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Used Volkswagen Passat review: 2006-2010

EXPERT RATING
7

Discerning Passat buyers went for the German comforts and dynamics — but well-versed owners know they have to keep topping up the engine oil.

New

Having started out as the maker of the humble people’s car, Volkswagen is no longer a single-model brand. From its vast range of cars, there is a model to suit almost everyone. The Passat was the next step for those graduating from the Golf. The badge was affixed to many variants: sedan and wagon, diesel and petrol, fours and a V6, driven by the front or all four wheels.

If a little bland at first glance, the Passat had smooth lines, sleek shape and well balanced proportions. The German penchant for efficiency over bling perhaps meant it had few trinkets.

The cabin was typical VW, clean and clinical but with lots of grey trim.

That said, there were plenty of features to please the discerning buyer: six-way powered driver’s seat, leather steering wheel, cruise control, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers and a six-CD audio.

A turbo diesel opened the bidding, bringing decent performance and good economy, its turbo petrol counterpart had plenty of get up and go and the V6 was an out-and-out goer.

All were mated to automatics, the petrol engine to a regular six-speeder and the others to the new six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The V6 came standard with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive, the other two were front-drive.

On the road the Passat displayed fine road manners with balanced, responsive handling.

Now

There is a lot to like about the Passat, it’s well built and comfortable, lively yet refined.

There are also a couple of issues that buyers need to be aware of.

One is the oil consumption of VW engines. Not all — but those that do can consume a lot. In most engines, this usually results from high mileage and associated wear but VW engines often use oil right from new.

Some owners have had major engine failures on their new cars simply because they didn’t bother to check the engine oil and it ultimately ran out. Always check the oil in your engine, especially if it’s a VW.

Dealers seem unable to fix the problem, and owners who are unlucky enough to have an oil user have to put up with it for the car’s life.

If you’ve settled on buying a Passat talk to the vendor about any oil consumption issues the car has had.

The other abiding issue concerns the DSG dual-clutch transmission fitted to diesels and the V6.

Thoroughly test drive your chosen car if it’s fitted with the DSG transmission, observing for anything that might suggest a problem.

Again, talk to the vendor about the transmission and any problems they have had with it.

While you’re at it ask to see the car’s service record and check its maintenance record.

Owners say 

Mike Page: I’m very happy with my 2008 turbo diesel. It’s good around town and great on the highway with plenty of grunt when needed. It averages 5.5L/100km on the highway and between 6.9L and 7.5L around town. The biggest bugbear is the cost of major services, especially when it includes the timing belt and water pump change.

There was also a problem with the car not starting properly and cranking over too long and prompting warnings. The dealer couldn’t fix it, even with VW’s help. I eventually did it — by replacing the battery.

Clive Atkinson: I’ve owned Audis and BMWs and my V6 wagon is right up there with them for quality, dynamics and performance. The DSG works well but, leaving the lights, you’d think a car has bumped you. I fear for when the warranty runs out.

Jon Hill: My 2010 petrol wagon is a dream to drive. It’s now done 200,000km and has used oil from day one. Now it’s a litre every 500km. Smoke pours out — I guess it’s the rings and only a rebuild will fix it. I’ve also replaced the water pump twice.

The infamous dual-clutch issue was resolved by changing the software at about 120,000km. An independent service agent saved me heaps. The comfort level is terrific, fuel consumption is great — 6.0L highway. I’d like to keep it another 200,000km, but the oil consumption is ridiculous.

Smithy says 

It’s a good car that’s under-appreciated. Beware of the DSG niggles and high oil consumption.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2010 $6,400 $18,700
2009 $6,800 $16,720
2008 $6,200 $15,510
2007 $4,400 $10,890
2006 $3,700 $9,240

View all Volkswagen Passat pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$6,990
Based on 13 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$4,000
Highest Price
$9,888

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP $4,300 – 6,930 2006 Volkswagen Passat 2006 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs
2.0T FSI 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP $4,500 – 7,260 2006 Volkswagen Passat 2006 2.0T FSI Pricing and Specs
3.2 V6 FSI 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP $5,800 – 8,910 2006 Volkswagen Passat 2006 3.2 V6 FSI Pricing and Specs
V6 2.8L, PULP, 5 SP $4,500 – 7,260 2006 Volkswagen Passat 2006 V6 Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.