£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - oopnorth
I'm looking for a turbo diesel estate for around £2-3,000 (nearer 2 hopefully) and have narrowed it down to two - a VW Passat or a Peugeot 405. There are more 405s available than Passats, of course, and the money gets you a newer model - but are they going to be as reliable as a Passat long term? I'm not an ace mechanic (at all!), so the priority is for something reliable, economical and reasonably good to drive. Am also a bit wary of them being cabbed - so any tips for spotting this?

Any advice from previous/current owners much appreciated... especially if you've owned both!!
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - jammods
Should be looking at 406's for that money?
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - No Do$h
Based on a quick search (keywords estate and td) Autotrader shows 12 TD 406 estates and 11 TD passat estates between £2k and £3k nationally.

Obviously both cars in demand!

Both cars have their faults in spades, but by this mileage many of them should have been sorted. Didn't I hear somebody say that the best VW is the one where the previous 3 owners have had the thing rebuilt over the years, after which they run forever? Sure I read that on here somewhere.....

What you will need to consider is that many owners don't bother to simmer the turbo at the end of a run, switching off and cooking the oil on the turbo bearing surfaces. A friend has just had a £600 bill to replace the turbo on his 406 estate for this very reason.

If your budget is towards the lower end, as suggested, you may be better off looking at normally aspirated diesels for lower maintenance and increased reliability, with the downside of lower performance and a more agricultural car.
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - MB
Why do you want a diesel - at this price range you might be better buying a petrol car...
There's no point in buying a diesel and then getting hit for a bill like the above. Far bigger choice of petrols that might have higher fuel bills, but will be cheaper to run overall
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - Cambridge
Six months ago I bought a December 1995 VW Passat estate for £3k on mileage of 60k.
It has been superb. Completely reliable. 37 mpg. It is amazingly comfortable, enormous load area and fantastic rear legroom.

Thought about buying a diesel, but as I do under 10k miles a year, I could not justify the extra purchase cost.

A few people on this board, knock VW reliability, but this is mainly for more recent models. A 1995/1996 Passat is an earlier version to the current one and has an excellent record.
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - MB
I think you are right - these are one of the great used car bargains. They are very relaible and rock solid - the 2.0 is better than the 1.8 - good on fuel and loads of room.
If I were you oopnorth I would look for one of these - unless you plan a huge mileage each year and it would have to be close to 18K a year to justify it...
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - glowplug
I bought a 405 GTX TD estate in the small ads earlier this year. N reg, 72k, excellent condition, FSH (mostly main dealer), reciepts for services, etc (no silly bills - gearboxes, etc), dark metallic blue and goes well. It looks great and does 40+mpg. Everyone who's been in it loves it, very comfy. Also had loads of offers to buy it! I Paid £1050.

Try both cars and see what you think. I'd perhaps look into servicing costs before deciding. I had my 405 MOT'd and serviced about 2 months ago by a main dealer. It £260 for a main service, coolant change and MOT, £70 of this was for new vented discs.

Good Luck.

Steve.
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - Bromptonaut
On the petrol diesel point. Have driven 405's Citroen sibling BX in both fuel versions (1.6 petrol/1.9 non turbo diesel) and found the diesel much more flexible and marginally sweeter machine. The XUD is a robust and well proven unit fitted to something like 40 different cars and LCV's. Turbo's add a little complication and something to the propensity for cooking head gaskets, but spares are cheap and plentiful.

Petrol unit is a wet liner jobby with possibility of liners becoming displaced, has a carp auto choke, and is prone to premature vapourisation when warm. Warranty on petrol car picked up a two grand gig for engine rebuild after piston ring failed pressurising sump, probably due to breather being blocked with frozen gunk in 1991's big freeze.

HTH
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - rg
My 1.9 non-turbo went to 251K.

I eventually fell victim to Citroen XM mania, and drove the dear 405 to the scrapyard.

Problems were shot diff bearing, worn-ish rear trailing arms (watch the angle of the wheels to body), and worn door hinges (partially inherited with car when bought at 88K)

I paid 4K for it in 1994 and it gave me eight good years, including, latterly, lugging heavy weights around.

Watch out for head gasket clues. The best way to sort a blown headgasket is not to have it go in the first place. Front fans not running due to bad earth damaged mine, althought it ran with a leak for around 50K.

HTH

rg
£2-3K for estate - Passat TDi or 405TD? - Ivor E Tower
Test-drove Passat, 405 and Sierra estates in early 1990s with a view to buying a new one. Ended up with something else but that's another story.
Passat was best by a significant margin, followed by 405 with Sierra a long,long way behind.
At this age/mileage, condition and how the car has been looked after will be far more important than setting your heart on buying one make over the other. Look at both, and look through the service history, bills, old MOT certs etc. Look at the tyre wear - is it even across the tyre widths on all 4 tyres, what about the spare - is it unused? is it inflated?
How does the car drive? STeering whel "upright" when car is going straight, or is it offset?
Look into panel gaps and around rad grille - is paint clean in the grooves, indicating a possible respray following an accident?
Good luck with your search.
 

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