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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old November 14th, 2017, 11:37   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: St Louis
Fuel Economy: fantastic

Subies have never impressed me much either. If they are not burning oil they are leaking it. They rust underneath bad. Most of them need head gaskets as routine PM it seems. And the transmissions they use (all of them, manual, Jatco slushbox, and the newer CVTs) are not without problems either.

They found a niche with only selling AWD cars here, but I have to tell you, my 2004 4mo Passat wagon has 220k miles and its driveline is all original, has zero rust, no rattles or squeaks, runs like a top, and its doors still close with a solid German "ker-CHUNK". And it goes through snow like a yak on meth.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 11:48   #17
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Washington
TDI(s): 2002 Golf

Originally Posted by squeegee_boy View Post
Living in a state where Subarus are the defacto official vehicle, I would advise you to take a hard look before jumping in. From the number of rides we have given to friends and neighbors and the number of times we have trailered these cars for friends, I don't see the reliability that they are reputed to have. Their fuel economy is nothing to write home about either. It might be my small sample size though.
Alaska "bling" = duct tape on a Subaru.

As far as the reliability though, it really depends on the situation, the driver, the environment, etc. If the car is always around saltwater, isn't properly undercoated, etc etc it's going to deteriorate. I grew up in AK and we had 2 mid 90's Legacy wagons. They lasted forever because my old man was meticulous with his maintenance. The average person has a hard time scheduling an oil change. Those Subaru's would still be alive today if they weren't involved in wrecks.

Newer vehicles are essentially built with a "shelf life". There's plenty of data out there that tells manufacturers how long the really need to make their vehicles trouble free.

FWIW, my sister had 2 Passat cars that were both plagued with electrical gremlins that were being chased around by the dealers until she got fed up. If you're still looking for a manual that lowers the choices even more, but the suggested Mazda isn't a bad vehicle at all. My gf drives a newer Escape and it's a pretty solid car. The 4 Runners can handle what you throw at them too.

Is a truck out of the question? There are some great fuel mileage trucks that can offer ample room, storage, creature features, that you could need.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 11:48   #18
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Fuel Economy: 45

Originally Posted by squeegee_boy View Post
You might want to look at the Mazda CX-5 or MPV. As oilhammer mentioned, you will have a tough time meeting all of your requirements.

Living in a state where Subarus are the defacto official vehicle, I would advise you to take a hard look before jumping in.
Thanks for the advice. A CX-5 is on our list to check out, however we're not considering Subaru due to the cost, unreliability and terrible MPGs. So far, our list is:

1. Gen 1 FWD Tiguan
2. Passat NMS/B7 TDI or gasser
3. Late 3rd or 4th gen CRV
4. CX-5

We're basically looking for a replacement for our current '05 Jetta BEW auto wagon with a larger backseat, slightly less cargo room and sat nav. No mini vans. No trucks. No large SUVs.

Last edited by sruchris; November 14th, 2017 at 11:52.
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