Floaty ride - andymc {P}
I've been driving the Passat for a few days now, getting to know it a little better. I like the engine, it seems to have a little more oomph than I first thought and it's refined enough to be completely inaudible when cruising.

One thing that I'm wondering about is the ride. Dual carriageways and good A-roads aren't a problem. However, on the worst of the B-roads where I live, it can be quite bouncy and floaty, like, em, cycling on a waterbed (no, I haven't). It's certainly not as tight through the corners as the Leon, and the bouncy/floaty nature of the ride makes me less confident in pushing on.

I've heard that a wallowy ride is somewhat characteristic of this car, and just wanted to know if anyone who owns one has experienced this as the norm, or if I should be concerned about the condition of the shock absorbers. I'm still within my 30-day exchange period under the Approved Used scheme, so I'll be checking with the dealer, but I want to make sure I don't get fobbed off with "Oh they're supposed to do that."
Floaty ride - jd
andy

I have a Passat 110 Tdi Sport. 1998 model, 65k on it and quite frankly it doesn't handle - full stop. Fine for cruising on motorways and A roads without too many sharp bends - but show it a corner and it thinks, oh oh, wobble time - and this is with the supposedly 'sport' lowered suspension.

My wife's 1993 Golf is twice as good.

My previous Subaru's were in a different league for handling (and economy .........!?)

Several times I have been mid-corner and thought "I'm not going to make this...." and we're not talking big speed here either. No, for me this is not a car to enthuse about cornering, handling, feel, feedback from the steering. More of an efficient straight-mile eater, economical and ..... boring.

JD
Floaty ride - andymc {P}
Yeah, mine is the Sport as well, 99 model so probably identical to yours. Since posting this thread, I went outside to do a bounce test on each corner of the car, and while it didn't actually yo-yo, bouncing any one corner produced a very small wiggle from side to side, in fact almost diagonally, which (even if there isn't a fault) I think would be excessively unstable. This happened even when I was as careful as I could be to make sure I wasn't pushing a bit sideways as well as down.

As you say, it seems to be a great cruiser and fortunately most of my commute can be done in this way. My wife's a teacher & the plan was to keep the mileage down on the Leon by letting her use it (yes, that's the right way to put it!)until the end of term for her 30 mile return journey while I rack up a few miles on the Passat and use the Leon at the weekend. However, if this is how the Passat is meant to be then I won't be waiting till June to take over the Leon again - I like to enjoy driving too much!

Just as an example, at the weekend I took the VW for a spin when my blood was high after the Ireland-Wales match, and going over some poor roads at around 60 actually caused the underside to scrape the ground, which was a bit of a shock. Been over the same stretch in the Leon at slightly higher speeds with an extra person on board and it didn't happen then.
Floaty ride - Mondaywoe
This is interesting!I find my new C5 much harder than the old Xantia - but no complaints whatsoever about the handling. I can happily fling it round sharp bends on B roads and it sticks like glue - even with 'Sport' setting deselected.

I've always had the impression that German cars were hard - but handled well, whereas French = soft but floaty. It would now seem the opposite is true!

Funny old world.

Graeme
Floaty ride - Ben79
I drove the non-sport mode C5 on some country roads in North Yorkshire, thought the handling was good and the comfort like a 3 peice suite.

There is a suspension upgrade for the H3+ models which makes the rear softer.

Ben
Floaty ride - Mondaywoe
I've got the suspension upgrade, Ben - not nearly as hard as before, but still pretty 'firm'!

Graeme
Floaty ride - Nortones2
My previous was a Passat TDI 110. Similar feel, although once settled in a bend it was OK. I had thought, if it was to be kept longer, that Koni's were needed. Maybe an uprated damper would cure the float, as I seem to recall the Sport suspemsion was simply a change of ride height, aka styling.
Floaty ride - andymc {P}
Pardon my ignorance, but what are Koni's? Also, is an uprated damper something it would be reasonable to expect to be done under the used car warranty? If not, I'd be glad to know what I might reasonably expect to pay for this work to be done, and
whether or not it would count as a modification for insurance purposes.
Floaty ride - Nortones2
Just a make of damper. Many others of a "sporty" nature including Bilstein etc. Never bought them so don't have first hand experience. You could expect to pay about £500 for a fitted set of adjustables, including alignment. When I bought the car it only had 20000 on it: sold it with 70000. Hadn't deteriorated so far as I could tell, and it always had a slight tendency to float. As for warranty, unless they're actually faulty, or prematurely worn, I doubt you'd get anywhere. I'd tell the insurer, but don't think the mod would be a demerit, on the contrary!
Floaty ride - rg
All this debate makes Citroen XM ownership bearable!

Floaty when it needs to be, but surprisingly precise handling for 1800kgs of barge. I am just beginning to "push the envelope" on this one..

rg
Floaty ride - andymc {P}
Hmm - got plenty of food for thought anyway. I won't be spending my hard-earned on any mods to this car as I only plan to have it for a year to 18 months, but I would be keen to find out if it's supposed to be the way it is or if it's just wear - there's 90k miles on it. As it had had the whole 200-point inspection before I picked it up and had also had new CV joints, it makes me wonder if it is just a characteristic of the car. If so, then all the more reason for me to look out for a good-value BMW again next year, plus I'll be back in the Leon before much longer!

I'll probably ask for a comparable car to take for a test drive to make sure there isn't any real difference. If I find that there is, and they're not willing to do anything about it, I'm still within the 30 day rejection period which means I'd be able to get a car of equivalent value.
Floaty ride - andymc {P}
Well, I called into the dealer today - they had a good look at it and the mechanic sat in while I took him for a spin on some rough roads, then we went back to the workshop and bounced the car front & rear. He then took me to another car and we bounced that one the same way to see the difference, which was quite noticeable - even with both of us pushing the rear of the car down, it rose in a controlled way and came to a stop without any jiggling, unlike mine. They've said there's definitely a repair needed on the rear shocks, which they ordered straight away, and the car is booked in for next Friday. I spoke to the sales manager about the fact that I'm still within the 30-day exchange period and pointed out that this expires on Saturday next, just a day after the repair is booked. I asked if they would be sticky about the expiry date or if I still wasn't happy with the car, would I still be able to go for the exchange seeing I had brought this to their attention within the required time. He said it wouldn't be a problem. So far, so good - I'm happy with the level of service and with the fact that they seem to be willing to be flexible.
Floaty ride - andymc {P}
Just an update - the rear shock absorbers were replaced today, obviously FOC, and I drove home on the rough back roads to give them a test run. Much, much improved handling, even at speeds of 70mph on (deserted) uneven B-roads. Interestingly enough, when going over a rise in the road followed by a dip, the front mudflaps scraped the road but the back remained clear. So I guess the front shocks might need replaced as well.

The dealership have been very courteous and are obviously not doing anything by halves - even the mechanic took me out to the car to give it a quick once over. I guess I've found a good one. Let's see how they react to the new front shock absorbers idea though!
 

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