Originally Posted by jjsf64
I need a high mileage commuting vehicle to handle a 50 mile roundtrip commute to the office.
A few decades ago, I owned a 1980 diesel Rabbit that took our family through the gas crisis days of that time. It also managed to take us home in one of the most severe snow storms ever to hit St. Louis. The car held up well but required a new exhaust system on an almost annual basis.
That positive experience caused me to consider buying a 2012 VW TDI MT. Unfortunately, the horror stories regarding catastrophic failures and fuel leaks and other misfortunes have caused me to pause and consider the possibility of Japanese quality high ground.
Would the owners of the TDI recommend the car to a new buyer? More importantly, if you had to do it over again, would you buy a VW product or go elsewhere?
A good question. The reason we even considered the TDI Passat was because of the "green" technology that didn't involve "the battery issue" of hybrids, the big sedan vehicle size, the patriotic thing (assembled in USA), the European thing (German built engine and transmission) and the idea of getting something a bit unique. All this compounded by my 13 year old Golf finally getting too dangerous to drive... we needed to get another car.
Only Audi A3, Passat, Jetta and Golf show up in a $15-35K search on Edmunds (2012 Diesel Vehicles). Getting a diesel passenger vehicle is pretty limited unless you're willing to hit the 40s & 50s with BMW and Mercedes.
If reliability is the greatest concern....TOYOTA! (There, I said it! Dammit!) Our relatively inexpensive 2006 Toyota Prius is the most reliable vehicle we've ever owned... really... writing this with our Prius at 87,000+miles. Fantastic gas mileage, lots of dash rattles, lack of driving excitement, lack of individuality/uniqueness and too-frequent maintenance intervals (5,000 mile, not provided by Toyota) required for warranty. After warranty, we keep a more reasonable 10,000 mile service schedule. 65,000 miles on the factory original tires. In short, "It's a good car".
Now with three different models of the Prius to choose from (small-medium-large), it's hard not to look at them. Proven reliability.
We had our new Passat TDI SEL Premium repaired already after the air conditioner leaked out freon.
Nothing else has happened. (Fingers crossed) Volkswagens are not flawless. They are good cars, not the best. That's about it.
I hope you look around and find the vehicle that really suits you. - 2ndPassat