Should I or should I not? B7 Passat

BakoTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Location
Bakersfield, CA
TDI
Jetta, 99 MK4
Hello everyone. So, I may be in the market for getting a TDI Passat and wanted to know what is the overall experience for these models?
pros and cons. I have an MK4 ALH Jetta but I know nothing of Passats.

are there any commons issues with engines, transmission, electrical, computer, etc.
I appreciate your feedback on this!
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
The NMS Passat has two engines: 12-14 have engine code CKRA, 15 only has a CVCA engine. Transmissions are the same. The big issue with these cars is failing heater cores, especially in the '12-14s. Speculation is that the emissions fix causes the coolant to boil during regen, especially in the CKRA, clogging the core. However, they were known for heater core issues before the fix. The CKRA is also prone to turbo failure, which would be covered under the emissions warranty.

Otherwise, these cars do pretty sell. Typical VW electrical problems happen (windows, stereo head units, auto headlight switch failures), as well as the usual VW emissions related issues (DPF and EGR filter failures), but these would, again, be covered in many cars.

If I wanted a Passat I'd only want a '15 with the later engine. And I'd be apprehensive about buying one outside of the emissions warranty. These cars are far more complex than your ALH, and also harder to work on. My son got a CPO '15 which replaced his ALH. He likes the car, but it's still under both warranties, so his repair costs (A/C repair and headlight switch) have been zero. And of course these days he's not driving it a lot.
 

251

TDI Owner/Operator
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
NW IN
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL
I own a 2015 CPO with the CVCA engine. Heater core already failed on it at 80k which is not covered under warranty (so far) like the 2012-2014's but VW did cover mine due to other factors which is a long story. Otherwise has been solid and reliable so far. The room and comfort is better than a ALH Jetta (I had a 2002) and fuel economy is pretty close between the two for me considering the ALH was a 6-speed manual at 55 mpg average compared to the CVCA's 48 mpg average with a DSG transmission. We're comparing apples and oranges transmission-wise here plus the Passat is a bigger heavier car than the ALH is so I expected the slight drop in fuel economy.

I had a 2014 CKRA before the 2015 - they were identical other than the engine. The 2015's engine is a bit more refined and the DSG seems to work smoother than the 2014's DSG did. The 2014 needed a heater core at 60k. Turbo didn't give me any issues on the 2014. Reason I got rid of the 2014 was VW bought it back for more than I paid for it - made more sense to upgrade to a 2015 than get new tires / fix the CEL that popped up the last couple of months on the 2014 plus the long warranty on the 2015.

I like mine a lot but it remains to be seen how well it will do as it ages. As Peter said above I'd only get a 2015 which still has emissions warranty. A CPO example is even better. My warranty runs out at 162k (about 5 years from now) so at that point will see how it is holding up to decide if I move on or continue driving it.

Good luck with finding a nice Passat if you go thru with it!
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
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Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
One other note: The CKRA turbos, both new and remanufactured, have been unavailable since last August, more or less. Don't expect them until late March/early April. Cars have been sitting for months waiting for them.
 

BakoTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Location
Bakersfield, CA
TDI
Jetta, 99 MK4
Oh man! Lots to think about for sure! Those are not issues to take lightly whatsoever.
I appreciate this input. The car seems to have reasonable mileage and interior still looks pristine. Price seems ok but with this info, I will need to keep my guard up. Thanks for this guys!
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
Be mindful VWoA cheapened the NMS platform quite a bit to get that extra size without blowing up the cost of the car. The curb weight of a TDI NMS is within 100-200LBS of a mk5 yet feels like it has twice the interior. The handling may feel bloated if you've enjoyed the mk4, but a rear swaybar gives it a little attitude.

If you start poking around you may notice the build quality may not be on par with a new mk4 but if compared a 5-6 year old NMS to a 15 year old Mk4 it's still a huge upgrade.

As for the 12-14 and 15, think of it as 12-14 was a gen 2 CRD where VW was dipping their feet with SCR EA188 (W2A and solenoid injectors), where as the 15 got a lot of things right (except for the water pump).
 

Tom in PT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Location
Twilight Zone, WA State
TDI
2005 Passat sedan - SOLD; 2013 Passat DSG; both purchased new
I would agree with much of what has been said, but, nevertheless, I would definitely not buy one again and certainly not one that does not have a warranty - my Dieselgate warranty is going to be good until 2024. My '013 is my 4th VW TDI I have owned since 2002, all bought new, and the build quality especially in regards to the complex emission system, just is not good enough, at least for me.

My suggestion is to ponder the Consumer Reports frequency of repair data and their recommendations for used cars to avoid in the 2012-15 time frame before your decide to get into one. Yes, it gets amazing fuel economy, but a lot of other models, even gassers, are nearly as good and they are a far better long term ownership prospects, IMHO.

Some may suggest to delete the DPF, adblue etc. with a Rawtek exhaust system and put it a stage 2 chip, not sure of the costs but maybe in the ballpark of $ 2,000 if someone does the work for you. That may ameliorate some concerns at least as to emissions issues and boost mpg, but at least for me is totally not cost effective, as it would require driving the car for hundreds of thousands of miles and decades of ownership to pay for itself.

My other car is a 2005 Lexus LS430 I picked up to $ 10K 3 years ago at 109K miles and the improvement in build quality between the Lexus and the VW is totally night and day.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Normally I would say yes. But you are in California so probably not. You are late to the game and as said before, I wouldn't own one without the warranty at least to start. Getting harder to find them with lots of time left on the warranty. Deleting is out for you as well as long as you are in California. Owning one of these there after warranty would be murder. The Passat's are a nice traveling car. The 2015 would be my choice too. California emissions would point me away from one of these though.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
I was just looking on Autotrader and found one (near me) that had 18K miles on it. If you found a relatively low mileage one and got the 4/48 warranty post-fix that wouldn't be a bad deal. I'd still go for a '15, however.
 

Lex Tdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Location
Lexington ky
TDI
2013 Passat
I was about to say if youre willing to delete but youre in CA... IF you get rid of the emissions components you get rid of most of the problems, solid car and engine and transmission. I have 200,000 miles on my 2013 and the past 40k deleted and i've had zero issues other than an early leaking water pump which led to a timing belt change.
 

BakoTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Location
Bakersfield, CA
TDI
Jetta, 99 MK4
With some of these new posts, I think I have two major drawbacks:
1-being in California, and
2-warranty issues
I think, it may not be my best option then.
I'm not opposed to another manufacturer vehicle. I'm interested in having a comfortable daily driver with more room for my growing family than my mk4 jetta. I thought this model would provide the best of both worlds, but my feelings won't be hurt if I can't get 40mpg on my 10 minute commute.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
If you get a car that has both CPO and the extended emissions warranty you should be covered for some time. The CPO should handle anything the extended storage might have caused and the emissions most everything else. You have a MKIV so you know something about these cars already. The dealer can be forced if need be to fix the car when the occasions arrive. It will make a great family car except for one thing you just put out there. The new dpf equipped cars don't handle short tripping at all like you mentioned without taking an active part in ensuring they can happen completely when needed. Doing constant 10 minute trips will send you to the dealer for a clogged dpf. You won't be happy doing that kind of driving in this car.
 

251

TDI Owner/Operator
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
NW IN
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL
On 2012-2014's the regen intervals will vary - depends on how many short trips, etc. My 2014 would regen little as 175 miles and long as 410 mile intervals. The 2015 has been a pretty consistent 220 mile interval to the point where I can predict when they will occur so can plan on not interrupting a regen by going an extra few miles. 90% of my driving is long runs which includes a 35 mile one way commute. It takes about 10 minutes for a regen from start to finish plus an extra few minutes to insure things cool down afterwards. You should get the aftermarket gauge or software app to monitor regens with.

If there are many short trips involved I don't think a NMS platform Passat TDI is a good fit here. Now, if you can take the long way to/from work especially if it involves steady highway speeds then it's more practical.
 

Skimax

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Location
White mts, NH
TDI
97 B4 variant(retired at 330K), 2000 B5 1.8T passat retired, 2013 SE (buyback5/17) 2015 SEL, 2015 E-Golf SEL sold March 2019, 2018 Volt LT and a 2007 PRHT MX5 for fun
With some of these new posts, I think I have two major drawbacks:
1-being in California, and
2-warranty issues
I think, it may not be my best option then.
I'm not opposed to another manufacturer vehicle. I'm interested in having a comfortable daily driver with more room for my growing family than my mk4 jetta. I thought this model would provide the best of both worlds, but my feelings won't be hurt if I can't get 40mpg on my 10 minute commute.
A 10 minute commute.....go electric. We have a 2018 Chevy Volt LT that gets about 70 miles on the battery alone in the summer with local driving. It drops to about 50 miles in the winter. We charge at home from our solar tracker for free. The gas engine is a great range anxiety suppressor too. It's been totally trouble free for the 24 months we've owned it. On long trips we use our 15 Passat SEL TDI. It doesn't like short trips especially in the winter.
 

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 Jetta wagon BEW; 2015 Passat SE CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
A 10 minute commute.....go electric. We have a 2018 Chevy Volt LT that gets about 70 miles on the battery alone in the summer with local driving. It drops to about 50 miles in the winter. We charge at home from our solar tracker for free. The gas engine is a great range anxiety suppressor too. It's been totally trouble free for the 24 months we've owned it. On long trips we use our 15 Passat SEL TDI. It doesn't like short trips especially in the winter.
After replacing my older TDIs with two 2015 ones, I realized too late that it should've been one TDI and one electric. Actually the Volt is what I would've done, but I believe Chevrolet just replaced them with the Bolt and now that is going to be a CUV, which I have no interest at all. Same for the ID4, but then again I know I'm special 😁
 

Skimax

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Location
White mts, NH
TDI
97 B4 variant(retired at 330K), 2000 B5 1.8T passat retired, 2013 SE (buyback5/17) 2015 SEL, 2015 E-Golf SEL sold March 2019, 2018 Volt LT and a 2007 PRHT MX5 for fun
We owned an e-golf for 3 years but the range in the winter was marginal even with the heat pump cabin heater thus we replaced it with the Volt. Plenty of gen2 Volts are available coming off lease now. Once again GM screwed up IMHO, we sat in a bolt and it felt very cheap compared to the Volt. We still have 1/4 tank of gas, we filled it up last May.
 

Skimax

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Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Location
White mts, NH
TDI
97 B4 variant(retired at 330K), 2000 B5 1.8T passat retired, 2013 SE (buyback5/17) 2015 SEL, 2015 E-Golf SEL sold March 2019, 2018 Volt LT and a 2007 PRHT MX5 for fun
nope it's not recommended to use any additives. The engine runs every 6 weeks or so if it hasn't been started, to circulate oil etc. When it below 15F it starts and runs until the coolant temp get up to 180F. After a while, It gets to the point where it runs a lot to use up the old gas so I filled it today with 7.3 gals Lifetime 198 mpg equlivant. It's fun to drive and handles well, more like a VW than a chevy. Just like with the EV1, GM has their head where the sun doesn't shine. Instead of the hatchback type Volt if they would have put it into a body style many want today they would have sold many more. JMHO
 
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pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 Jetta wagon BEW; 2015 Passat SE CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
...The engine runs every 6 weeks or so if it hasn't been started, to circulate oil etc. When it below 15F it starts and runs until the coolant temp get up to 180F...
Wut?! It runs the engine by itself to do all of that?! I'm sure that would make a lot of people very nervous. Although I do understand the powertrain is 100% electric, and the IC engine is there just to recharge the batts and perhaps generate cabin heat?
 

Skimax

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Location
White mts, NH
TDI
97 B4 variant(retired at 330K), 2000 B5 1.8T passat retired, 2013 SE (buyback5/17) 2015 SEL, 2015 E-Golf SEL sold March 2019, 2018 Volt LT and a 2007 PRHT MX5 for fun
Yup the "brain" know when it's time to burn up some gas before it gets stale. Unless your looking at the instrument cluster it's hard to tell when the engine is running unless your going up a steep hill and calling for plenty of power. It is very seamless and usually very quiet when the IC is running. And yes when it starts at 15F or below the heated IC engine coolant helps heat the cabin. You can also put it in hold mode and run it mostly on gas if your going the speed limit on a highway as that drains the battery much faster than 35-50 on local roads. It really is a fine drive train that sadly is no longer being built here though I have heard GM is using the Voltec drive train in China for a small crossover only available over there..
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
Wut?! It runs the engine by itself to do all of that?! I'm sure that would make a lot of people very nervous. Although I do understand the powertrain is 100% electric, and the IC engine is there just to recharge the batts and perhaps generate cabin heat?

It's not like the engine will run at midnight parked in your Garage to just cycle everything. It'll fire up during a drive.

Also there is a reason the Volt/Caddy thingy was discontinued, costs. GM learned from it and moved on.
 

Skimax

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Location
White mts, NH
TDI
97 B4 variant(retired at 330K), 2000 B5 1.8T passat retired, 2013 SE (buyback5/17) 2015 SEL, 2015 E-Golf SEL sold March 2019, 2018 Volt LT and a 2007 PRHT MX5 for fun
Sorry about any confusing language on my part. As far as costs, yes that had something to do with it but if GM had advertised them the way they do SUVs and put the drivetrain in a suv like body style I think they sould have sold a lot more. I guess it was ahead of it's time given how many PHEVs are presently being marketed. Anyway we scored a super deal on one once it was announced they were discontinued. I'm sure that GM lost plenty on ours, about $21K out the door + we got the full $7.5k tax credit.
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
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Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
Gen1 or Gen 2 Cruze?

Agreed about the CUV body style would have helped sales, looks like they smartened up with the Bolt.

I'm surprised they haven't been brave enough to do something in between the Bolt and the new Hummer EV. Slide in an Equnox sized CUV price it at 40-50K and I bet it'd move.
 

Skimax

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Location
White mts, NH
TDI
97 B4 variant(retired at 330K), 2000 B5 1.8T passat retired, 2013 SE (buyback5/17) 2015 SEL, 2015 E-Golf SEL sold March 2019, 2018 Volt LT and a 2007 PRHT MX5 for fun
my daughter has a gen 1 volt over 100K miles with no drivetrain issues just regular stuff brakes etc. we have a 2018 gen 2 volt. The bolts I've seem appear to have much cheaper interiors/seats than the volt.

I just drove it this AM for 30 miles and the ICE came on each time it started it, the temp was < 10F
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
do you leave it plugged in via a lvl2 plug? i wonder if its just a 120v outlet, the ICE engine is used to heat up the battery more than the engine itself.
 

Skimax

Veteran Member
Joined
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White mts, NH
TDI
97 B4 variant(retired at 330K), 2000 B5 1.8T passat retired, 2013 SE (buyback5/17) 2015 SEL, 2015 E-Golf SEL sold March 2019, 2018 Volt LT and a 2007 PRHT MX5 for fun
We have a L2 Clipper Creek charger and I plug it in every time unless I just drive a few miles in warm months. It will heat and cool the battery via the L2 charger as the computer deems necessary.
 
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