Volkswagen Passat (1998)
Considering the 2003 VW Passat W8?
Now THIS is a sleeper. This car was absolutely awesome! There aren'tmany cars we drive that get rave reviews (unless they're Jaguarconvertibles), but this one is a real winner. It came with a stick shiftand V6 engine. The clutch and transmission were a pleasure. Smooth assilk. It handled like a dream. Mucho power, but not enough to make youdrive like a jerk.
The shocker was the price. Everyone I showed the car to guessed in thehigh twenties. After driving it, they guessed even higher. It's $24K, butit's loaded--sunroof, leather seats, cruise control and power everything.Now get this. A quote from my brother: "If I had to choose between thisand a 318 BMW, I'd take the Passat." Wow! And I agree. I know this soundslike the kind of review you might read in the local paper--written by theguy who's getting free lunches from the manufacturer--but it's true.
As you may know, I have NEVER been a VW fan. The Bug was junk as wellas being a death-trap. Then they went to the Rabbit. Enough said. Thisis the first great VW I have EVER seen.
(If that check doesn't arrive from VW today, you can disregardeverything I've said).
View cars.com model report on this vehicle.