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2002 Volkswagen Passat Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Run away from this car! by misschevere



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If you are dead set on a VW then don't keep it for more than 5 years. This one has been horribly unreliable. A horrible used car. Go with a brand that is not famous for breakdowns!

Reviewed: 2002 Volkswagen Passat

4dr Wagon 190-horsepower 2.8L V6 5-speed shiftable automatic FWD

Why the 2002 Volkswagen Passat?

Interior styling

Really luxe interior. Love the leather seats and trim.

Exterior styling

Looks cool from outside. I love the way VWs look!

Safety & braking

It seems like a safe car, and the brakes do work really well.

Ride smoothness

It is a smooth ride, I never notice long drives being a problem.

Cargo capacity

Huge car on the inside. We've moved so much stuff in this car, including a massive sideboard.

Why Not the 2002 Volkswagen Passat?

Reliability & durability

This car has had multiple major breakdowns every six months since we purchased it in 2011. I should have known: looking at other models of this year, this car is historically unreliable. Do not get this car unless you like sitting around car repair shops and spending lots of money on repairs. Oh and because it's a VW you have to make sure you have a guy who really knows VWs. Twice the car was taken to general shops (ie non-VW specialists) and they caused problems with the car, leading to further repairs.

Fuel economy

I don't think 21 mpg is that good!

Past personal experience

I have had such a hard time with this car that I'm never getting a VW again.


The car does not hold its value compared to other cars. Surely this is due to its bad reliability.

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Response from tedtol

10:00 am July 9, 2017

Pros: comfortable ride, quiet even at highway speeds, smooth shifting 5-speed triptronic. For a 15 year old car the paint (white) has held up very well, with no peeling of the clear coat unlike on some GM cars I have owned previously. Good handling (I'm an average driver), braking and power from the v-6 engine. Exterior styling still contemporary compared to newer models or other brands. I am the 3rd owner of this vehicle.

Cons: poor fuel economy (possibly due to a bad O2 sensor on the exhaust), costly maintenance/repairs on engine(but most of it I have done myself, Kudos to YOUTUBE and the internet), interior plastic trim brittle and breaking, vintage radio (but they did not have iPhone and Android hookups to the stereo in those days).

Overall impression: good second car, could even be a daily driver if maintained well. As a used car, you will find still plenty of them available at very affordable prices (model year 2002 for less than 1000 dollars, depending on mileage and where you live). Since I know this car fairly well, I would buy another without hesitation if the need arises.


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