Paying $29k for a 105mi 2015 Passat TDI

x1800MODMY360x

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AZ, USA
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2013 Passat TDI SEL
Having to continually fiddle with the AC controls to keep the interior comfortable during the summertime makes me wish I had held out for an SEL.
Living in Arizona, I keep my car air temp set to LO (Low) for 10 months in a year, I adjust the fan speed. I hate the auto and max ac system in the SEL climate controls.

The main reason for SEL for me was the fender audio and KESSY/ Push Start/ Remote start.
 

Lightflyer1

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Sep 13, 2005
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Round Rock, Texas
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2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Same in Texas as far as the heat is concerned and AC use. My 2013 Passat SEL was nice but I have come to love the simplicity of the manual controls in the new Beetle.
 

03 shaker

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Jun 1, 2016
Location
Alabama
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2015 Passat SEL
Living in Arizona, I keep my car air temp set to LO (Low) for 10 months in a year, I adjust the fan speed. I hate the auto and max ac system in the SEL climate controls.

The main reason for SEL for me was the fender audio and KESSY/ Push Start/ Remote start.
When I was looking for my car I wanted an SEL for all of the upgrades, but after having one, for me the biggest reason to get an SEL is the keyless entry. Being able to walk up to the car, get in, start it and drive away without touching my key is something I love that I didn't realize was so awesome. I don't hate the auto HVAC but it's also not as great as I thought it would be. Still have to fiddle with it to get comfortable a lot of the time.
 

vwishndaetr

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WNC
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98 Jetta
When I was looking for my car I wanted an SEL for all of the upgrades, but after having one, for me the biggest reason to get an SEL is the keyless entry. Being able to walk up to the car, get in, start it and drive away without touching my key is something I love that I didn't realize was so awesome. I don't hate the auto HVAC but it's also not as great as I thought it would be. Still have to fiddle with it to get comfortable a lot of the time.
Assuming it's the same as the climate control in a 2013 CC, I find that having it set to 72* is the sweet spot, not matter the time of day.

Obviously when I first enter the car on a hot summer day I hit the max AC for a few minutes with the windows down. After that phase, I rarely ever touch it after it gets back to the 72*.

My lady on the other hand, she thinks her knobs and buttons are some form of Bop-It... always hitting the buttons and turning the knobs... sweater on, sweater off, it's amazing.
 
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x1800MODMY360x

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Location
AZ, USA
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SEL
When I was looking for my car I wanted an SEL for all of the upgrades, but after having one, for me the biggest reason to get an SEL is the keyless entry. Being able to walk up to the car, get in, start it and drive away without touching my key is something I love that I didn't realize was so awesome. I don't hate the auto HVAC but it's also not as great as I thought it would be. Still have to fiddle with it to get comfortable a lot of the time.
Yep the keyless entry and start what sold for me. Hell I got a co worker who has push start but no kessy for the doors :unsure:
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
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Aug 19, 2009
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NH
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2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
So emissions warranty extension, when was it implemented and when dose it run out?

One of the selling points of our 2015 in 2017 was that warranty extension, if the clock on this started in 2017 hard to press the mileage in what 5 years left?
 

Ragdude

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Aug 18, 2021
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Phx
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2015 VW Golf SEL TDi
Living in Arizona, I keep my car air temp set to LO (Low) for 10 months in a year, I adjust the fan speed. I hate the auto and max ac system in the SEL climate controls.

The main reason for SEL for me was the fender audio and KESSY/ Push Start/ Remote start.
I'm in Az too, why not use technology? Set a comfortable temp and let the car do what it does. I assume thats what you do in your home, right?
 

Parthery

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Location
Atlanta
TDI
2014 Passat TDI
A number of these are floating around.

If it was never sold and is considered new, you will get 36/36 plus the 10 year Dieselgate warranty starts on the date of purchase. That's decent coverage.

Also - VW mandated new "rubber items" for these cars, so make sure you got new tires, wiper blades, etc... Check the date code on the tires to confirm.
 

vwishndaetr

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WNC
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98 Jetta
You know - TDIs excite me, but I kind of thought it through a little more, and in terms of of a reliable, fuel efficient daily, this would be a bad decision (as much as I am a VW fan boy).

A new Camry Hybrid, with newer tech, gets 44+mpg on 87 (way cheaper than 93 and diesel), is more reliable, and, well, 7 years newer. Over the last few days I managed to convince myself that this is all around a bad idea. It might serve a purpose, but not quite the one I am after.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Until the Camry hybrid battery dies:



Our shop does a LOT of Toyota hybrid work, they don't last forever. At least the Camry is a decent driving car, but I am not sure the cost difference over a base version is really worth it unless you drive a lot. Of course, the same could be said for the TDIs.
 

vwishndaetr

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WNC
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98 Jetta
Until the Camry hybrid battery dies:



Our shop does a LOT of Toyota hybrid work, they don't last forever. At least the Camry is a decent driving car, but I am not sure the cost difference over a base version is really worth it unless you drive a lot. Of course, the same could be said for the TDIs.
Ya nothing is perfect. I don't want to turn this thread into why a Camry would be better in this case, especially because of how subjective it is for different situations/circumstances. But even if the battery repair was $3k every 150k miles, that's not far off from the expense of timing belt service for the same mileage.

My lady has a Prius, and it is truly a tin-can compared to the quiet-smooth-running-solid-"thud"-of-the-door-closing CC that I currently daily. Buuut, it's been nothing but oil changes and brakes the last 90k miles for the Prius. My CC just tipped 133k, and I have done multiple bearings, sensors, plugs, coilpacks, carbon cleaning, intake manifold replacement, waterpump, brakes (obviously), trunk harness, timing chain cover gasket. Additionally I have a small oil leak from behind the head (turbo line likely), and the looming timing chain service which isn't quite due yet. I'm drifting here since a CC isn't quite a TDI, but it is a Passat in many ways.

Not trying to argue VW over Toyota, but man it's quite a difference.

VWs will always come with "soul"... Hence the thread and my initial interest, and the other VWs I own... Buut, once again, for a 80mi round-trip commute for work... I'm reconsidering. In the end a cheaper daily means more money for the projects. I just need something big enough so my legs aren't crammed and quiet enough that my radio isn't on full blast on the highway, and cheap on fuel/cost of ownership.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Yep, they are great, until they aren't.

We do Prius transmissions a lot:



The coolant seal in the bellhousing blows out, and there are no replacement parts available, and even if they did sell the seal, the entire trans has to come apart because the seal is on the INSIDE of the unit!

And Toyota evap cores, my goodness, those alone could keep one tech going almost full time:



Not just limited to the Prius, the Avalon and Camry are common too.

And of course, the ever popular engine job:



The 2ZR-FXE 1.8L engine in the third gen Prius blows head gaskets, and they almost always ruin the head, so they cannot easily be repaired unless you buy a new head which is heart-stopping expensive.

Good news is, on the Prius front, it would seem that people that drive them are not very good at driving, so there is an almost endless amount of good used powertrain parts, so we have had no troubles finding replacements. And once the CARB peeps forced Toyota into selling a REASONABLY priced hybrid battery pack exchange, we are no longer having to swap in used ones of those. We used to have to cobble together and rebuild them, or buy one of the [many] aftermarket suppliers for them with mixed [mostly poor] results.

Clogged shut EGR coolers, stolen catalysts, all the funny little electric coolant pumps and valves, and my favorite, the stupid electric brake accumulator/master cylinder assembly (those get replaced new, you don't mess with used on them!), lots and lots of work for our guys. :)

One of the reasons we work on so many Toyota hybrids is a former worker here sends them all to us because they won't mess with them, and they are a Toyota-only shop (go figure!). And my brother-in-law works at a Toyota dealer, and whenever it becomes cost-prohibitive for them to be repaired there, which happens frequently, he sends them to us. We can easily blow the dealer out of the water on cost, and plus they won't install any used engines or transmissions or (before the exchange program) hybrid battery packs. It was always funny when I would here people say "Oh, the dealer says they never sell any hybrid batteries!".... well, it wasn't because they never failed, it was because they were over $5k and nobody could afford to. Now, with their exchange program, they are a more reasonable $1500-2k depending on model, and they have a warranty.
 
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vwishndaetr

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Location
WNC
TDI
98 Jetta
Well.

In that case I will thank the Toyota Gods that the Prius has not had any of those issues (yet, I guess). 🙏

Thanks for sharing - lots of good info. I'll keep doing my research. 😁
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
For the record, I actually like Toyotas a lot. I've owned a few over the years, mostly pickups, even a couple DIESEL Toyotas :)

But I try to stay grounded in reality, and we do unfortunately quite often run into situations where the car has been very good, but is slowly being neglected oddly enough BECAUSE it has been so good. Like coolant and transmission fluid and brake fluid and cabin filters.... those sorts of things, when neglected, cause problems later on. So when I hear someone say "oh, all it has needed is oil changes" I cringe. Because they DO need more than that. Neglected cabin filters cause filth to build up, which restricts air flow, and eventually will fold over and allow a bunch of filth to build up on the evaporator core, and that filth holds moisture that is normally formed but drained away harmlessly from the core. That moisture holding filth causes the aluminum to corrode away. Then, before you know it, that $10 filter that should be changed every 30k miles is causing the dash to be pulled and the HVAC case torn apart to replace the core.

The transmission fluid inside the Prius' CVT will slowly collect and hold metallic particles and over time, those particles will collect on the inner surfaces of the MG (Motor/Generator) unit inside. This causes a loss of efficiency of the hybrid drive system, which taxes both the inverter and the battery, shortening both their useful lives. Simple to prevent. A few bucks of proper ATF changed every so often. Makes a difference!
 

vwishndaetr

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Joined
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Location
WNC
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98 Jetta
So when I hear someone say "oh, all it has needed is oil changes" I cringe.
Ya for sure, I wasn't giving the whole picture either. We have been doing everything per Toyota's maintenance schedule. Cabin filter has been replaced many a times. Only point I was trying to drive with my experience was the absence of unforeseen fixes that fall outside of the regular maintenance program.

Only thing that we've "put off" when recommended was the inverter fluid flush. Only because there was a gap in the car maintenance history and too much stacked up on the last service. We'll get it in next time.
 

eugene89us

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Southern USA
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2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium
I will add to this thread by infusing a personal opinion. My first brand new car was my 2014 Passat TDI. I was not thinking about diesels, I just graduated from Pharmacy School, was doing my PGY1 residency, and my 21 year old beater 1993 Nissan Maxima that my mom's friend gifted to me for 7 years of pharmacy school was starting to break down far too often. My aunt was driving a 2012 manual Passat TDI and strongly recommended it for my first new car. I fell in love with it after test driving other competitor sedans. Got it for $33,500 in March 2014.

Fast forward to 2017, my mom hits deer and wrecks her Chevy sedan. She is now in the market for a new car. Thinking that I wanted something fresh, I decided to gift my Passat to my mom. It was the least I could do for her. Especially that i decided not to sell back my Passat. My aunt sold hers back. Now that I am IN LOVE with diesels, I search for diesels to replace my Passat. Noted a 2015 Passat TDI SEL available from dealer. Test drove, clearly needed new tires as the old ones were rough on I55 going 70mph. Offered 29k but dealer refused, wanting around 33k for it. I decided an old tech car was not worth same amount I paid for my brand new one. At that time, diesel market for non trucks was drying up. Options were SUV from Jaguar F Pace, Chevy Cruise, or BMW. I think Mercedes already retired diesels in the US. So I went to a BMW dealer and settled on a 2018 BMW 328d. In retrospect, should have special ordered 2018 535d, that is an awesome car and would have been better for now my growing family. That engine B57 was a single year newest BMW 6 cyl diesel in the US. So parts may become an issue vs 3 series 4 cylinder N47 that existed in US since 2012 over 6 years, plenty of parts going around. But anyways, I love my 2018 328d. It has a similar 4 cyl diesel engine to TDI, 45mpg mixed driving mileage (got to 50mpg on highway only trips). Kerma TDI tuned and drives like a champ. Unlike Passat, responsive and modern infotainment system, safety systems such as blind spot monitoring, convenience features such automatic wipers, head up display. Of course, I spent $10k more on a new BMW than what a fixed 2015 would have cost. But I do not regret this decision. BMW does not have stupid coolant degradation issues, no clogging heater cores, newer iteration HPFP with beefier roller to reduce failures, strong and reliable turbocharger, emissions compliant from the start. And later N47 engine models came with refreshed timing chain guides, eliminating timing belt woes that earlier EU engine models went through. Basically, once BMW introduced that engine in US for 3 series F30 chassis diesels, they already came with improved timing chain guides. My friend drives an older model of same F30 chassis, double mileage without same issues I deal with on Passat with half the miles. I feel BMW is indeed better made in many ways. Hence the price difference. It is not just being a snob, it really seems more reliable. The time will show as to which car will outlast the other. I service them both religiously.

So to make long story short, don't settle on a new Passat that is a dinosaur by age, the plastics and rubbers degrade with time. These cars like to be driven, sitting for 7 years is bad. I am sure there is a lot of corrosion, rubber is cracking and dry rotting, plastics are getting brittle. I doubt they sat in a clean dry garage for 7 years, likely outdoors in all weather conditions. Consider low mileage final year used 2018 BMW diesels. BMW retired diesels after 2018 MY. Want economy, go for 328d with 4cyl diesel. Want more room, consider 2018 535d or X5 SUV 35d. 5 series and X5 will come with 6 cylinder engine, so you will give up economy. My wife's X5 SUV xDrive 35d averages 32mpg. Not terrible for a giant bus of a car compared to my compact one. Lol. Good luck with your shopping decisions!
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
The 3428d is nice, but it's not that much newer than the Passat, and BMW service and repair costs are in another dimension compared to VW. I considered buying a new 328d in late 2018 before they stopped bringing them in, but I couldn't stomach the anticipated depreciation.
 

eugene89us

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Mar 17, 2014
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Southern USA
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2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium
@IndigoBlueWagon The good news about the mess with US monetary policy (if there is any) is that 328d has appreciated very nicely over the last 2 years. But I agree, I paid $44k for BMW in Dec 2017 and it is currently worth about half.

Although the years are not much different (only 3 years), I don't think we can deny that even in 2015, VW Passat infotainment system was already outdated. They refreshed it in 2016MY with a much more seamless system. Even from brand new, RNS510 has always been sluggish. Takes time to bring up reverse camera, clicking on screen to list SiriusXM stations takes ages. Compared to BMW's system, which is crisp and quick. You can use touch screen or use the knob to navigate, amazing how much I laughed at the knob and how little touching I do of the screen. Lol. On infotainment system alone is where I'd say the difference is major. Then you have basically zero safety things on VW, even SEL trim. You can have fully loaded 328d with head up display (very nice to have, I didn't know I was missing it until I got it), blind spot monitoring, crash mitigation and emergency braking, proximity parking sensors, speed limit monitoring system (KAFAS camera system), automatic cruise control, etc. And now that an idiot like me took depreciation back in 2018, you could find fully optioned for around $21k. Still cheaper than a 2015 even despite 105 miles on odo. And if you find one from non coastal South, you probably won't see any corrosion on a used car, like my car - despite approaching 90k on BMW, it is a garage queen.
 

eugene89us

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@oilhammer In many ways, I agree. More that you complicate the vehicle, more repairs and higher the expense is in the future. My 21 year old Maxima with 280k miles was almost fully mechanical. Distributor was rotating mechanical style, only computers it had was engine and transmission computers. And guess the things that were failing after 2 decades - those we not mechanical parts. Each of the injectors died, one by one. I was in college, so no money to replace all 6. I did them one by one over 7 years as they bit the dust. The transmission computer died and stopped shifting tranny, stuck in 3rd gear. The automatic things went out of order, such as locking mechanisms, security systems, speakers and amplifiers. Thankfully, there were plenty used parts on eBay and great practice of self sufficiency for a struggling college student. But I seriously doubt many would agree to return to simple times, we are too hooked on the blingy trash!
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
The only infotainment feature I care about is the ability to turn it off. I would love to disable the backup camera on my GSW. I don't use it and I know the emblem flipping up every time I put it in reverse is going to break at some point. I've already had to replace the control module.

When I bought my 335d I specifically wanted a car without NAV, because with it all the HVAC and other controls work through that system. And I didn't want to be dependent on it. It was also one of the reasons I decided not to buy the 328d, I didn't want a screen.

The E90 is the last of BMWs with no screen, hydraulic steering, and (at least around here) RWD. I could get a RWD 328d, but I'd have to travel for it. I really like the 328d wagon, but it has, in my opinion, three strikes against it. AWD, panoramic sunroof, run flat tires. I tolerate the run flats on my 335d, but the other two "features" are a problem. And that doesn't even include the real disadvantage: No manual transmission option.
 

eugene89us

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Southern USA
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2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium
Yes, all wagons come with xDrive. There is a way to disconnect it and basically have AWD, but you still end up carrying extra 100kg for the transfer case system. I don't think anyone actually swapped them around/deleted. I definitely see the usefulness of wagons, they are hot in Europe. I wish VW would let us import real European VW. But of course as Passat was retired in the US, it may be retired in EU soon also.

As it comes to RFTs, I ditched them at 30k miles when original Bridgestones wore out. Too rough on bad roads and sidewalls blow out quickly. Bad thing is I don't have a spare tire unlike the Passat, so if I get a flat, I am in trouble. I carry puncture repair kit and a tire inflator. With RFTs, I had 2 slow leak punctures which I repaired myself successfully (since no tire shop would touch them to repair) and fixed 1 puncture on regular Michelins. I forget the brand, some US made kit. Really awesome, saved me over a thousand bucks and keeps pressure perfect. Can't take these on Autobahn though, not that I ever would.

Well, and there is nothing wrong with Toyotas or Lexuses. My cousin who is an engine mechanic by trade loves working on Japanese cars (except Corolla and Nissan). He was also impressed with Korean brands Hyundai and Genesis. He refuses to take on German cars unless his boss forces him onto them. I don't find Toyotas that luxurious, I call them "proletarian cars" - but I cannot deny their reliability if you don't choose hybrid or other nonsense systems. My wife's side of family has nothing but Toyotas. One got over 400k, the others between 250k and 350k with mostly basic maintenance.
 

drew_t

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Feb 7, 2022
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SF Bay Area
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2013 Passat TDI SE
Even from brand new, RNS510 has always been sluggish. Takes time to bring up reverse camera, clicking on screen to list SiriusXM stations takes ages. Compared to BMW's system, which is crisp and quick.
It’s not too hard or expensive to swap in one of the Chinese RCD330 units. You lose the SiriusXM and the AM radio, but you gain Apple Car Play and/or Android Auto, which I think is what most people want nowadays anyway.

What was the take rate on the BMW diesels in the US? I see VW/Audi TDIs on the roads pretty frequently, but not diesel BMWs. I have to wonder if buying one now, even a substantially depreciated one, wouldn’t be setting yourself up for parts/service headaches. (Plus, of course, $7/gal diesel.)
 

eugene89us

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium
We subscribe to Sirius XM, and since Passat is my mom's DD, she will be happier with what she knows that learning new system. Yeah, you guys in California are getting killed with fuel prices and taxes. No offense, I voted for Dems through 2012 election, then switched sides. Can't stand craziness in your States. And you all had a chance to oust your double standard governor, yet he is back in office after recall. Anyways, as they say, opinions are like buttholes - everyone has them and they all stink. Our diesel here is $5.15 and regular gasoline is $4.65, so difference is not substantial given benefits of fuel economy.

There were lots of BMW diesels sold prior to dieselgate. TDIs of course were leading, and I think BMWs were not too far behind. I only saw 1 TDI on the road in the last year. I don't think I have seen BMW diesel... so you may have a good point. But I will be honest, I think BMW diesels are also simpler. Our Passat has water to air intercooler (why?), dual EGR system, DSG transmission, all kids of extra crap. BMW uses simple air to air intercooler, slushbox transmission by ZF which is rock solid, and engine bay is made to fit 4 cyl and 6 cyl engines on same chassis. Which means since I have a 4 cyl, I can literally dive into the engine and reach most things unlike cramped VW.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
I changed the oil in my 335d last week. Talk about a crowded engine bay. You can't even see the rear two cylinders.
 

eugene89us

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium
But 335d is a 6 cylinder, isn't it? I got a ton of space. They filled in the gap with a large "intake silencer", the sides of N47 engine where exhaust and turbo, I can fit a small human in there. I am sure 6 cylinder will present same crowding as in a Passat.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
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Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I never thought I'd see someone compare BMW "simplicity" to the boring rental-car like NMS Passat. Wow. Just, wow...

I worked at a multi-brand dealer that sold BMW, and the stuff they had to do and the heart stopping totals the customers were expected to pay were stuff of legend, and they also sold Rover and MB and Porsche. Granted, MB had some pretty gnarly stuff (40hr evap core, anyone), but the BMW shop was always a mess of engine parts sprawled out all over the place.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
One member here bought a CPO 328d after selling back his MKVI Golf during dieselgate. The car would mysteriously quit with no warning, stranded his wife several times in Michigan in winter. Getting a tow was tough because it requires a ramp truck, and getting it out of Park when the engine won't start isn't super easy.

He finally took it to the dealer and left it out front, demanded a loaner, and said he would not collect it until they could guarantee it was repaired. 2 months later he got it back with a new comfort module. I think he traded it shortly thereafter.
 

eugene89us

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Southern USA
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2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium
I never thought I'd see someone compare BMW "simplicity" to the boring rental-car like NMS Passat. Wow. Just, wow...

I worked at a multi-brand dealer that sold BMW, and the stuff they had to do and the heart stopping totals the customers were expected to pay were stuff of legend, and they also sold Rover and MB and Porsche. Granted, MB had some pretty gnarly stuff (40hr evap core, anyone), but the BMW shop was always a mess of engine parts sprawled out all over the place.
I don't doubt the inflated dealer pricing. Hence the reason I work on my cars myself. The beauty of BMW is ISTA software. Someone that is not an automotive diagnostician can go through test plans and diagnose/correct an error. By no means am I implying that BMW is simple. It is full of electronics and numerous sensors. In my opinion, it is simpler that VW to work on (at least in my specific case) due to better accessibility within the engine bay. For any simple job on a Passat, you have to remove half of the engine to get to it! As I mentioned, my opinion in simplicity rests with Japanese car makers. Their naturally aspirated ICE vehicles are made for easy maintenance and repair. Germans as a group are probably the worst. Especially with increased use of plastics in the components.
 
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