and the winner is ... - andymc {P}
... the 1999 Passat TDi Sport I picked up today. As mentioned elsewhere, the trade-in was my Clio dci plus £1100 in exchange for the approved-used Passat with 90k miles, which came with a full tank, 12 month MOT, full service and a 12 month warranty which covers fuel pump/injectors, electrics, etc. Crucially, they replaced the CV joints as well, so that particular VAG problem shouldn't affect me. I had originally planned to hold out for a '98 Audi A6, especially if I could get a 2.5 litre TDi, but the big bill I recently had for the Clio meant that my overall budget had to come down and the only ones within reach were pre-1998, which I didn't want.
Anyway, I'll post about any problems whether major or minor. I still had my niggling suspicions about the Passat as a purchase given some of the feedback on this site, so I'll be watching like a hawk. That said, the car drives very nicely, not a squeak or rattle to be heard, and everything is in perfect working order. The engine is harsher at idle than in my 525 TD, but moves the car both more quickly and economically, and I think it's actually a little quieter overall at cruising speed. I just need to sort out a CD-changer now.
and the winner is ... - borasport20
little quieter overall at cruising speed. I just need to
sort out a CD-changer now.

Blaupunkt IDC a09 - 5 cd changer, fits in the din slot above the radio (which is no good for anything else !) and is controlled by the standard VW Gamma radio/cd. I found one for £40 second-hand, top whack is £199 new but you should be able to get them for £160-170

p.s. - I found it was worth getting a proper blaupunkt 'cradle' or collar to fit it in - cheap ones wouldn't fit in the slot.


I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
and the winner is ... - andymc {P}
Thanks for the tip. I think my setup isn't quite the same as yours - above the radio cassette is where the climate control unit sits, while the big slot is below both and is just about half a centimetre deeper than the diameter of the CD. Doesn't leave a lot of room to play with, although it wouldn't bother me in terms of the appearance if the unit protruded slightly. Might make it easier to nick though!

Looking at the Edworthy's site, they have a CDC A08 10-disc changer for the same price as the IDC A09 5-disc changer, £195.99. But would either of these be compatible with the Volkswagen OEM stereo? It seems that if I want a 10-disc changer, I'll have to change the stereo anyway as the OEM isn't able to provide any control over more than 6 discs. The Edworthy's site also has a complete Sony kit - tuner, cassette player and 10-disc changer - for £149 - the DJ-CT370X. I have no idea what it would cost to fit this and whether or not it's a good kit. My ignorance about these things is vast!

On reflection, perhaps this belongs over in the Technical forum - I'm sure the moderators will shift it if they want to.
and the winner is ... - borasport20
ah, yes if you've got the climate control then it's already occupying the space.

If your'e going for a 10-disc cd, then as you say the Gamma only controls 6, so you'd have to change the lot. If you want to check compatibility with Blaupunkt products, visit (blue spot ... blau punkt ! oh what wit) and email their sales people - I've got good answers in the past

I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
and the winner is ... - andymc {P}
The best value I've found so far is a Sony system on Edworthy's site priced at £149. The description is as follows:

CD Package comprising XR-CA370X Cassette/Radio with 45W x 4 High Power Output * RDS * CD/MD Changer Control * RCA Preout for connection of an External Amplifier * CD Text Control * MBP (My Best Position) * D-Bass * Removable Front Panel * Compact CDX-656 10 Disc Changer.

Seems fairly good on the face of it, and they've said that the head unit will be "a straight swap over", with the changer being mounted in the boot. Only thing is I never thought to ask if it will play CD-R or CD-RW. Watch this space!

Still, if there's a better kit out there for similar money, or a similar kit for less money, I'd be glad to hear of it.
and the winner is ... - andymc {P}
oops, just realised that I'd already posted details about the Sony kit - d'oh!


Value my car