Last post on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:41 PM
You are in the Volkswagen Passat
What is this discussion about?
Volkswagen, Subaru, Wagon
#277 of 755 Subaru VS Passat no real comparison
Apr 10, 2002 (9:22 pm)
I am a recent owner of a NICE Silver GLX 4-motion I leased it and traded in my 1997 Navy Blue Outback and GOOD RIDDENCE to that particular example of outback. I'll get to that later. I acquired my Passat Variant , which was nearly impossible to test drive at any of the THREE VW dealers in the South Jersey Area, especially to test the 4-Mo GLX Variant. I Test Drove everything from the 2001 Bravada, a Venture Minivan all loaded with extras, a Silver Highlander, a Toyota Previa (loaded), an Izuzu Axiom (geeze 16 different drive modes!!), and as a joke a BMW X-5 (V6 is way under powered for that monster), and an H6 Outback too see if there was an upside to the outback line. Let me say the Passat stole my heart, and as a lease/buy decision came my way it is an excellent leaser as well. I called around to the dealers after my month of test drives and found one with the Silver (I was going with Blue Silver but the wife kept singing 'it's baby blue'- so I dove at my manhood and went reflex silver) I foudn a nice Beige interior leather one in a few hours and then got it for 30950 which was great PLUS I got the trade in value of my 1997 Outback which was about 3000 over my payoff! which was amazing considering.
Now the Outback had just a few miles over 60,000 since August of 1997 to June of 2001. I had troubles, consistant FACTORY defect type troubles starting two months after I started to own the car. The FIRST 'problem' was the boot joint grease used to pack the bearings was incorrect for the application and under NORMAL driving conditions the grease woudl tend to leak onto the wonderfully low hung boxer engine and for 4 months and 5 visits to the dealer they would wipes the grease off the engine and tell me it's fixed until the tech bulletin came and they had to clean out and repack the boots with the now correct and I assume more heat resistant grease. The burning smell still lingered for another month but there was nothign worse than being stuck in 1-2 hours of traffic in my 30 mile each way commute and have that burrning grease smell wafting through the cabin .
That fixed I had the winderful luck of having my rear cargo webbing anchors sheer off the plastic screw at least twice within the first year( my mechanic Dean gave me a bag of them on the sly since the deal charged like 4 bucks for each anchor-plus he showed me how to fix it for the next time), and the rear cargo cover (poor design) also become unstitched on one side (I stitched the thing back on with similarly colored WIRE it's weird they have corner cover locks that don't connect to the bar which puts a lot of stress on essentially thread)
I also had continual trouble from 1998-2001 with the remote I used most often, first the buttons lost their lettering in normal use, then the cover got real loose and this caused poor battery contact, it's a cheap alarm remote, I became a pro and pulling out my pocket tool and unscrewing it to reseat a recently replaced battery so I could unlock my car. Towards the end I switched to the one I gave my wife and it worked fine since it was barely used.
Then there was the horrible automatic transmission gearing they did special for 1997 outbacks to give it that sporty feel. Yeah a lot of the time you would mash the accelerator down and second gear was nowhere and then a huge 'kick' in the pants as the vehicle would find a lot of power before switching smoothly (and don't think that wasn't reported during the whole burning smell phase). Then after performing solidly with only regular maintainence and I found I neede front break pads twice in 50000 miles. On my birthday in October of 2000 with about 53-55000 miles the alternator inexplicable went. The next day the battery ran out of juice and I had it towed. I knew it was the alternator soon after that and this was over 700 bucks to repair becuase the battery was pronounced DOA as well. I believe in Feb of 2001 I got a 2nd recall notice (the first being a hazzard light switch deal I never bother about) and this was for a potential problem with certian alternators.... well I had to submit for reinbursement. at about 56000 I notice a slight puff of white smoke coming out of the engine, no real smell and no apparent loss of oil or spotting on my garage, over the next 500 miles I started to smell burning oil on longer duration drives and actually witnessed smoke puffs , plus the car started to drop 3-6 Miles per gallon. I took it in for service.
Here's the BOXER ENGINE advantage I had three problems:
1. a wheel bearing on the front right was about to go. about 400 and change (low estimate)
needed to be done.
2. 2 oil leaks one on the vapor tray (bottom of the engine, forgot what part this relates to on a standard engine, like the oil pan ) and another on the oil pump.
The kicker to get at the vapor tray they needed to sever the transmission and yank out the bottom half of the engine to repalce this gasket. To get around the oil pump the top half of the engine needed to come out. All told I was looking at hours of labor that I only felt a dealers service department could possibly handle , and I didn't have much confidence in troubel free operation after the transmission and engine were taken out in part and then reconnected just to replace about 20 bucks worth of gaskets that if a strip blew would drain out all the oil in short order... It was quoted as about 1500 bucks to fix.
At that point I decided to cut my losses and in may of 2001 started shopping in ernest while making sure I didn't push the Loud 4 banger boxeer too hard. In the end the problem was really undetectable by the dealer inspection team at VW and I got a lot over what I owed and I got my VW.
It's now about 10 months since I got my 2001.5 GLX and I've had a few minor problems and I have 1 real complaint coming from the subaru world near the North American Headquarters only a few miles away in Cherry Hill NJ.
1. My glove box lock broke!! my wife simply opened it and it stripped and broke hanging open back in like November. I've been too busy to block out a day to have that fixed until thsi coming friday and it took only 2 weeks to get the parrt in!! It sucks to loose some of the limited space to a glove box lock and my 100MPH tape is ugly.
2. There are two neato features of the GLX and some of the GLS packages. The side view mirrors defrost and power fold, mine also USED to when set to the R (for right mirror adjustment) position , angle the mirrors down when the car was in the reverse gear, they stopped doing this for no reason about a month ago ( I turned it off as well since I don't do a lot of parallel parking or trick parking and needed the mirrors for looking behind me and up not behind and down), Also the feature with the memory dirvers seat and the remotes , you're supposed to be able to set the two remotes to trigger a memory seat location so when say my wife's remote unlocked the doors the seat will configure to the memory location she se
#278 of 755 Subaru VS Passat no real comparison pt 2
Apr 10, 2002 (9:23 pm)
which would be great IF I coudl get it to work. the salesman could get it working for me and I will have this addressed this friday as well.
Now my gripe in comparison to the outback , the outback has a ton more personal cargo space/compartments. I ran out of room in my tiny center console for half the stuff my subaru stowed. I barely dented the space in the door pockets of my Outback that I now cram into the Passat. Also the Subaru has better space in the rear under floor area, AND the side cargoboxes as well. I keep a large first aid kit, compressor, some car on the spot cleaning gear , fix-a-flat, battery cables, flares, and some cargo compartment things like bungie cords , dividers for grocery sacks... The outback was able to stow most of it out of sight , I now take up like 20% of the bed of my Passat with this gear. I like storage space.
As for the ride, the loud (highway noise was always a bear in the outback the radio would have to be cranked to hear decently, and the 1997 outback didn't have variable intermittent wipers except on Limiteds(they fixed this) )cabin of my Subaru is now the ultra quiet and well refined passat where I sometimes forget if I turned it on until I check the tach. The gear shifting in the passat is slow but I'm going to get an AWE Tip Chip to fix that to European standard .2 sec a shift down from 1 sec a shift. I liked the Outback AWD because of the way you were engine breaking every time you take a foot off the gas, it took strangers to a Subaru some timee to get used to. The Passat 4-motion is awe inspiring german telepathic mechanics, My wife drovee and I got to witness first hand when she took a fast 30 MPH turn off a road on a patch of dead wet leaves last november in the rain and we both FELT the awd kick in and make the car stay in the direction she intended even when the front wheels wanted to slip sideways to the right in the middle of her sharp left turn.
My only wish for the 2.8 30V GLX is to get more than 190 horses which when I get my AWE ECU and aftermarket air filter I will see what I can do to getting 205-210 HP.
In total mu outback suffered
2 recalls 1 affected me directly
2 common problems (false engine light after the temperature changed from below freezing one night to 60 degrees the oil bladder doohickey got stuck dan pushed it down and said it was like the 10th person he'd had that day. common problem) (Oil gaskets going, hey it's a Boxer engine, it happens)
1 tech bulletin - the boot joint grease - I even looked up lemon laws because of this
I was not a very satisfied Subaru customer even though both of the dealerships in my area treated me very well when they could , and I still get DRIVE magazine sent to my home and have had to invitations to see the IMAX subaru sponsored films at the Franklin Institute as a party guest. I secretly would love to collect a WRX because I like the idea of a normal looking car that can kick some butt. Then again I also want a 1996 Black Impala SS...
#279 of 755 Joe..not to discount your terrible ownership...
Apr 10, 2002 (10:43 pm)
experience but you're fortunately in the minority. Subarus rate consistently higher in reliability ratings overall than do Volkswagons.
I am on my second Subaru and both have been good experiences for me.
There are also some horrific ownership experiences out there for folks of Toyotas and Hondas, two makes whose success has been built on their reputations for reliability.
Cars are built by humans and there are bound to be some lemons. It's the number of lemons vs the amount of said makes sold that is a telling sign.
I'm glad you've had better experience with your Passat.
Apr 11, 2002 (4:27 am)
I could say the same about my babied Audi which I had more than my share of problems with. Everybody gets a lemon eventually.
Apr 11, 2002 (5:48 am)
Feel sorry for the person who bought that '97 Outback and had no clue about the problems with the engine!
Apr 11, 2002 (7:04 am)
Dear troll: actually, no, VW owned Audi uses aluminum bodies (like coke cans), and only in their top-line A8 models. It would be a dream to have an aluminum body at this price level.
Now go away, troll.
Harris: I'm glad to hear about the "amazing" resale value of your Outback. Congrats on the new Vee Dub.
Despite all your problems, Subies are on average more reliable than Passats. So if you had bad luck with your Subie, similarly bad luck with the Passat would only be worse. Read the threads here on Edmunds; there are far more VW lemons than Subaru lemons.
Pity you didn't come to the Subaru Crew threads, we could probably have helped you. We have an active SoA rep in the Crew, lots of events, and friendly members.
Apr 11, 2002 (10:00 pm)
Just when I thought that Juice and I had brought some civility back to this thread I encounter this barrage of malevolent verbiage in the most recent posts. Both sides come back to their usual mantras. It does make me think of those old Miller Lite commercials. Tastes great! Less filling! It goes back and forth. Subaru owners feeling smug about perceived reliability. Passat owners perception of owning the better car. Could it be that both sides might have some valid points? I had a friend take a look at the April issue of Consumer Report. After looking at it for 30 minutes or so he had this evaluation based what was in the magazine. Subaru was rated more reliable. Passat was rated as the better car and the safer car. My friend and his wife have a Lexus and a Benz so he doesn't have a thing against German cars or Japanese cars. Was there a lot of difference between the cars to really matter? I don't think so. Was there enough of a difference that grown men argue over dumb things that really don't matter? Hmmmm, I don't think so. Now if were were talking about High End Audio, then yes!!! LOL Expensive audio systems are my real passion, not cars. I spent almost as much on my home audio system as people spent on stripped down Outbacks or Passats. (Over 21K) I really don't expect to have any problems with my Passat but if something does happen, then I have the money to take car of it.
I would hope that this thread would resume the apparent civility that I perceived of late. I know, I know--- Suburu devotees would never be caught dead driving much less buy a Passat and the same could be said of Passat aficionados. But come on fellas!!!
If it does continue with the barrage of ill will then let me know so I can pop some popcorn and sit down at the computer and be entertained!!!!
Be well my Volkswagen and Suburu friends...
Apr 12, 2002 (3:59 am)
...would surely stir more debate. It's far more subjective that the best audio review makes the typical automotive review look like a scientific report. The industry is so full of snake-oil stories that stir even far greater debate. Everything from isolation pads to tweeter rings to directional cabling and biwiring has largely been a excercise in unprovable claims.
Anyway, I share a passion for cars, driving them, and of course, we all probably spend too much time arguing their points. But this is a hobby and in the end, it doesn't matter whether I think my XXX is better than your YYY. But this is what we signed up for.
#285 of 755 civility: observations
Apr 12, 2002 (5:01 am)
Over the last year, I have gotten involved with these forums to research cars, radar detectors, and car waxes. It seems to me that there is an amazing sense of brand loyalty with Subaru owners, with Valentine owners (detectors) and Zaino advocates (waxes), and just a little less with VW, Passport, and Klasse advocates. Any degrading comments on these brands like "it sucks", "blown away" or "no contest" become fighting words. Civility ends; it's really amusing to watch the instant degradation of a thread.
This particular thread just asks for it by squaring two fine cars and their strong loyalties against each other. I would actually be afraid if I went over to the car maintenance forum and started a thread, "Zaino sucks, Klasse is better".
Zaino guys make Subaru guys look like wimps in brand loyalty.
It would be an interesting to study how this happens psychologically. I have no idea, but it is an interesting phenonoma.
P.S. I was only kidding about Zaino; no personal emails please.
Apr 12, 2002 (5:59 am)
A few of our Subaru Crew members also own VWs. Some of the regulars, even. Most Golfs are made in my native Brazil.
You heard the Macintosh in the new VDC? Oops, a whole different can of worms.
Whoz youz callin' a wimp? LOL
Go to i-Club and say VW and they will rant about high center of gravity and wrong wheel drive. Go to VW Vortex and say Subaru and they'll talk about econobox Justys and Neon-look headlights on the WRX. Yes, two brand loyal camps. I guess their loyalty says a lot about how much they like their cars.