Passat for First Car

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AreLordAbove
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I'm tempted to get a 2005-2010 2 litre automatic Volkswagen Passat as a first car. Is this an awful idea? How much different is driving a saloon car from say a Vauxhall Corsa?
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ReadingMum
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Do you need a big car?
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AreLordAbove
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(Original post by ReadingMum)
Do you need a big car?
Would be handy, yes.
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ReadingMum
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Insurance might be the challenge. When I was looking for a first car for my daughter I found examples for sale online, noted the number plates and pushed them through a price comparison site. It was an eye opener and she ended up with a VW Polo which was small but big enough for a tenor sax.
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AreLordAbove
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(Original post by ReadingMum)
Insurance might be the challenge. When I was looking for a first car for my daughter I found examples for sale online, noted the number plates and pushed them through a price comparison site. It was an eye opener and she ended up with a VW Polo which was small but big enough for a tenor sax.
I've been having a look too, insurance is pretty good on a Passat my main concern is just whether I'd be fine driving it
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ReadingMum
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you get used to a bigger car but it is a bit trickier to park. I swapped from a hot hatch to a Passat estate at one point then from that to a 2 seater roadster.
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AreLordAbove
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(Original post by ReadingMum)
you get used to a bigger car but it is a bit trickier to park. I swapped from a hot hatch to a Passat estate at one point then from that to a 2 seater roadster.
Ok thank you that's me sold!
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Nuffles
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My partner usually drives her Golf but was fine driving my B5.5 Passat (2002) in the past. She'll drive my Audi A6 (2005) as well but doesn't particularly like parking it (nor did she the Passat), but she can. It's confidence mainly. The A6 has a reversing camera which helps.

Driving forwards into our tiny UK parking spaces with a bigger car is much harder than reversing in. Take the time to learn how to/practice reverse bay parking and save yourself a lot of hassle.

The B6 Passat isn't *best* known for its reliability and was definitely a step down from the B5.5 in terms of reliability and build quality. Nice B5.5s are getting hard to find these days though which is why I ended up with a C5 Audi A6 when I was really looking for a tidy Sport/Highline B5.5 Passat. The old PD130 1.9TDIs are tanks as long as you keep on top of oil changes.

Go with the latest one you can find if you want a B6. Avoid the 105BHP 1.9TDI PD engine like the plague. The 105bhp PD engines like to blow head gaskets and have other mechanical issues IIRC. And the car will feel like a total slug with only 105bhp anyway. The 140bhp and 170bhp PD 2.0TDI engines aren't supposed to be as good as the later 140 and 170bhp CR 2.0TDIs
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AreLordAbove
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(Original post by Nuffles)
My partner usually drives her Golf but was fine driving my B5.5 Passat (2002) in the past. She'll drive my Audi A6 (2005) as well but doesn't particularly like parking it (nor did she the Passat), but she can. It's confidence mainly. The A6 has a reversing camera which helps.

Driving forwards into our tiny UK parking spaces with a bigger car is much harder than reversing in. Take the time to learn how to/practice reverse bay parking and save yourself a lot of hassle.

The B6 Passat isn't *best* known for its reliability and was definitely a step down from the B5.5 in terms of reliability and build quality. Nice B5.5s are getting hard to find these days though which is why I ended up with a C5 Audi A6 when I was really looking for a tidy Sport/Highline B5.5 Passat. The old PD130 1.9TDIs are tanks as long as you keep on top of oil changes.

Go with the latest one you can find if you want a B6. Avoid the 105BHP 1.9TDI PD engine like the plague. The 105bhp PD engines like to blow head gaskets and have other mechanical issues IIRC. And the car will feel like a total slug with only 105bhp anyway. The 140bhp and 170bhp PD 2.0TDI engines aren't supposed to be as good as the later 140 and 170bhp CR 2.0TDIs
Thanks a lot for that, I'll be sure to take notes when looking for the ideal one!
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LTEcactus
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(Original post by AreLordAbove)
I'm tempted to get a 2005-2010 2 litre automatic Volkswagen Passat as a first car. Is this an awful idea? How much different is driving a saloon car from say a Vauxhall Corsa?
Nicer, especially on motorways.
You just need to get used to the taller gear ratios, more engine torque, and the parking. But after you get used to it I don't see any problems.
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adam271
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Nice cars, not cheap to fix though can be pricey.
They do last a long time though if looked after.

They are also not a huge car more 'average sized'.
Might want to check how much the tax is though.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by adam271)
Nice cars, not cheap to fix though can be pricey.
Really? I have a 2003 VW Jetta Estate, and it's dirt cheap to repair (parts only - I do the work). For example, replacing all brake pads and disks cost $100 in parts (delivered). For my 928, the parts were $1500. For my McLaren, they're $15000 .
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by AreLordAbove)
I'm tempted to get a 2005-2010 2 litre automatic Volkswagen Passat as a first car. Is this an awful idea? How much different is driving a saloon car from say a Vauxhall Corsa?
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the auto 'box. My 2003 VW Jetta Estate 2.0 auto is dog slow. You'll only really appreciate it if you've never driven a manual, or drive a lot in traffic. How does the gearbox affect your insurance quotes?


In the US, a Passat is a small car. In the UK, it will be a lot more challenging when parking. Other than that, it sounds like a sensible car, especially if you can do your own repairs.
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AreLordAbove
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I can imagine with my new job I'll be in traffic a fair bit which is kinda why I fancy an auto. Just want a change really from manual. Thanks for the advice, I'll try and learn how to do repairs - it's something everyone should know Tax is a bit big, but if it's a nice car I don't mind.
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AreLordAbove
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(Original post by adam271)
Nice cars, not cheap to fix though can be pricey.
They do last a long time though if looked after.

They are also not a huge car more 'average sized'.
Might want to check how much the tax is though.
The tax is a bit, but I don't mind if it's a nice car.
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AreLordAbove
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the auto 'box. My 2003 VW Jetta Estate 2.0 auto is dog slow. You'll only really appreciate it if you've never driven a manual, or drive a lot in traffic. How does the gearbox affect your insurance quotes?


In the US, a Passat is a small car. In the UK, it will be a lot more challenging when parking. Other than that, it sounds like a sensible car, especially if you can do your own repairs.
I'll have to do more comparison between two directly the same apart from the gear box and I'll get back to you.
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cwai90
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I have a 2011 Passat Saloon and I'd definitely recommend getting one with parking sensors as it can be hard to gauge the extremities. If you going to be regularly carrying cargo, the estate might be a better choice and the insurance seems to be cheaper (depends on your own circumstances though and if you like estates)

The B6 and B7 have been known for some electrical gremlins i.e. sensors failing but mechanically, the reliability is excellent provided it is serviced on time. The DSG gearbox needs an oil change every 4 years/40k miles and that will run you about £100 in oil £100 in labour

If you go for a later model of the B6 generation, note that the TDIs with DPFs need a blast on the motorway to ensure it doesn't get clogged resulting in a hefty repair bill. Go for a CR TDI as another member suggested. It might take a few days to adjust to the larger size but it's no harder to drive than a small car once you've become used to it.
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AreLordAbove
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(Original post by cwai90)
I have a 2011 Passat Saloon and I'd definitely recommend getting one with parking sensors as it can be hard to gauge the extremities. If you going to be regularly carrying cargo, the estate might be a better choice and the insurance seems to be cheaper (depends on your own circumstances though and if you like estates)

The B6 and B7 have been known for some electrical gremlins i.e. sensors failing but mechanically, the reliability is excellent provided it is serviced on time. The DSG gearbox needs an oil change every 4 years/40k miles and that will run you about £100 in oil £100 in labour

If you go for a later model of the B6 generation, note that the TDIs with DPFs need a blast on the motorway to ensure it doesn't get clogged resulting in a hefty repair bill. Go for a CR TDI as another member suggested. It might take a few days to adjust to the larger size but it's no harder to drive than a small car once you've become used to it.
Thank you for this one! I'll try and find one with sensors
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roo02
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(Original post by AreLordAbove)
I'm tempted to get a 2005-2010 2 litre automatic Volkswagen Passat as a first car. Is this an awful idea? How much different is driving a saloon car from say a Vauxhall Corsa?
I mean, a saloon is a great choice, I'm looking to buy a Saab 93 as my second car, but can you afford the insurance?

Having driven my friend's Astra estate, and a Bora, the only real difference is that you have less visibility around you in a saloon, and they're bigger. The one thing that's great about a small hatch is that you can fit it anywhere (came very much in handy at college). The Passat will likely be a lot harder to park

That said, they're all things you learn to deal with, and its inevitable you will as you get a larger car anyway, so if you can afford it, why not?!
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Nuffles
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(Original post by roo02)
I mean, a saloon is a great choice, I'm looking to buy a Saab 93 as my second car, but can you afford the insurance?

Having driven my friend's Astra estate, and a Bora, the only real difference is that you have less visibility around you in a saloon, and they're bigger. The one thing that's great about a small hatch is that you can fit it anywhere (came very much in handy at college). The Passat will likely be a lot harder to park

That said, they're all things you learn to deal with, and its inevitable as you get a larger car anyway, so if you can afford it, why not?!
The Astra and the Golf (Bora) are in the same segment, so an Astra estate is about the same size as a Golf estate. The saloon version of a model is a very similar length to the estate version, but both are obviously longer than the equivalent hatchback version.

A Passat saloon is longer than either the saloon or estate versions of the Astra and Golf/Bora.

You do have much worse rearward visibility in a saloon than an estate/hatch and I dislike them for that reason (along with the hilariously impractical boot lids that most saloons seem to get). A lift-back like the Octavia is a much better solution and gives you actual access to the boot space.

That comment about rearward visibility noted, there's actually far worse rearward visibility out of a current-gen Aygo than there is out of a B5.5 Passat estate. Those old Passats were just all glass.
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