How Long Do Volkswagen Passats Last?

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The Volkswagen Passat is a large family sedan that has been in production since 1973.

It has been around for almost half a century and has been highly regarded by the people, thanks to its reliable nature.

It is called by many the most successful midsize sedan ever produced. If you ask any owner how long do Volkswagen Passats last, you will hear nothing but praise.

This sedan goes head to head with the best and can be driven for up to 250000 miles. This means that it will be able to offer most people more than a decade of service life.

You can purchase the Passat right now, and you will not regret your decision. But if you continue reading this article, you will find out that things are not always what meet the eye.

It will not only be pitting it against its top competition but will also be looking at its common problems and the lifespan of the individual hardware.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of A Volkswagen Passat?

Does a WV Passat last long or not? Let's find out through my guide

As the introduction mentioned, the Volkswagen Passat has a life expectancy of anywhere between 200000 and 250000 miles.

Now, when the sedan can achieve such a great number, I thought it deserved a section of its own to get into the details of just that.

If you drive at the average American rate of 15000 miles per year, you can expect the Passat to last you from 13 to 17 years.

This means that it can get you up to around two decades of service life, which is pretty insane, in my opinion. But achieving that number is no easy task.

There is more to know, and that has been discussed down below.

Does Volkswagen Passat Last Longer Than Other Similar Vehicles?

There is no better way to put the Volkswagen Passat, or any other vehicle, to the test by comparing it with its competitors.

Unlike traditional comparisons where features such as the number of airbags or the availability of heated seats are checked, this competition will be comparing three major aspects: the reliability, the lifespan, and the number of complaints.

1. Volkswagen Passat Vs. Chevrolet Malibu

The first vehicle I will compare with the Volkswagen  Passat is the Malibu from Chevrolet. This is one well-built sedan and a stylish one too.

Let’s see how it performs and if it can beat the Volkswagen Passat.

  • Chevrolet Malibu has gathered more than 4500 complaints about the course of its lifespan. That number is destroyed by 1000 achieved by the Volkswagen Passat, which has accumulated over the past 50 years.
  • So, in terms of several complaints, the Volkswagen Passat is a clear winner.
  • The Volkswagen Passat is a pretty reliable sedan. It has managed to score an impressive 81 out of 100, according to JDPower.
  • But the Chevrolet Malibu has outshone it has, received an incredible 86 out of a 100, a score that is one of the best that I have seen in any vehicle yet.
  • The final thing that will be compared is longevity. As was expected with both of these sedans, they went head to head in this round. No winner emerged here.
  • Both of them have been designed to last for a maximum of 250000 miles. So, this round is a draw.

Although it may seem like this competition was a draw, it is not.

The fact that Chevy Malibu got such a high score on the reliability section means it has the edge over the Volkswagen Passat. So, it is the winner and the better of the two cars.

Related: How Many Miles Can A Chevy Malibu Last?

2. Volkswagen Passat Vs. Hyundai Sonata

One of the best-looking sedans in this class is the Hyundai Sonata. It has a dashing appearance and packs a lot of performance under the hood.

Let’s see how it holds up in the three toughest categories.

  • Although the number of complaints is lesser than the Chevy Malibu, the Hyundai Sonata still has more reports than the Volkswagen Passat.
  • The number is more than 2000, which is double what Volkswagen Passat has gathered over the years. So, Volkswagen’s offering takes the lead here.
  • The Hyundai Sonata is giving the Volkswagen Passat a tough competition in this round. It has scored a reliability rating of 81, which is pretty impressive.
  • This means it is at the same level as the Volkswagen Passat in this round. So, if this is the deciding factor for your purchase, you cannot go wrong with either one.
  • The Hyundai Sonata is a true competitor to the Volkswagen Passat. Even the longevity of these sedans is the same.
  • This means that it will be able to last for a maximum of 250000 miles. You can expect around 13 to 17 years of usage from both sedans.

The Sonata combines looks and practicality into one. But the Passat takes the slight lead because it has half the number of complaints.

But even if you choose Hyundai’s offering, you will be more than content with your purchase.

3. Volkswagen Passat Vs. Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is another fantastic option and alternative to the Volkswagen Passat. It has been bought and loved by thousands of people all around the globe.

Let’s see how reliable the latest model is compared to Volkswagen’s offering.

  • Unfortunately, the Toyota Camry could not beat the Volkswagen Passat in the number of complaints.
  • It has almost 3500 reported problems while the Volkswagen sits at a comfortable 1000. This means that the experience of owning the Volkswagen Passat is better than the Toyota Camry
  • Next up, I will be talking about the reliability of both of these sedans. It was close, but the Toyota Camry took the lead in this round.
  • It has scored an impressive 82 out of a 100, which is just one point more than what the Volkswagen Passat could manage. Regardless, however minimal, the Toyota Camry is the winner of this round.
  • The Toyota Camry is a sturdy sedan. It is durable enough to overtake the 250000 miles that the Volkswagen Passat can do and reach up to 300000 miles.
  • This translates to a more than three-year difference, which gives the Toyota Camry a clear lead in this round.

Although the Volkswagen Passat is a great sedan, the Toyota Camry is better.

What this means is that it is more reliable and will last longer. If you had to pick between the two, I suggest going for the Toyota Camry.

Related: How Long Do Toyota Camrys Last?

Life Expectancy Of Volkswagen Passat Car Parts

The life expectancy of a vehicle is directly dependent on the type of car parts used.

In the case of the Volkswagen Passat, a traditionally gasoline-powered vehicle, it has a lot of hardware that can affect its performance and lifespan.

This section will discuss that hardware and just how good Volkswagen is when putting hardware in its cars.

Average Lifespan Of Volkswagen Passat Brake Pads

Although Volkswagen is known to make some big changes in vehicles that often shake up the industry, this is not the case with the brake pads on the Volkswagen Passat.

The company played it safe and included traditional pads which can last for up to 70000 miles.

This number can drop down to 30000, which is lesser than half. If you are not one to use the brakes as they are meant too, then these pads will last for a lesser amount of time.

If you look at these numbers from another perspective, the pads on the Passat are expected to last from two to almost five years.

This is pretty good because replacements cost a few hundred dollars only. You need to change the brake pads on your Passat quickly.

Or else it can result in a significant reduction of the sedan’s braking efficiency.

Average Lifespan Of Volkswagen Passat Battery

Once again, not many changes have been made to the already relied-on battery design. The Volkswagen Passat utilizes a traditional battery that has a lead-acid design.

It has an expected three to five years, which is just as good as OEM batteries present in other vehicles.

When you search for replacement batteries for your Volkswagen Passat, I would highly advise that you opt for an AGM battery. It does not last long, but it does provide a better experience.

Higher cranking power means a more reliable startup, regardless of the temperature.

Regarding temperature, extreme ones do not have as much of an effect on AGM batteries as they do on lead-acid ones. So, your Passat will benefit from it.

Average Lifespan Of Volkswagen Passat Tires

Volkswagen does not cut costs when using hardware inside its vehicles.

This can be seen by the fact that the ones that come installed with a brand new Volkswagen Passat have the capability of touching or even crossing the 50000-mile mark.

This means they will last for more than three years, which is pretty good.

Now, I must clarify that this number does not apply to everyone. As the OEM tires are not designed for all terrains, they will suffer in harsh ones.

For example, the tread will wear off unevenly or may just not last as long.

So, when it comes to buying replacement tires for the Volkswagen Passat, you should make sure that the ones you are buying are designed to be used on the terrain you drive on.

Average Lifespan Of Volkswagen Passat Transmission

I have some great news for you. The transmission present in the Volkswagen Passat is one of the most reliable ones I have seen yet.

There are no reports of it failing on consumers, which means it will be able to last till the end of the 250000 miles that this sedan can do.

Although transmission failures are unlikely with the Passat, there is no denying that they can happen.

If you are one of the unlucky people to experience that, then you can expect the repair or replacement cost of the transmission to be in the thousands of dollars.

So, you should change the transmission fluid of your VW Passat promptly.

Average Lifespan Of Volkswagen Passat Spark Plugs

Looks like Volkswagen could have done better with the spark plugs present in the Volkswagen Passat.

They don’t last as long as OEM ones and should be replaced after every 40000 miles. This puts them in the category of silver or copper ones.

They have the same expected lifespan. There are many replacement spark plugs present for the Passat.

You should only go for platinum or iridium ones. This is because they are reliable and can last for a considerably longer period.

Compared to the OEM plugs, platinum ones can last for more than a year, and the iridium ones can last for twice as long.

Average Lifespan Of Volkswagen Passat Key Fob

The fob of the Volkswagen Passat has been designed to last just as long as the lifespan of the sedan itself.

This means that it is sturdy enough to be used for more than a decade without any issues.

You cannot break it or make it stop working but what you can do is misplace it. That is a mistake you don’t want to make. Replacement fobs cost hundreds of dollars.

You only need to be concerned about the batteries present in the fob. That concern will need to be raised once every few years.

So, if I were you, I would not worry about anything and check out other things that make the Passat worth buying.

What Is Good Mileage For A Used Volkswagen Passat?

If you have an option for a new or a used Volkswagen Passat, I suggest you take the latter.

The main reason for this is that you are not only saving money but are also not compromising on anything.

The next question that arises is how much a Passat should be driven for it to be considered by you?

Well, the maximum mileage is 120000 miles.

As this sedan can have a lifespan of less than 200000 miles, you need at least a few years to drive it. That will not be possible with a vehicle that has been driven for 180000 miles.

How To Increase How Long Your Volkswagen Passat Last

The Volkswagen Passat is still using conventional technology.

It does not have a hybrid architecture and nor does it have any special features. Although it should have been kept with modern times, there is a silver lining.

You can take many steps to make sure that the Passat can be driven for more than the 250000-mile barrier.

  • Change oil in a timely fashion and make sure you are using the correct one.
  • Maintain the vehicle regularly.
  • Check for rust on the frame and the body.
  • Don’t let any issues go unrepaired.
  • Change hardware at their recommended replacement intervals.

As you can see, these are some very important tips that can make sure that the Volkswagen Passat can be driven for as long as possible.

This may seem complicated, but these steps are a must for all vehicles in reality.

So, if you follow a strict schedule and keep the Passage in excellent condition, you will certainly get a long lifespan from it.

Problems That Limit The Life Of Your Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat is a very reliable sedan. It has been designed to provide users with a trouble-free experience.

Well, it does have its issues, and this section of the article will discuss the most common ones:

  • Ignition coil and spark plug failure.
  • Failure of the timing chain.
  • Faulty MAF sensor.
  • Oil leaks.
  • High oil consumption.

As you can see, the problems that have been highlighted on this list are not that serious apart from the timing chain.

They can be fixed, but the experience of owning the Passat takes a turn for the worse. Oil leaks may be disguised as issues such as high oil consumption.

So, you should get your sedan checked by a professional. He will help in pinpointing the issue so you don’t spend time and money on repairs that are not needed.

What To Look For When Buying A Volkswagen Passat

We have reached the end of this article, and if you are reading this section, then it means that you may very well have decided to buy a used Volkswagen Passat.

First, I must say that this is great news. You are making a great decision. But you should make sure that the sedan you are buying is worth it.

Let me list down some of the important things to check:

  • Check ownership history.
  • Make sure there are no oil leaks.
  • Get information about repairs.
  • Make sure a maintenance schedule was followed.
  • Check the condition of the hardware.

All of these checks are extremely important because you will be able to assess the condition of the vehicle without involving a mechanic or a professional.

The person, who is selling, should not have any issues in disclosing these things to you.

Oil leaks can be checked by making sure there is no puddle on the surface where the car is standing.

They can also be identified by smoke rising up from under the hood. So, you need to be extra careful before you agree to buy a used Passat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is The Volkswagen Passat A Reliable Car?

The Volkswagen Passat has been proven to be a pretty reliable sedan.

Yes, it does have its problems, but the fact that it has managed to score an excellent 81 out of a 100 in terms of reliability and that it has had a total of 1000 complaints only shows that it will provide users with a reliable and a relatively trouble-free experience.

If reliability is something you are questioning about the Passat, I can assure you that it is the least of your concerns.

Q2. Does Volkswagen Passat Have A Lot Of Problems?

No, it does not!

In fact, the common issues that I listed in this article are the only ones that have been reported. There may be isolated incidents, but these are the ones you should worry about.

The issues that can be faced with the Volkswagen Passat are:

  • Oil leaks.
  • Failure of the timing chain.
  • Sensor failure.
  • Failure of the spark plugs.

Spark plug failure is common with all vehicles, but if that happens prematurely, then it is a fault in the vehicle. Well, this is an issue that can be fixed. So, you don’t need to worry about it.

Q3. Is It A Good Idea To Buy A Used Volkswagen Passat?

I have not hidden the fact that I recommend you should buy a used Volkswagen Passat.

It is a great sedan, and regardless of the fact that you buy a used or a new one, you will have the same amazing experience as you always do.

The only thing you should make sure of is the mileage and other things that have been listed in the article above. If they check out, then you can go right ahead and purchase one.

Q4. Does Volkswagen Passat Rust Easily?

This is another answer that you will be happy with. There are no rusting issues reported with the Volkswagen Passat.

As it is a normal vehicle, it may show rust after a few years. But that is to be expected because it happens on all other vehicles too.

If you are worried, then you can get the vehicle wrapped in an anti-corrosion layer to make sure rust will not be an issue.

Q5. Is Volkswagen Passat Expensive To Maintain?

The maintenance cost of the Volkswagen Passat is $639 on an annual basis.

Now, this number is considerably higher than the average for other sedans in its class, but it is worth it.

You are getting an extremely reliable car that will be with you for more than a decade.

So, even if you have to spend a few hundred dollars on it annually, you will not regret the decision to do so.


So, how long do Volkswagen Passats last? I think you got more than an answer to your question.

Volkswagen has created an amazing sedan and the fact that it has been discontinued in the USA after 2022 means that it deserves an article of its own.

This article covered everything there is to know about it.

It is my hope that you got the information you were searching for, and I hope that it may have helped you in finalizing your decision of whether to buy this sedan or not.

You will not regret your decision to buy one.