Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
I'm having a little trouble coming to a decision on the next motor. I'm looking for a used car for under £10k with a fairly responsive diesel engine, to keep over 2-3 years. It has to be reasonably easy to sell on when the time comes (so perhaps just a little bit of kudos) and shouldn't depreciate like a computer. I've looked at a lot of makes and models and have narrowed my shortlist down quite considerably, and the Audi A4/A6 and Rover 75 were the last cars left on it until the other day. I had been leaning towards the A6 1.9 TDi - more room than an A4 or a 75, usually seems better equipped too. A Seat would be on my list except that I already own one ...

Yesterday I was persuaded to test-drive a 115 bhp Passat, which was a lot better than I expected, although I noticed a bit of rattling from under the dash to the left. It was far roomier than an A4 I was in last week, better equipped and the seats were more comfortable & supportive both front and rear. Looking at local Autotrader prices for an A6 between 1998 - 2001, a Passat with the same engine (1.9 TDi), age and mileage can be up to £1200 cheaper. It seems there are more Passats available, too. The only thing is, I've read more negative feedback about Passats than about Audis!

I haven't been able to test-drive an A6 yet, so I can't really compare the two properly. Is there really a difference in build quality or reliability between them, or is it just coincidence that more Passat owners seem to have complained? I quite like the 75 but have heard about a few problems with rust, especially on chromed trim, and the anti-corrosion warranty is pretty mean on that car. Is rust/build quality a real concern, or am I being paranoid?

Opinions from people who've experienced owning any of my shortlist (A4, A6, Passat, 75) would be greatly appreciated!
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - Nsar
My 1.8 75 is thirsty likes to eat tyres, although I'm probably a harder driver than the market it was designed for and is starting to show a line of rust on the inside boot lid after less than 3 years on the road and other build quality niggles. Although mechanically it has been a trouble free period, I feel glad that it's coming to the end of its 3 year finance agreement, it feels like a car that could go downhill rapidly at about 5 years.
I'd recommend you look at SAAB - upper end 9-3 or lower end
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - midlifecrisis
I've had my Passat for 7 months (now 20 months old.) It's held together with blue tack and I still can't stop the rattles. The dash lights and trip readouts have failed at various times (the computer readout still only works when it feels like it). Mechanicals have been OK, but overall the car has not lived up to my expectations of a VW. It's also depreciated like a lead balloon. I'm currently changing it for an MG ZT. The car drives like a dream, feels well built and the dealer doesn't look down the end of his nose when you speak to him.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - FergusTheDog
We have had an A6 1.8T for about four years. It is without doubt the best car we have ever had - eat your heart out BMW and Merc (we've had both so we know how over-rated they are). SE spec is nice, I find the Sport uncomfortable due to the seats. Dark colours look best.

The rear view is a bit awkward but how often do you look at the back of your car? The cabin is tremendous and that matters much more.

The A6 is built like a tank, has masses of room and is pretty nice to drive.

The Passat always feels to me like a down market car that's trying to be an A6.

I think the A6 is ruined by the 4 pot diesels (whatever HJ might think, they are plain nasty and spoil a good car).
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - Slice
I've been running a three year old A4 2.5TDI for about six months and think it's a great car. Well screwed together and with a real feeling of quality about it.

The V6 diesel is much more refined than the 1.9 and has bags of grunt even at "only" 150 bhp as opposed to the current 180. The capacity increase won't penalise too much with overall fuel consumption either - A-road and motorway driving giving 45-50 mpg - although town driving does seem to increase its thirst somewhat, dropping below 30 mpg.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
Slice, I guess the main reason I've been leaning towards the 1.9 is the fuel economy over the 2.5, although if what you say is true then that would be pretty good.
If I thought that there was nothing to separate an Audi from a Passat in terms of build quality and reliability, I'd certainly be going for the Passat - I'm not really that worried about a badge. However, experiences like those midlifecrisis has had are a little off-putting. Having said that, I've spent some time looking through the CBCB on this site, and almost every car seems to have some issues to cause concern!
HJ, if there were used Superbs available in my price range, that would probably be my first option of the lot. However, a sub-£10k budget means I can't consider that for another year or so at the earliest - the cheapest diesel Superb in the Autotrader weighs in at over £14k. In fact, if it was a matter of cold logic, I'd also look at an Octavia, but it just doesn't do it for me - I think it's a good car, but purely in terms of personal taste it looks very outdated to me - like what Volvo used to look like a few years back.
Maybe the 2.5 litre A6 is my best bet after all ...
Thanks everyone for your replies, more opinions welcome and appreciated!
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - oldtoffee
Not wishing to fly in the face of previous posts but my Passat TDi 115 bhp (chipped to 136) is 3 years old, 60,000 miles, no squeaks, no problems whatsoever. Last summer’s 500 mile jaunt to south-west of France averaged 72mph and 48mpg. So, as I’m out of VW warranty and don’t have to deal with their **** main agents for servicing, I hereby make my claim to be the one happy VW owner everybody thinks doesn’t exist!

I’ve considered the A6 (it looks great, it’s built great) but it would have to be the V6 2.5 like you’re considering so that means 3 or 4+ years old with 100,000 miles on it or more to meet my budget. Not sure, tempted but not yet persuaded. I drove the MG ZT and liked it – great handling and quiet too but it’s substantially slower than my Passat even with the recent power hike. Another 20 or 30 more bhp would help; the chassis is so capable. I personally don’t think it’s very well built if the shut lines and rattles on the demonstrator I drove were anything to go by.

Good luck, let us know what you decide on especially if it’s the A6.

Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
Interesting that you've chipped your Passat. Do you find that the traction control has a tendency to kick in when pulling away? The 115 bhp Passat I drove had a lot of low-down torque, and "quick getaways" were accompanied by some scrabbling from the front wheels and a flashing TC light every time.

In my area, for £8750, I've seen a yr 2000 115 bhp Passat SE with 68k miles, a 1998 A6 2.5 TDi with around 100k miles - or for a couple of hundred more, a 2000 A4 110 SE with 55k miles.

If I felt confident enough about the Passat, I'd probably choose one of those as I'd get a younger car, almost as spacious as the A6, with less miles for the same money. I was happy enough with the performance of the 115 PD that I drove. It's build quality and the likelihood of breakdowns or malfunctions that I'm concerned about here. If an A6 is less likely than a Passat to develop incurable rattles or just go expensively wrong, I'll hold out for one of those instead. Any more feedback is still both welcome and appreciated!

I used to be indecisive, then I changed my mind ....
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - oldtoffee
Yes the TC does kick in but only if I overdo the right foot in the damp and then it's quite welcome because it's invariably on joining a busy junction or roundabout "under pressure".

The A6 sounds interesting, 50% more miles than the Passat but then 50% more cylinders to spread the load! You might find the A4 a bit cramped after the others; a friend has the A4 Avant and it's quite a bit smaller than my Passat estate - nice though! I just like the look of the A6, classy but not brash with it. It's incredibly well built and if you consider the level of VW build problems posted just on this site compared to Audi build problems, I guess the odds of you getting a "good 'un" are much improved with Audi.

Good luck

Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
Sorry for resurrecting this thread again, but something occurred to me. The 1.9 TDI A6 is a bit more available than the 2.5, and for less money too. If I bought a 1.9 and chipped it to 140 bhp, would I lose out in terms of refinement as well as put greater strain on the 4 cyl engine, or would it be a sensible compromise?
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - FergusTheDog
It would still be the nasty and noisy 4 cylinder and the vibration would drive you insane, especially in a car like the A6 which is designed to be quiet. The V6 diesel is much better. The petrols are better still,
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
Yesterday I had the chance to drive a pair of A6 Audis back to back, a 1.9 and a 2.5. Both are nice to drive, the engine on the 2.5 is definitely sweeter sounding and is more powerful than on the 1.9, but even the smaller one wasn't all that slow except from a standing start. Funnily enough, the 1.9 seemed to handle better than the 2.5, which wallowed all over the place. On some of the twistier roads, it was VERY wallowy, bouncing up and down, actually scraping against the road even at lower speeds (30). Either the suspension in that one was tired, or SE trim (which was on the 1.9 but not the 2.5) comes with stiffer springs or dampers. Or perhaps the lighter 1.9 engine just doesn't cause the car to pitch as much. Either way, I'll be going for SE trim but if the right 1.9 comes along at a good price, I'll cope with the reduced refinement. In fact, using biodiesel makes the engine sound smoother anyway, so that would alleviate the problem a bit more. But I reckon I'd still probably want to chip the 1.9 to improve performance.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - FergusTheDog
Yes, there are some soft A6s about and they seem to be the bigger engined ones. I think that there is a stiffer set up but I thought it came with the Sport and as I don't like the seats in those I have never really spent a lot of time finding out.

The 1.9 Tdi will be appallingly slow in normal use. You may not want an petrol but you should try a 1.8T as a comparison. Bootfulls of torque for about 5500 revs.

For a real laugh you may want to try the 2.5 TDi Quattro but it isn't very economical and it will eat tyres.

I would agree that the SE is the best trim. Try to find one with a few value added bits - wood trim ,CD, etc. They aren't worth anything secondhand but they make the car a bit nicer.

Footnote: a while ago I was thinking of getting an A4 Avant for myself (a strange experience to buy things for me but there you go). The salesman made a huge fuss about the 1.9TDi so we took one out for a while. That engine is the main reason we don't have an A4 today. SWMBO drove it once and said it was so dangerously sluggish and noisy that she wouldn't drive it again.

It's your money but you will have the car a long time and you should make the right choice.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
Yes, I think the A6 would be unbeatable if it was available with RWD - now that I'm used to the BMW, I do notice a difference in the way power is put to the wheels. I've previously thought that I'd love to have switchable 4WD - ideally, I'd be able to choose between power at the front for icy conditions, rear for everyday driving and all four for handling. Don't want much, do I!
I respect your preference for petrol engines, but I will not consider a petrol-engined car again until I can use bioethanol for fuel. One of the key reasons I choose diesel-engined cars is because I use biodiesel, a totally renewable fuel with far fewer negative implications for air quality and emissions than either petrol or derv, and whose use helps to prolong dwindling resources as well as gain something valuable from what is considered to be waste. As there's no need to convert a car to its use - just fill and go, effectively - it's the best compromise for me. I also like the fact that in my experience with it so far (over 30k miles), using biodiesel seems to deliver improved performance and refinement over fossil fuel in the same engine. This is why (particularly if chipped) a 1.9 might be an option for me where I would otherwise agree that for a car the size and class of the A6, it would be too underpowered and too rough at lower speeds.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - jeds
My last car was a Passat 1.9 TDI Sport. In 2 and 1/2 years and 80,000 miles it did not develop one fault. Brilliant car.

For a change, and because I got a good deal, I changed in September last year to an A6 1.9 TDI - also a very good car. Nice to drive and very comfortable.

Both are good cars in my opinion. I don't understand how people can say they are noisy and agricultural. In fact they are very quiet and powerful. My colleague changed his A4 1.9 TDI to a BMW 1.8 at about the same time as me and he hates it. Too small and no power. He says that when he pulls out on the motorway and puts foot down to overtake, there is nothing there.

On balance, I would have the A6. Very nice car.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - oldtoffee
I've driven a Passat 110 TDi (mine is the 115 PD) and although it's noticeably down on power, it's also noticeably smoother than the 115. When I chipped mine, it smoothed out the power delivery a bit and with the extra power I found less need to hold it in lower gears so lower revs equals a bit less noise. I'd have thought an A6 110 chipped to 150 would be a very attractive proposition.

I had my Passat's aircon serviced recently (at a specialist recommended on this site - Readerair, Woking - very good!). The owner of the business said that when they have to remove a dash to get to certain models they are amazed at the integrity of the Audi build quality and attention to detail especially in sound deadening – much, much better than Mercedes in his opinion. So, IMO once warmed up and on the move, I don’t think you’d find the 4 cylinder diesel in the A6 agricultural at all.

A few weeks ago, I managed to blag a Golf GTi for a day. It had 150bhp petrol turbo engine and yes it’s smoother especially at low speeds and quick off the mark but mid range through the gears I honestly reckon my heavier Passat has the edge. At motorway speeds it was no quieter at all (lots of tyre noise – big wheels, low profile tyres) and because the gearing is lower, it’s pulling quite a few more revs at 70 + mph. I had it for the whole day and did my normal drive to work plus another 50 odd miles and driving at the same speeds I normally do I got 30.5 mpg whereas in the Passat I can’t get less than 45 mpg. So I don’t think the 1.8T would offer you anything substantial over the 1.9TDi but the 2.5 TDi would.

I’m enjoying this thread because I’m going to be looking at the A6 to replace the Passat later this year so it’s interesting and really useful to have access to so many informed opinions based on people’s long term experiences rather than just a 2 page road test written by (in the main, petrol head) testers whose opinion was formed before they got in the car.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
Well, I've brought this thread back just to update you with the final outcome. As I had a costly repair recently (which I posted about elsewhere on this forum), it meant my overall budget had to come down by around £1200, at least until I get my money back which could take months through the small claims court. But meanwhile the Clio I'm trading in would lose more value, so I felt it was still best to trade now for something which won't depreciate as hard and maybe look again in a year. I've agreed on a 110 bhp 1999 Passat TDi Sport with 90k on the clock plus a tank of fuel, for my 2001 Clio Dynamique dci with 11k miles and £1100. I'll be getting the remaining 7 months tax back on my car to put towards the tax on the Passat.
I know it's not the best deal I could have got, but the Passat drives well with no rattles, is virtually blemish-free, has full VW history and comes with a 12 month warranty as an approved used car. The warranty will look after any potential problems with suspension or electrics and includes a courtesy car should the need arise, as well as breakdown cover, so there's a little extra security with this one that wouldn't be available with a non-franchised dealer. Only thing it lacks is a CD-changer, but I can get that sorted cheaply enough. Just for comparison, an approved used Audi A6 2.5 TDi SE from early 2000 was quoted at £15k, which I thought was laughable. Thanks to all who gave their advice and opinions, and I'll post if I find any glitches with the Passat - or the dealer!
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - harvest
I think you've made a good choice. I bought my 99 T Passat TDi 110 bhp SE from BCA last July. It had come off lease, had a high 107K but full VW service history. Since then I've covered 15K absolutely faultless miles. No rattles or problems whatsoever and it handled a trip to Spain effortlessly. I'd recommend a Passat to anyone and with a diesel I'd not worry about high mileages. Mine only cost £6500.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
Well that's everything settled now - I bade farewell to the BMW today, after nearly four months and 6000 miles, about 4000 of which were fuelled on biodiesel. While there was nothing wrong with the car, it only had one airbag, didn't have lumbar adjustment, remote locking, an alarm, a CD player, aircon, or height adjustment on the driver's seat, it only averaged 37 mpg (which for the size and age of car is great, but still isn't 50) and it was just a bit too slow, even on the biodiesel.
So as of today I'm driving the Passat, which is quite a bit quicker, does 55 mpg, is cheaper to insure, is younger, has climate control and multi-adjustable seats, has a 12-month warranty, but doesn't handle as well. I have to admit I've got the taste for the way Beemers drive though, so I'll probably be looking for a good deal on a high-mileage 320d, 330d or 530d in a year or two - so long as it has all the kit I want!
I actually made £200 on the BMW and got further £60 refunded back off the insurance, so I haven't done too badly at all.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss -

Both are rubbish (not an exaggeration). The Audi's are as unreliable as the vauxhall vectra and the passat...don't go there.


Here you will see why I say they are rubbish.
However, if you don't care about reliability and always using a courtesey car as oppose to your own, just ignore this.

NOTE: there are some good examples, but the ones that are problematic outweight the good ones. Just see what the surveys should look like by reading the toyota carina reviews.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - Dynamic Dave
The Audi's are as unreliable as the vauxhall vectra.....

Why do people keep harping on about how unreliable the Vectra is? Ok, I may now be tempting fate, but I've owned one now for some 18 months and it hasn't even blown a bulb. It's been back to the garage once since I've owned it - that was for it's annual service. The car is now just over 2 years old. In fact I've owned various Vauxhalls since 1985 and the only time one has ever let me down was when the battery connection failed on my Mk3 Cavalier. A quick tighten with the spanner and I was on my way again.

Tell me Dan, what do you drive?

Are these guys paying you or something? Is it really necessary to add this site to every post of yours?
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - Grey Pete
I love my Passat 1.8t and Ihated my C5. The difference was when the c5 played up, Citroen had "never heard of this problem before" but when the Passat played up, VW came up front and accepted the problem and offered a fix.
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - HF
As a matter of interest, andymc, and possibly a very stupid question, as I don't know which cars can/cannot run on biodiesel.

But, are you using biodiesel with your new Passat, or not?
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
I've seen the Car Survey site, (in fact I was reading it yesterday!) and lots of others as well. That site probably has the highest number of negative comments on Passats/Audis of all the sites of that kind that I've seen, but then it does have a lot of input in the from the US, which I wouldn't really pay as much attention to as it's a different market from here and the cars are specified differently in terms of equipment and handling. On balance it seems to me that the Audi A6 would be a better car overall than a Passat, but that an A4 simply isn't worth it - too little space front and rear, no better built. Buy a Seat Toledo or Leon instead. I already have a Leon, which is absolutely fantastic, and I didn't want two near identical cars on the drive! I don't like the look of the Skoda Octavia or that might have been my first choice - I'm no badge snob. I'd definitely consider a used Superb if they'd brought it out 3 years ago.

The Passat isn't bad - the fact that it came with a 12 month warranty and new CV joints (one of the recurring problems with most/all VAG cars for a while) as part of the approved used scheme gives me a bit of peace of mind. They serviced it, did the whole multi-point check, and I got a year's MOT as well as a tank of diesel. It drives nicely and is quite refined with no build quality issues. I would expect a four year old car to have developed a few rattles or squeaks by now, but it's like a new car, so I'm confident that I got a good one. Again, I'd like it to be a little faster and to have sharper handling, but hey - the Leon does this for me. This was the best car I could get for the money I had to spend.

HF, that free tank of fuel hasn't run out yet as I only started driving the Passat again today, so it's still got about 50 litres in it. As soon as I've gone through that, I'll be putting biodiesel in. All VAG (Volkswagen-Audi Group - includes VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda) cars with diesel engines are warranted for using 100% biodiesel, and the engine in this car is exactly the same as the one in my Seat Leon, which has done about 18k on biodiesel without any problems at all.

FYI, most diesel engines can use biodiesel - in fact, I'd say it's impossible to find a modern diesel engine which can't. You drive an Astra TD, am I right? I know that some Vauxhalls have an Isuzu diesel engine, but I don't know if your Astra does or not. My supplier ran biodiesel in his Frontera for around 15000 miles glitch free, so I'd guess it's ok. The only question mark could be over the age of the engine - if it's more than 8 years old it may not be as suitable. Put it like this - has your Astra had any difficulties running on ULSD, aka City Diesel? If not, then it should run fine on biodiesel. What kind of fuel pump does that engine have? Rotary pumps can fail if they have to cope with very viscous fuel. Good quality biodiesel will meet the same viscosity requirements as ordinary derv. What I use is very good quality ;-)
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - HF
Andymc, thanks for that.

I'm a little bewildered by all the tech-speak, but nonetheless am attempting to answer you ;)

First, sorry, I only have a D, not a TD. From this site, I have been told that I have an Isuzo engine, and although I have not a clue about that it seems pretty accurate ;)

My car is indeed more than 8 years old - it's a 1992 - so I will take your warning seriously. And, as you know, we have no viable sources of biodiesel here on the mainland anyway, so my question was more out of interest really, rather than practicality.

As for USLD - well, if by City Diesel you just mean normal diesel, then so far I have had no probs. I would not have the knowledge to even hazard a guess as to what pumps I have!

Thanks for your reply to me, as you can see now I am maybe just a tad unknowledgable when it comes to motor-related things - but I am here to learn, so thanks for giving me some information that I didn't yet have :)
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - bazza
City Diesel (as sold by Sainsbury's) was the first ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD). Regulations changed a couple of years ago and now I'm pretty certain that all diesel sold in the UK is ULSD. There were concerns that lack of sulphur would lead to additional wear of the injection pump, I don't think this has materialised?
On the continent, the French add 5% biodiesel to their normal fossil diesel. One of the benefits, i understand, is that this improves the lubricity of the fuel. This has led to some enthusiasts in the UK adding a bottle of straight vegetable oil to a normal tank,as a lubricant, though I think this is more to do with 3 litres of Asda cooking oil, costing only £1.30, as opposed to £2.40 for diesel! Of course, this is not legal, as our wonderful HM Customs & Excise would be quick to point out!
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - andymc {P}
Hello folks, I'll start a new thread to respond to these biodiesel-related posts just so that the discussion can remain on-topic. See you in "Next fill of biodiesel"!
Passat vs Audis vs 75 - discuss - HF
Thanks, Bazza, for explaining a little more about this. Of course the cooking oil is very tempting, but I would be the *one* person who HMC&E just happened to stop on the offchance, as they drove through suburban Kent on their way to work ;)

Value my car