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Re: VW taking on Mercedes
The problem with VW's in the US is that many (Golf, Jetta) are manufactured
in Mexico. I had a 1995 Golf Sport, 5-speed (for about 1 year). The car
handled great (as one would expect from VW) but the fit and finish was
terrible. Problems that the dealer had to fix included howling breaks (this
problem took about 5 visits and 2 dealers to finally fix), leaky sunroof,
faulty front speaker, and door panels that rattled.
Also have a 1993 Audi 90CS 5-speed (original owner) with 53,000 miles and
virtually no problems in 4 1/2 years (except for the catylist which had to be
replaced twice - most recently 2 months ago).
Perhaps the new Passat (which I believe will still be imported from Germany)
brings a higher quality threshold.
Hoboken, New Jersey USA