Stay far away from the 2.0T engined Passats. Owned one of these from new (9 years), it was a nice car for the first couple of years, gradually turned into a lemon.
- nice interior, leather seats are good
- good cargo capacity for size
- decent motor for touring, good highway manners
- everything else, particularly cost of repairs
- the kids broke every door handle at least once (and they aren't that big)
- gas flap broke off, very expensive replacement
- ECU and throttle body replacement that VW Canada paid for as the dealer couldn't fix the problem
- parking brake/traction control sensor issues
- very poor clearance (Vancouver snow was too much for it)
- cracked aluminum oil pan (see poor clearance plus vancouver potholes)
- the coup de grace: broken timing belt leading to multiple valves hitting pistons and a destroyed engine.
We look after cars and try to keep them for the long haul; our 2007 VW Passat wagon was a very poor choice for that.