a good deal because of the scandal.

We'll see how I feel in 5 years but right now I'm still in love.
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Old 09-04-19, 03:28 PM
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I have a friend that also benefitted from the dieselgate scandal, he drove his wagon (jetta?) up til almost the deadline then turned it in, took his money, and mostly bought a whole new car (went to an audi I think).

I was thinking about this the other day -- why was the mandated penalty to give a financial payout to the customers? They were not harmed by the fraud. The state emissions agencies were the victims; they expected a certain amount of emissions from the car population, and a segment of cheating cars emitted more than they claimed.

Seems to me the payouts to the customers should have been like free rental car for a day while the dealer made the recall fix and got your car smogged for you to prove it. But big money penalty payouts to the govt.
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Old 09-04-19, 03:48 PM
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And since this seems to be kinda turning into 'who loves their VW' thread, I've got a lot of family history with VWs.

I barely remember the beetle that we had when I was a little kid.

My parents had a Passat in the 80s they liked a lot (back when the big engine made it basically an Audi A4 with a cheaper body).

And my dad gave me a rabbit pickup that I wish I had been smart enough to hold onto. In the 90s it developed a cracked head and I let the mechanic junk it for me to cover the cost of the diagnostic to tear it apart and find the crack. I have no idea whether he actually junked it or fixed it up.
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Old 09-05-19, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I have a friend that also benefitted from the dieselgate scandal, he drove his wagon (jetta?) up til almost the deadline then turned it in, took his money, and mostly bought a whole new car (went to an audi I think).

I was thinking about this the other day -- why was the mandated penalty to give a financial payout to the customers? They were not harmed by the fraud. The state emissions agencies were the victims; they expected a certain amount of emissions from the car population, and a segment of cheating cars emitted more than they claimed.

Seems to me the payouts to the customers should have been like free rental car for a day while the dealer made the recall fix and got your car smogged for you to prove it. But big money penalty payouts to the govt.
I'm too lazy to google it but I think technically it was a settlement, meaning that it's the deal VW reached with the government so they wouldn't keep going after them. But I think this was in addition to hefty fines/penalties (and not just in the US. I think the German govt. and possibly the EU had their own litigation.)

I do know that existing customers had the option to hang on to their cars until they came up with a fix, or take the buyback. But the terms for the buyback were so generous that a lot of people felt like they couldn't afford to pass it up.

The upshot is that now they're going all in on EV. The rational, environmentally-conscious part of my brain is like "yeah, cool, whatever" but there's a part of me that is going to miss the internal combustion engine.

Anyway, it's fun to drive a stick shift again, while they still exist.
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Old 09-05-19, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
As I go shopping, is there anything I should look for/ask about in terms of maintenance/service history?

Like I know from recent experience with my golf that the 'crack pipe' in the cooling system is a weak point, so if I were shopping for a golf MK4 I'd want to ask whether that is original (i.e. due to fail) or already replaced.
This doesn't directly answer your request, but I use the website below when looking into purchasing used cars.

https://www.carcomplaints.com/
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Old 09-05-19, 10:28 AM
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Cool, thanks. I took a look and it seems there's a pattern (not necessarily a crisis) of problems with the timing chain and/or timing chain tensioner. Any idea how much that would cost to replace before it destroys the engine?
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Old 09-05-19, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Cool, thanks. I took a look and it seems there's a pattern (not necessarily a crisis) of problems with the timing chain and/or timing chain tensioner. Any idea how much that would cost to replace before it destroys the engine?
Not sure of the accuracy of this where you live, but it can give you a ball park idea.

https://repairpal.com/estimator/volk...placement-cost
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Old 09-05-19, 11:15 AM
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If you like the VW Passat Wagon, and have a little time, why not spend some time hunting a good used low mileage car? Diesel?

Of course, you'll end up with a 10 year old car, but it could potentially be upgraded a bit.
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