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Reliability issues with Passat?

I am thinking of a 05/06 diesel Passat, but am worried about reliability issues. I have heard about clutch problems and bulbs blowing constantly on these cars. What is your opinion? Also is there any other car you would recommend in this category? Mondeo, Octavia, A4?

Filed under choosing used car - Asked by Cyril Cleere (Kilkenny) - Wed, 30 Jun 2010 22:00


Hi Cyril,

The Passat has had more than its fair share of reliability issues. There have been a total of seven recalls on the current model since 2005, but they were over different builds and won't have affected all cars. You can get full details of all of these from the VOSA website in the UK. There appears to be a recall for the clutch on later models, but we have also heard of reports of there being problems with the automatic handbrake and the power steering, while clutch judder on cars over 70,000 miles is not uncommon. 

This is certainly a car that has had issues, but it would not put me off buying one. There are lots of alternatives, but it depends on what you want. There are lots of good used Audi A4s around, though it is quite a bit smaller than the Passat; and obviously as they get older the repairs can get more expensive. I'm not sure if you would prefer petrol or diesel, but here is a low mileage 1.6-litre example at a SIMI dealer for €15,995. 

Something like this full-spec Mondeo X Diesel for €16,900 would be great. This is a gorgeous car and while quite discreet, would be great to drive.

I quite like this Mazda6 too. This is a very underrated car and the diesel model is a cracker. Let us know a little more about your budget and your needs and we can give you more considered advice. Just pop the details in the comment box below.

Answered by: Complete Car Adviser

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