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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm joining Swami in the B6 forum! I'm approaching the 4-year mark on my W8, and started looking for a suitable replacement. I mistakenly thought I could stroll into the dealership, trade my W8 wagon, and pick up a new Passat wagon - not realizing that the wagons are quite new, not very much in stock, and excruciatingly rare in 3.6 V6 form - and plain impossible in 4-mo guise.

So after working some numbers in my head, I went to the dealer this weekend and ordered me up a car! I wish I could get it sooner - I'll have to tread a few months out of warranty and hope to be lucky...but glad to find the 3.6 4motion a respectable replacement for the W8. I was truly worried that the W8 could not be replaced for the same money - where else could one get a German engineered 270HP, AWD, technological cargo-hauling sports luxury tourer for $35K?

Well, question answered!

My order is a 2007 Passat 3.6 4motion wagon with Luxury package 1 (as of a few months ago, they no longer have lux1 and lux2 - they beefed up lux1 and the rest has to be added separately), 18" Samarkand wheels, Bixenons, and Adaptive cruise. I went with the Mocha Brown and Latte interior - I like the way the new Lux package adds the wood along the horizontal dash plus aluminum down the center stack.

Once it arrives, the dealer is going to get the windows tinted and the chrome mirror caps put on, the calipers painted red, and some R32 chrome tips for the exhaust. And I'm going to order the chrome roof rails - I've always liked them on my W8 and want to get the same type of look.

BTW - does anyone know if the 02-04 W8 roof rails are the exact same size and shape? If these fit, I might be able to swap out the chrome rails from my W8 for the black ones. If anyone has info, please let me know.

Now, the horrible wait. I hope the factory gets ahead on its builds, so I can get mine sooner!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you sir...your move and review were a very helpful factor. I was hoping to find out how the 3.6 4mo stacked up to the W8 from someone who owned, and liked, the W8.

I'm definately a big fan of the W8 - it has been absolutely one of the best cars I've owned in all areas - fun to drive, great cruiser, cargo-hauler, business car, lust to look at, effortlessly fast, all-weather stable, and wonderfully reliable. I hope it will continue to be for another few months, and then hope it serves someone else as well as it did me as a certified pre-own!

BTW - if you have the chance to check out your roof rails, let me know what you think about their compatibility with the W8s - if they are the same exact rails, or have the same anchor points, I may try to work out a swap of my W8 rails.
 

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Sorry Zackie, I never owned a Variant. My missed W8 and current B6 4Motion are both sedans. My 1st mod recommendation is to get rid of whatever factory rubber VW provides you with and switch to better tires. The stock set of 17's are now running Toyo Proxes 4's and the difference is night-and-day when compared to the Michelins. I didn't do the Samarkand wheels, but I did snag a set of 18" BBS CK's for summertime pimpin'. I'm also holding tight on dropping the car until I either see a set of Bilsteins to blend with H&R sports or KWSuspensions releases V1's. Speaking of wheels and tires, make sure you snag an extra set of TPMS/Valve Stems from a good VW OEM site. I snagged a set for $250.00 online when Tirerack wanted $390.00 for them. YIPES!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oops...forgot you didn't have the variant!

I actually was not going to bother with the wheels, and just do my own down the road. But when I was ordering the car, it seemed almost silly to not go ahead and take a set of 5 decent-looking 18" rims for $530!

Not sure what type of rubber they will offer on the Samarkands...but they do always seem to come with Michelins. I will definately be looking for a heavily rain-capable, siped, Z-rated all-season sport tire. I won't mess with the suspension until I've heard from some other 4motion owners who have done it - probably wait for you to try first!

I haven't checked out the TPMS on these - how does it operate on the Passat - how is it hooked up to the wheels/tires, and what does that do not only for changing rims but for routine rotation and service?

Thanks for the info so far. I'm going to go insane waiting!
 

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I think the 18's come with Pirelli P6, at least the 2.0T wagon has them, although that could be because of the sport package option?

Rather than mess with suspension why did you not order the sports package from the factory? The seats are nicer IMO as well.
 

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Zackie, it seems the Tire Pressure Monitoring System uses electronic valve stems which reports back to the ECU when tire pressure is low. You can disable this feature through the VAG-COM, so you can use regular valve stems.

I've always been leery of VW's so called Sport Package since owning my W8. I'll just drop my Luxury Package with my own suspension components for a real Sport Package.. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Scotty, thanks for the tire info...I'll report what it comes with when I get the car to see if they use a different tire on the lux package. As for why I went with Lux instead of Sport package - a few reasons.
1. I somewhat agree with what Swami is saying, as to the tuning and value of the sport suspension in VW's package. If I were to go for a real sporty set-up, I'd probably feel more confident building it up myself.
2. My car is very much a mixed-use car for business/pleasure/travel/sport/etc., so I have to give in somewhat and keep the car from driving like a cart all the time. While the regular suspension is soft and comfortable for travel and business use, hopefully the 18"s will add a bit more stiffness and maybe be a good compromise for when I want to drive a little harder.
3. Though nice looking and well-bolstered, the sports seats are not as comfortable for me as the wider, less-bolstered lux seats - I'm a big guy so those bolsters tend to squeeze me in.
4. I actually like a little splash of classic luxury look in my car, so the wood dash is still my preference over the all-aluminum techno look...though I must admit the new half-wood/half-aluminum interior is a very nifty blend of classic with some sportiness that I am very happy they did!

Swami, thanks for the info on the TPMS. I was wondering if the system was running inside the rim, or through the hub. If the valve stems are electronic, I would presume there must be a wired connection somewhere from the wheel to the axle. Should this be something that discourages getting the local tire shop from doing rotations or installing new tires? Obviously, the proper valve stems would have to be installed when getting new rubber - but I'm wondering if tire shops will know how to connect the system, unless it is a passive connection that is automatically made when the wheel is put on the car.
 

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Swami, thanks for the info on the TPMS. I was wondering if the system was running inside the rim, or through the hub. If the valve stems are electronic, I would presume there must be a wired connection somewhere from the wheel to the axle. Should this be something that discourages getting the local tire shop from doing rotations or installing new tires? Obviously, the proper valve stems would have to be installed when getting new rubber - but I'm wondering if tire shops will know how to connect the system, unless it is a passive connection that is automatically made when the wheel is put on the car.
Here's a picture of the TPMS sensors/valve stems! My tire shop had no problems mounting and balancing new rubber when I replaced my stock Michelins with Toyo. Essentially you must re-use the TPMS valve-stems for your new set of tires.


 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Aah! Thank you. That answers the main question I had! So these are radio-transmitting valves, as opposed to wired systems. I presume they are equipped with long-lasting internal batteries, and would just be replaced if they got too old.

That also means if going to a tire shop for standard rotations and balancing, it would be no problem. But if having tires replaced, you'd have to make sure they don't cut off the current valve stems, and make sure they actually put them back on your new tire.

I appreciate the info. Together with the very comprehensive thread on B6 'secret features'...I'm learning alot about the car! And I'm pretty happy to hear alot of the best 'secret' features of the W8 seem to be included in the 3.6 wagon...plus a few new tricks as well!
 

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Wait. Your W8 is only 4 years old and you're already trading it? For an oversized Jetta? :crazy:
I've found the B6 to be a very solid ride and a nice upgrade from my W8. I'm impressed that the stock 3.6L has a significantly better low and high end than my 4.0 W8 when it was stock. Once a tuner develops a more aggressive fuel mapping this car will produce more power than my chipped W8. An oversized Jetta this is not!
 

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An oversized Jetta it is. The B5 shared a chassis with the Audi 4-series; the B6 uses an extended Jetta chassis, from what I've read online. My impressions of the new Jettas are that they're cheap and toyish compared to the B5, so unless they did something amazing to the chassis when they extended it for the B6, it can't feel the same. I can't speak to the engine power though, I've never owned anything bigger than 2.2 liters myself. That said, there's something elitist about having an eight-cylinder engine in a car as small as the Passat.
 

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An oversized Jetta it is. The B5 shared a chassis with the Audi 4-series; the B6 uses an extended Jetta chassis, from what I've read online. My impressions of the new Jettas are that they're cheap and toyish compared to the B5, so unless they did something amazing to the chassis when they extended it for the B6, it can't feel the same. I can't speak to the engine power though, I've never owned anything bigger than 2.2 liters myself. That said, there's something elitist about having an eight-cylinder engine in a car as small as the Passat.
I have no comment on your view of the new Jetta; for personal/family reasons, I have no interest in that car. On the B6 though (I own an '06 4MO Lux#1 and previously owned an '03 GLX 4MO), it appears that your characterization of the new Passat as nothing more than an oversized Jetta shows a lack of actual knowledge about the car, both in terms of its size and its performance/handling capabilities. Maybe you should test drive one. I'll let The Swami and those other W8 converts speak to the alleged elitism of owning a mid-size car with a (relatively small) eight-cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wait. Your W8 is only 4 years old and you're already trading it? For an oversized Jetta?
Yep...but more importantly, an oversized Jetta with a new car warranty!

An oversized Jetta it is. The B5 shared a chassis with the Audi 4-series; the B6 uses an extended Jetta chassis, from what I've read online. My impressions of the new Jettas are that they're cheap and toyish compared to the B5, so unless they did something amazing to the chassis when they extended it for the B6, it can't feel the same.
My impressions were quite different - I find the new Jettas to be quite solid, handle respectably, and with quite stiff chassis. I've had them as rentals when servicing my W8 and found them surprisingly nice and better than the previous generation of Jettas.

I can't speak to the engine power though, I've never owned anything bigger than 2.2 liters myself. That said, there's something elitist about having an eight-cylinder engine in a car as small as the Passat.
Elitist? Maybe in some people's view. But the way I look at it, the W8 was quite the opposite of 'elitist'. To me, the definition of elitist is spending more money on a car just because of the badge it is wearing, which quite a few people do. The primary reason the W8 didn't sell well was the prominent "VW" symbol on the car. In looking for a powerful, well-equipped, safe, AWD vehicle with nice luxury and executive trimmings to serve duty as an all-around travel, business, and pleasure vehicle, I shopped Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and VW. I like the solidity, weight, and feel of German cars over Japanese cars - having owned Hondas and Acuras, and having coworkers and friends with Lexuses and Toyotas...I knew a Japanese car was just a different feel that wasn't for me. And in simple analysis - the W8 stood out as ridiculously undervalued and overequipped - it had all the features, all the technology, and all the power of the other trio of German manufacturers, but for $10,000 - $20,000 less. Not being Elitist, I had no qualms about purchasing a VW. The W8 delivers the driving feel, power, luxury, technology, and safety of cars costing tens of thousands more.

Now it seems the B6 3.6 4mo does a reputable job of replacing the W8 - feature for feature, technology, safety, weight, power, and room all comparable or superior. I don't much care if it began life on an 83 Rabbit chassis...I judge a car on how it feels and drives - and the B6 3.6 4mo seems powerful, hushed, well-equipped, luxurious, and solid. Works for me.

Platform sharing is awfully common nowadays - you'll have a pretty thin selection of vehicles to choose from if you insist that your car either have its own dedicated platform or be derived from a more expensive platform. How many people worry that their Infiniti chassis may be derived from the Maxima, or that their engine is shared by 12 different models ranging from $24,000 to $46,000? Or that several Lexus models are riding on Toyota platforms (ES & RX from Camry, IS from Altezza)? Or that a Ford, a Mazda, a Volvo, and a Jaguar all share a platform together? Or how about the shared platforms of General Motors, spread among 4 or 5 different American divisions, as well as Opel in Germany and Saab ( a buyer of a 900 and a buyer of a G6 are getting the same platform underneath)? How much disappointment should Mercedes drivers feel knowing that many of their bits now sit under Chrysler and Dodge products?

Rather than worry about what the first car to be developed on a particular platform was, instead check out the engineering and technology that went into developing that platform. If Audi feels the platform underpinning the Jetta is robust enough for their upcoming $50,000 S3, or their likely similarly priced 08 TT convertible...why should I worry about it under my Passat? Obviously the platform was engineered to develop a wide range of vehicles, from convertible sports cars to hot hatchbacks to compact sedans to midsize sedans to SUVs. It gets different combinations of engines, transmissions, suspensions, and brakes to suit each role, and is stretched or shortened to support different needs.

I'm looking forward to it. My W8 has been wonderful - It will be very sad to see it go. But I also like the security of new car warranties, and like to freshen up my ride every once in a while. Thanks to those of us who get a new car every 3-4 years, there are great choices available for people looking for some well-treated used cars!
 

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I have also had both the new Jetta and the new Passat as loaners while my B5 was in the shop. The Jetta felt like a cheap plastic toy with a malfunctioning throttle (I had to step on the gas about a third of the way to break idle, and then I had to let off the gas real quick to keep from flying into the car in front of me). The Passat was definitely nicer, but even at seven years old my B5 feels more...I dunno...it's an Audi with a few cheaper parts, whereas the new Passat is a Jetta with a few nicer parts.

I know platform sharing is very common, and I'm not a stickler about getting a car based on the most expensive chassis I can find. I just want a GOOD chassis. I didn't like the old Jettas much, and I don't like the new ones at all. I have a hard time believing that anything derived from them will be as good as an A4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Guess I had a better loaner! The Jettas I've had have been pretty tight, much more powerful than the previous generation, and have a nice, solid feel on the road for such a small car. I like the Passats more...but I was pleasantly surprised at the Jettas. As for the B6 Passats, my first test drive was the 2.0T, and I found that to be an excellent driving car - so much so I actually questioned getting the VR6 engine. But the VR6 will handle a heavier load better, and of course currently is the only way to get 4motion, which I can't go without because I love the extra traction in wet weather.

The only thing I found initially is that the 2.0T car I drove was a bit softer than I was used to - but I suspected that had to do with the stock 16" wheels and tires and lack of 4motion. When I drove the 3.6 with 17s, it felt much better. And the 3.6 4motion with 18's should just about hit the sweet spot for me in delivering a compliant ride as a business and travel car while retaining enough handling capability for some sporty weekend driving and fun.

Time will tell - the W8 has been a fantastic ride, and will be tough to replace. I am looking forward to the 3.6 4motion, as initially it seems promising, has most of the toys I enjoyed in my W8, similar power, and even has a few new tricks and with a bit more room inside.
 

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Wait. Your W8 is only 4 years old and you're already trading it? For an oversized Jetta? :crazy:
I'm not sure if you have realized that technology goes forward whether you like it or not. Even if the new Passat shares the same platform with Golf, Jetta and Audi A3, the new Passat's chassis is more rigid than the old Passat's. (i.e. better handling, safety, the lot).

http://media.vw.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=9538

<quote>One real indicator of outstanding quality is the static torsional stiffness. It is 57 percent (!) greater than the very good value for the previous model and is now the best figure in this class.</quote>
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Still moving along on the order. Got an update from the dealership that the build supposedly was completed and the car is shipping to the US sometime in the next week. So if all goes well, I may get it before year-end or pretty close. A nice Christmas present, even if I have to pay for it myself!
 
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