things to watch for are:
Quality of interior trim materials much poorer than previous Passat. Poor quality or missing stitching from leather seats. Even the decal off the top of the gear lever comes off, though VW will replace under warranty.
Apparently orders for 2.0 TFSI SELs made in April/May 2006 were not honoured as VW decided not to produce that engine and trim combination.
Sport suspension and wheels wipe out tyres on potholes.
With DSGs, protective software can delay the message from brake switch to ECU that brakes have been released, allowing car to enter a junction or roundabout on the fuel in the combustion chambers, then momentarily shut off mid-junction.
Seats in run out R Type Passats deemed to be extremely uncomfortable for some readers.
Spate of problems with PAS rack, replaced under warranty. Software problem with electro-hydraulic power steering system.
Emissions sensor fault putting 2.0TDI PDs into limp home mode. Stopping and switching off re-sets, but can happen 3 times on a 90 mile motorway journey. Dealer software download cures. PD injector failures starting to occur by October 2009 on TDI PD 170s at just over 3 years old.
'Clutch judder' (actually from failing dual mass flywheel) increasingly common on diesels, especially after around 70,000 + miles.
1.6 FSI engine noisy. Radiator failed early on and had to be replaced.
Wet footwells due to condensation drip tube from a/c being plumbed to drip into the car instead of outside.
Collapsing centre armrests.
Early 2.0TDI DSGs suffer from ECU programming that reduces torque from standstill so acceleration very poor initially until hits peak torque and suddenly accelerates. Very dangerous at T junctions and roundabouts.
Wiper motors fail, glow plug lights come on (requiring software update), electrics go dead requiring disconnection of the battery positive terminal, wait 5 minutes, then re-connect.
Continued reports of battery failures due to leakdowns. Battery drain caused by radio. If you don't leave a CD in the player, then it randomly thinks you've inserted one, then decides you haven't, and then switches the radio on. You then find the car in the morning either with with the radio blaring! or the battery flat. Radio failures common. Replaced under warranty. Switch themselves off for longer & longer periods then revert to OK for a couple of days.
If the car has been standing outdoors in wet weather parking sensors malfunction until dry. Replacing under warranty may being no improvement.
'Sport' alloys prone to stone chipping and flaking of lacquer leading to oxidation. Some have been replaced under warranty.
Complaint of whistle from turbo of 140 diesel on decelleration.
Complaint of repeated failure of cruise control, even after replacement of all relevant components.
Complaint in February 2008 of failure of fuel tank lifter pumps for 2.0 TDIs and a shortage of replacement parts putting cars off the road for several weeks.
A lot of problems with self-cleaning particulate filters of TDI 170s because of the cycle the car has to be driven through for it to self clean which makes these cars totally unsuitable for city centre use in heavy traffic.
Turbo failures on TDI 170s.
The oil pump problem. Report from USA of oil pump/balancer shaft chain of 2.0 TDI failing at 80k - 100k miles. Early 2.0TDIs PD 140s and PD 170s with balancer shafts (up to end of 2005) have a chain drive to the oil pump and the chain drive can eventually snap. Later cars have a hexagonal shaft positive drive to the oil pump that is also a problem. Failed oil pump drives totally wreck the engines and if the car has not been 100% VAG maintained, VAG will not pay. Later oil pumps (from 2006) are driven from a balancer shaft via a short hexagonal shaft. The peaks of this hexagonal shaft locate in six corresponding but minute grooves machined within the otherwise circular-bored oil pump drive shaft. Thus, the oil pump drive relies entirely on an interference fit of little more than 0.010" along the peaks of the hexagonal shaft. After about 50,000 miles, the shaft can round off, resulting in a totally destroyed engine and turbo, plus a bill of up to £9,000. If the danger is known and the oil pump is removed by the garage in good time, a new replacement pump will cost over £500, plus the labour etc to remove and refit it. However, it is also possible to save the old pump and modify the drive at a fraction of the cost of a new one. Many local machine shops already have numbers of these pumps in for such rectification, the drive shaft of each having been on the point of rounding off. The non balancer shaft BKD, AZV and BMN 2.0 engines (which found their way into the 2.0 PD Octavia, A3, Golf, and various SEATs) used a chain driven oil pump very similar, but not identical, to the old 1.9 130hp PD engine. This never seems to give any problems. It's the balancer shafts that cause the problems on the 'posher' VAG 2.0 PD diesels eg Passat, A4, Superb. This 2.0 PD differs from the 1.9 in having twin Lanchester balancing shafts which contra-rotate at 2x crank speed. The first engines used a chain drive which was a complete disaster and the later engines a shaft drive. All 2.0 PD got the shaft drive towards the end of 2005. The problem with the 2.0 PD engine is the drive from the slave balancer shaft to the oil pump, which is a piece of 6 AF hexagonal bar that has inadequate engagement depth with the grooves in the slave shaft. It's the torsional oscillations caused by the balance shafts which destroy the oil pump coupling (the 6mm AF bit of hex) and the chain drive to the balancer shafts before the gear driven systems came out, though these still give problems with the hex key rounding. This creates a lack of concentricity of the drive socket into which the drive rod/hex fits. Checking shows that all the drive sockets in the failed units were off centre by at least 0.1mm. All the replacement balancer units were dead centre and have not led to a repeat failure. Some replacement balancer units have now done 100k+ miles. You will probably get this problem at some point if you have a 2006-2008 Passat 2.0TDi with balancer shafts. If your 2.0TDi does NOT have balancer shafts, you will be ok. If you fit the lastest balancer shaft/ pump assembley from VAG it will more than likely cure the problem for life as they have made the hex longer and centered it all properly. CR piezo injected engines are safe. Anything before that, Audi/VAG wont say when they started to fit the modified units that work properly.
Same door locking windows opening fault as on old Passat due to water ingress to the locking ECU in the driver's door or owners misunderstanding the keyfob functions. Tailgate lock of estate also prone to problems.
Spate of failures of fuel tank lifter pumps, sometimes described as "tandem pumps", on 2.0TDI has led to a shortage of the part and may eventually lead to a TSB. The mythical cause put about on forums is gasket failure of the main fuel pump body joint, which allows engine oil to contaminate the recirculation line back to the main tank, in turn causing failure of the Lifter Pump. This is a myth. The real reason is the Italian made pumps going 'open circuit' after a period of use. Some cars off the road for 6 weeks waiting for parts, but by early May 2008 new pumps were coming through. More on this atwww.audivwforum.co.uk
Excessive and uneven rear tyre wear problem on Dunlop tyres.
Problems of ignition lock failure immobilising the car. Can cost £775 to put right.
Official VOSA recall R/2009/110/37E8 of VAG cars with 6-speed dual wet clutch DSG transmission built 1-9-2008 to 31-8-2009 because "In rare cases an incorrect interpretation of the clutch temperature can occur which results in the clutch opening unexpectedly with loss of drive." Remedial action was to update/reprogramme gearbox Mechatronic control unit.
Mechatronic unit problems with DSG/S-tronic can case an initial delay when setting off followed by a sudden surge. A replacement Mechatronic unit cures this. See www.DSGwoes.co.uk . In the USA, VAG has been forced to increase the warranty on the DSG/S-tronic to 10 years.
2005 VW Passat 2.0 TDI, a company car, regularly maintained by Fleet approved garages, 88,000 miles in December 2009 oil pressure warning light came on, oil top up did not help. Garage diagnosed oil pump failure, and when they contacted VW for the replacement part were told that it is a known issue with all VW/Audi 2.0 Turbodiesels and a modified part should be fitted as well as the replacement pump. (possibly referred to the 2005/6 models , not sure). So, new parts fitted £850 plus labour, but of course turbo had failed as well due to oil starvation, so that had to be replaced as well £1200 plus labour.
Numerous reports of 2007 2.0TDI PD engines losing coolant. Diagnosis reveals porous cylinder heads. VW remedy is a complete new £5,000 engine with no goodwill assistance provided if the car has been serviced outside the VW dealer network.
SP warning light can indicate Fault Code "Boost Pressure Sensor G201". This is embedded inside Teves Mk 60 ABS systems and requires replacement of ABS control unit/pump. Seems to be age-related, occurring mainly in 3 - 5 year old cars. Does not necessarily lead to an MoT failure. VAG policy seems to be to pay 100% for fully VAG serviced cars up to 48 months old. Older than that, 35%. Non VAG serviced, smaller contribution towards £1,500 cost of replacement. More on the problem and independent rebuilds of the unit at:http://ecutesting.com/vw_golf_touran_abs_pump_module.html or www.sinspeed.co.uk