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  1. #1
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    Any VW Passat Owners Here?

    Yes, this is a cycling related question.

    I'm starting to look at replacing my aging car, and I'm looking at a 2000/2001/2002 VW Passat. I'm wondering how easy it is to fit a bike in the trunk with the rear seats folded down (or not?), and without taking the front wheel off. I have a trunk-mounted rack that I use now, but it gradually scuffs up the paint on my car, and I just worry about how safe my bike is on it. Plus, with any rack I can't leave the bike alone for fear of it getting stolen, so I want a car that I can easily fit the whole thing in the trunk.

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    No!!!!!!!!!!!

    VW is LAST in customer satisfaction, anything but a vee-dub, and I'd not get any car that I wanted to carry bikes with without taking a bike to the showroom and seeing how easy it is to stuff it in.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilHinault
    ...and I'd not get any car that I wanted to carry bikes with without taking a bike to the showroom and seeing how easy it is to stuff it in.
    Well sure, but I'd like to at least know what to expect first.

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    You won't know what to expect any other way - the sales people can be counted on to tell you utter bosh.

    If you're really worried about security you'll want something that can swallow and hide that bike, why not consider a small pickup with a shell or cover on it? Carpet the bed and the bike will be fine in there.

  5. #5
    the dog ate my earbuds KirkeIsWaiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilHinault
    No!!!!!!!!!!!

    VW is LAST in customer satisfaction, anything but a vee-dub, and I'd not get any car that I wanted to carry bikes with without taking a bike to the showroom and seeing how easy it is to stuff it in.

    I've got to agree, sadly.
    I own and have owned several over many years.
    1.8T is a disasterof mechanical/engine related problems.
    but the EXECPTION is the VW original 2.0 4 cyl. Some Passats of those years had them and this is the engine that stands the test of time. One of my VWs, 2.0, has 141k on it and no chance of quittting anytime soon.
    Don't rule out the 2.0 Jetta either. great value, significant space. If you drive a man. trans you'll find the gearing is exceptional (long 2nd, 3rd), powerful and extremely fuel efficient.
    The other option is the TDI. Engine for a lifetime although re-sale tends to be high, for that reason.

    But there is nothing like a German vehicle, even on the low end like VW. I spent 14 yrs in the auto industry, I still pick VW over most anything out there for being a great value.
    good luck!

  6. #6
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    I knew I should've put the following disclaimer on my original post.

    If you aren't going to answer the question, but instead want to start a debate, say "why the hell would you do that," or make otherwise snide remarks, don't reply!

    If I wanted a pickup truck, I'd have said so. This isn't just for carrying a bike around you know. I want a car that's fun to drive, is good looking, and isn't a gas guzzler, but that's not the point of this thread. I just want to know if it's at least possible that a bike fits in the back of this car before lugging my bike to a dealer to see. Is that so hard?

  7. #7
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Blah blah blah. VWs are terrible...and I can't figure out why I continue to buy them....83 GTI, 90 Golf Wolfsburg, 99 Golf Wolfsburg, 99 Passat GLS. Now with that said since I have had a Passat I think I can help a little...no chance are you getting a bike in there with the wheels on, the trunk opening is actually smaller than a Jetta (in width). Unless you are looking at the wagon fitting the bike in the trunk wont be easy...I did get 2 MTBs in our Passat but both had the wheels off. I would get a hitch rack.

    Now on to the car...yes they are hella fun to drive and look great...what model (engine) are you looking at? Sounds like you are buying used...make sure all the recalls have been done...there have been a good number of them on the suspension and some other areas.

    If you haven't found it already there is a ton of good information (albiet mixed with some crap) at VWVortex check it out.

    And just because here is my Golf.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    Blah blah blah. VWs are terrible...and I can't figure out why..
    Read my review here:

    2002 VW Golf Review

    That is my experience with VW.

  9. #9
    the dog ate my earbuds KirkeIsWaiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Read my review here:

    2002 VW Golf Review

    That is my experience with VW.

    Three pedals required.....or else ride a bike.

  10. #10
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Read my review here:

    2002 VW Golf Review

    That is my experience with VW.
    Well duh. Sorry. I could have told you not to buy the Auto. The autos in the VW line (note that the Passat has the same tranny as the Audi and thus doesn't have the same issues) have sucked since they were put in the cars. I would agree with everything you said in your review but mine would have been different because I wouldn't have purchased the auto. The manual is fantastic. Well not totally true my engine mounts seem to be going as when I am cornering with any speed and want to shift from 1st to 2nd it wont go due to the weight transfer of the engine and the angles of the shift levers...though I think they fixed that with the cable shifting vs the linkage mechanism in the older cars.
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  11. #11
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    I drove an '89 Fox off the showroom floor, sold it in 2000. My mechanic bought it. Bike went in back seat sans front wheel. I loved that car.

    Edit: The owners' manual actually said that if you want a cupholder, buy the kind that hangs off the door.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    ...no chance are you getting a bike in there with the wheels on, the trunk opening is actually smaller than a Jetta (in width). Unless you are looking at the wagon fitting the bike in the trunk wont be easy...
    Does your Passat have fold-down rear seats? I realize fitting a bike in any trunk alone would be difficult, but I'd think that if you can steal extra room from the rear passenger area then you should be able to fit it in just fine.

    And again, I don't want a rack in part because you can't secure the bike from being stolen, or keep it out of the rain, or protect it from wayward rocks on the road, etc.

  13. #13
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    head over to http://www.passatworld.com/forums/ and search around for reliability. I lurked there a good couple months before deciding on purchasing my 2004.5 Passat 5spd. Yes I got the 1.8t. To say that it is a "disasterof mechanical/engine related problems" is IMO completely out of left field. The major issues of late have been in relation to oil requirements (you must use synthetic if you want to keep your warranty) and there was a rash of coil pack problems a couple years ago, both of which have been resolved. No, it is not the ubiquitous appliance (Toyota), but it is a blast to drive, and just requires one to be meticulous about scheduled maintenance.

    For toting bikes, I got the roof rack. If I had to fold down the rear seats to get a bike in, I'm sure it would be no problem. I haul a hockey bag a couple times a week, and it's a no brainer.

    The years you are looking at, sadly, are the worst years for the Passat. I'd look at 2003 and newer, they're not that much more, and you get a heck of a car

    Good luck--
    Last edited by superdex; 05-31-05 at 07:51 AM.

  14. #14
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    I have a 2004.5 Passat variant which I like. I used to drive an Mercedes Benz prior to quitting my job and becoming a SAHD. I gotta say the Passat is every bit a German car, better than the C-Class but not quite an E-Class. First of all, the 1.8T bottom ends are built like tanks, buttoned together with five mains. The "electrical" problems have to do with the CCM getting wet. It's underneath the driver seat and if the drain holes get plugged up it won't function properly. This occurs mostly in the winter. Next, anyone with a Turbo car should use synthetic. The oil is not only used to lubricate the engine, it's also used to lubricate and cool the turbocharger. That thing spins at 150,000 rpm, you gotta know it puts a hurtin' on the oil.

    VW dealer service is terrible. They're in that transition stage of moving from people's car to entry level luxury. They need to jettison the old ways of thinking if they wanna compete with Infiniti and Acura. Even Ford dealer service is better in my experience.

    The even nicer thing about the 1.8T is that extra horsepower is cheap. Club B5 (passatworld) members can get a chip from Wetterauer for about $350. That'll give you about 190hp. Not bad.

  15. #15
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan
    Even Ford dealer service is better in my experience.
    OMG, that *is* bad.

  16. #16
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PainTrain
    OMG, that *is* bad.
    LOL! It's odd isn't it? My Ford dealer has walkin oil changes, VW dealer doesn't. Ford dealer sends email reminders, VW dealer doesn't. Ford dealer has pickup and dropoff service, VW dealer doesn't.

  17. #17
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    Hey, that IS funny. You know why? Because MY Ford dealer has walk in oil changes that cost a fortune, and then there's the "oh, since you're here, you might as well..." They send me e-mail, snail mail, and phone reminders for service I don't want or need, and way before I actually need them, since they assume I drive more than I do. They do have a shuttle van, but you better hope there isn't anyone ahead of you in line, otherwise you'll be riding around for an hour on the wrong side of town.

  18. #18
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    I absolutely love my 01.5 1.8T manual tranny Passat. Reliable, pretty, efficient and fun. My only complaint is the soft suspension.

  19. #19
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    A bike fits fine inside my '02 Passat Variant, and I'm sure there's close to the same amount of room in the sedan with folded seats.

    And, dealer service issues aside, it's a great car to drive - solid and responsive. (Even more fun with eibach springs.)
    Schwinn Paramounts - 1965, '71, '74, 83
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  20. #20
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingofbeers
    A bike fits fine inside my '02 Passat Variant, and I'm sure there's close to the same amount of room in the sedan with folded seats.

    And, dealer service issues aside, it's a great car to drive - solid and responsive. (Even more fun with eibach springs.)
    Oh yea there is enough room in there for a bike the problem is getting it in and out without damaging the bike or the car.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    I still miss my 93 Eurovan Weekender. It may have been underpowered, but once it got to speed, it would cruise all day at 85. Plus, it had a fridge, tons of space, and could sleep 4 comfortably.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member TassR700's Avatar
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    I have a 2001.5 Passat 1.8T bought used with 17,000 miles and it now has 50,000. Once I got the coil problem fixed, it has been great. I wanted a manual, but they are hard to find used, so I ended up with the 5 speed tiptronic. So far, no issues. My dealer is also the Audi dealer so the service level is a little better. As far as bike fit is concerned, I can get my mountain bike in with the seats down and the front wheel removed. I haven't tried it with the roadie, but I will tonight and let you know. As far as Passat models go, I would go 2002 and up. They made a lot of positive changes between 2001 and 2002. They made them between years, so there is a 2001.5 model. The main visible difference is the headlights.
    Last edited by TassR700; 06-02-05 at 09:04 AM. Reason: spelling

  23. #23
    Somewhere in CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJakucyk
    Yes, this is a cycling related question.

    I'm starting to look at replacing my aging car, and I'm looking at a 2000/2001/2002 VW Passat. I'm wondering how easy it is to fit a bike in the trunk with the rear seats folded down (or not?), and without taking the front wheel off. I have a trunk-mounted rack that I use now, but it gradually scuffs up the paint on my car, and I just worry about how safe my bike is on it. Plus, with any rack I can't leave the bike alone for fear of it getting stolen, so I want a car that I can easily fit the whole thing in the trunk.
    We had a 2000 Passat Variant 4motion GLX up until last year. We logged 78,000+ miles. Besides oil changes it was in the dealer a total of 1 time due to a transmission clunk. I have owned nothing but VWs and AUDIs and while there are crummy dealers(if you come to santa cruz watch out... enough said)there are good ones.

    I bought a fscking expedition and the ford dealer is crummy. The car rattles and cost 2x the Passat.

    I would buy another Passat without question, although the 2005 Subaru GT Wagon is pretty sweet looking..

    All that said, bikes will fit in the back with the seat folded down. I however had a Thule rack for the roof.

    There were some electrical gremlins, dead batteries and such reported with those 2000 range passats. We did have one dead battery incident with the 2000 that was never explained. I think my kid left one of the overhead lights on however.

    Good luck.
    Jim

  24. #24
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    I have a Passat V6, wonderful car.

    If I wanted to carry a bike in the back I would buy the station wagon though - same great car, same great engine, same great suspension - just with a cavernous opening in the back made for swallowing bikes whole.

  25. #25
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    [QUOTE=kuan]

    VW dealer service is terrible. They're in that transition stage of moving from people's car to entry level luxury. They need to jettison the old ways of thinking if they wanna compete with Infiniti and Acura. Even Ford dealer service is better in my experience.

    QUOTE]

    This is dealer specific. The VW dealer in my town is truly gawd-awful, I won't set foot in the place. The dealer where I bought my car ( 40 miles up the road) is truly the best car dealer experience I have ever had, they are wonderful.

    This explains why there are so many VW's in this town with dealer plates from that dealership.

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