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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to buy a Passat GTE since I mostly drive less than 10 miles from home (so should be able to use EV only mode for 90% of the time), have 3 kids (2 in booster seats) and I need the load capacity for my work equipment.
My budget is around £15-16k which looks like I can get a high mileage (70k+) GTE from 2016/17.
I'm holding out for a well spec'd Advance edition (panoramic roof, digital dash, HUD) but I'd be interested to hear opinions on these features. I'm aware of the premium road tax for the first 7 years. Also, engine oil change should have been done yearly and DSG oil changed every 40k miles.
My concern is battery warranty which runs out at 99k miles so I would reach that within 2 or 3 years. Should this be a factor? If the battery has lasted 3 years is it likely to develop a fault now? Bear in mind that with the mileage I'm looking at most will be motorway rep mobiles which have barely used the battery - I'm assuming.
Any advice appreciated on buying a used GTE - pitfalls and recommendations.
 

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With regards to premium road tax bear in mind applies to cars registered after 1st April 2017 and applies for 5 years, and that there is no VED for Passat GTE registered before 31st March 2017. Although vehicle in question probably used as BIK "hack" and hardly ever charged it is not a good idea to leave battery pack completely discharged for any length of time. Hopefully if fuel cost not an issue will have been left in GTE mode all the time, although ensure that cambelt has been replaced at some stage. Whilst any battery degradation should still leave sufficient capacity for your needs, bear in mind replacement pack perhaps 8K, although would be more worried about warning lights due to high tech equipment causing MOT failures incurring expensive intervention later in vehicle life.

You mentioned "HUD" but as a varifocal wearer I was strongly advised by salesman to avoid this option! Remember also that in GTE rear seats don't fold flat due to battery in boot floor if you intend carrying long objects in course of your work.

Lastly whilst it may give you a "warm feeling" for zero emissions whilst taking the kids to school, it may well end up being very costly as probably very little residual value left after your ownership due to its complexity.
 

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While Aspergerguy's points are valid, they seem to be very much a "glass half-empty" take. So for balance I'll play devil's advocate: 😈

I think it depends on how much residual value you expect a 8-9 year old car to have (guessing that's roughly when you'll be looking to dump it)? Sure, the complex tech might put off some buyers, but remember it is also a unique selling point for other drivers looking to pick up a cheap, fast, LARGE, well-built hybrid.

Added to that, you can't easily quantify the pleasure of driving all-electric: the silence, the lack of fumes from cold starts, the absence of constantly worrying about doing too many short trips and wearing out the engine due to low oil temps etc., i.e. the fact that overall wear and tear on the ICE is negligible as it is only used for 10% of journeys, hugely prolonging the overall service life of the vehicle.

And, of course, you're getting a large, practical estate car with outstanding running costs AND over 200bhp whenever you need to overtake the endless stream of mobile road hazards, such as lorries, tractors, OAPs, etc. In GTE mode these things go like proverbial stink from 40-75 mph ;)

Definitely focus on the finances first and foremost, after all affordability is always key. And you are definitely right to consider the 8-year battery warranty, but if buying a 2017 model you would still have another 4-5 years before needing to offload it, unless you are happy to take a chance on it.

For context, I just picked up my 2017 (zero road tax) GTE Advance estate and I absolutely love it, regardless of whether I can sell it on later for 10k, 5k or 1k (in which case I will probably end up driving it to death mwa-ha-ha).

Just my 2 cents (y)😈
 

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Thanks for re-dressing the balance here although in a post Covid 19 world I expect that further rationalisation of VW dealer network in UK can be expected; consequently it is quite likely that travelling further to core dealerships such as required for GTE battery recall will become the norm for repair to such hybrid vehicles due to shortage of trained technicians.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks @aspergerguy and @Mandrake for your insightful (and opposing views).
Good points on both sides though I'm leaning towards Mardrakes glass half-full optimism :)
Also I can't see what other choices I have for either a BEV or a PHEV for my requirements and price. I've considered a Nissan e-NV200 (not enough range for the price) and a Mitsu Outlander PHEV (no control of battery-only driving and wife hates SUV's).
Given that these cars have lost 65% of their value already in 3 years I think residual values are a moot point after 3-5 more years, plus I think given the lack of other options on the market they might actually not depreciate too fast as more people want some kind of EV (hopeful thinking on my part anyway... )
🙏
 

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I bought a 2017 Advanced with 70k miles a few weeks ago. As you mention the car has taken the hit and lost 65% or more in value. Now it is an affordable practical car that will hopefully serve us well as a transitional vehicle on the road to full ev in 4/5 years. If we do, as we have so far about 5k miles per year, 90% on electric, the car would hopefully still be below 100k and have some value left in it.
 

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Don't bother subscribing to Car.Net - total waste of your money as it never works when you need it to.

Better to have app display (I forget the correct name) where it mirrors your phone to the display in the centre console. The VW sat-nav isn't anywhere near to Google Maps. There are other map apps but I've not tried those.
 

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Don't bother subscribing to Car.Net - total waste of your money as it never works when you need it to.

Better to have app display (I forget the correct name) where it mirrors your phone to the display in the centre console. The VW sat-nav isn't anywhere near to Google Maps. There are other map apps but I've not tried those.
I was looking at it as a curiosity and when I saw the price I deleted the weconnect app and forgot about the whole thing. Even if it worked reliably I would t spend the money. There should be a base level service that allows you to see the state of the car for free. With real value added stuff at a more reasonable cost. Oh well. The car has apple car play so I never bother with the VW Satnav. VW are not a software company and it shows. Antiquated and clunky. I do wish they integrated car play with the virtual dash but not a big deal.
 

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The car has apple car play so I never bother with the VW Satnav.
Am I right in thinking that you have a GTE? If you do, it might be worth checking to see if you have predictive hybrid on your VW satnav, as that is something that you definitely won't be getting through Car Play. Whether you actually want to use the predictive hybrid stuff is another matter.
 

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I do wish they integrated car play with the virtual dash but not a big deal.
This is a huge fail by VW in my opinion, and essentially makes the Active Info Display pretty pointless. In hindsight, I probably wouldn't have bothered with the Advance spec at all (though the pan roof and reversing camera are nice).

When-oh-when are the legacy automakers (i.e. everyone except Tesla) going to accept that their software is total garbage – and will probably be the death of them unless they accept outside help? [Rant over] :giggle:
 

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This is a huge fail by VW in my opinion, and essentially makes the Active Info Display pretty pointless. In hindsight, I probably wouldn't have bothered with the Advance spec at all (though the pan roof and reversing camera are nice).

When-oh-when are the legacy automakers (i.e. everyone except Tesla) going to accept that their software is total garbage – and will probably be the death of them unless they accept outside help? [Rant over] :giggle:
I went for the advanced spec for a few reasons, thankfully the dash wasn’t one as it is pretty poor. The real failure imho is the lack of ability to update the car software and fix the deficiencies. Pretty clear that car companies do software badly , and the incumbent management does not get it at all. Media playing , navigation etc are all done better faster and updated regularly on the phone. As Tesla demonstrated software companies can lean to build great cars. I doubt car companies can learn to build great software. Partnering with someone who can is always a compromise due to the split decision making and lack of deep integration at every stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great discussion everyone and thanks for your advice. I've put a deposit down on a '66 plate GTE Advance with just over 50k on the clock so well within the battery warranty. I'll take out the VW warranty for £260 since it's a complex car - the VW warranty seems way cheaper than WarrantyWise and others. Does anyone have experience of VW or other extended warranty?
I've gone for an Advance since I liked the look of the Active Display and the panoramic sunroof. Sounds like the Active Display is not great though. I'll be using Android Auto most of the time I think. I was wondering if CarNet was worth it but I have no idea how much it costs. Sounds like I won't bother, though I like the idea of checking on the battery level and pre-cooling or heating remotely.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Am I right in thinking that you have a GTE? If you do, it might be worth checking to see if you have predictive hybrid on your VW satnav, as that is something that you definitely won't be getting through Car Play. Whether you actually want to use the predictive hybrid stuff is another matter.
What is predictive hybrid? Can you update the VW maps?
 

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What is predictive hybrid? Can you update the VW maps?
The newer models (2019- possibly?) have an updated cruise control hybrid system that supposedly works in conjunction with the VW sat nav to maximise driving efficiency (i.e. it "knows" the road layout ahead and "plans" accordingly).

However, as most people inevitably ditch the clunky VW sat nav for superior CarPlay-based alternatives (Google, Waze, etc.), I very much doubt it's a relevant feature for many drivers. Having said that, I've not heard any feedback about it yet.

Edited for accuracy
 

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The basic VW services required to see what the car is up to abs control some functions are £50 a year. The car needs to be close enough to your home WiFi or have SIM card or use you phone while you are in the car to go online. As curious as I am this is more than I’m willing to pay - especially as I read it’s pretty flaky.
 

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What is predictive hybrid? Can you update the VW maps?
Rumour is that it uses the VW satnav to decide when it is best to use the ICE and when it should run in EV mode. So you basically programme your destination, put the car in hybrid mode and let it do the rest. In true VW style, manual doesn't go into a lot of detail:

Screenshot 2020-10-30 162518.png
 

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CJB I bought a 2017 Passat GTE Advance 18 months ago. Frankly I am not concerned much about the relative merits of CarPlay versus the inbuilt systems. They function well enough for me not to get excited and seem to be not too bad when compared with other offerings around from that era. What I do like is the fact that the battery pack still charges up to 50km, it is very comfortable to travel long distances, it is spacious, it has some nice extras like ACC, the surround cameras, very good headlights etc... bless me I even like the blue illuminated strips in the doors! I find the digital dash good and like the fact that navigation is in front of my eyes not lower down on the dash (which it is when I use Sygic). The one I bought has the ivory coloured interior which adds to the spacious feel. Have been amazed by how positive passengers have been about it. It is also quiet and reasonably economic on long run. My one technological gripe is that the digital speedometer rotary dial does not change from kmh to mph when I visit the UK - but the digital speed readout does and I’ve got used to that. So hope you have many happy miles and enjoy your acquisition. Minor issues aside they are comfortable, spacious, good looking and reasonably economic. Looked into a lot of PHEVs before getting the Passat and for its vintage still think that it is one of the best ones around.

As I’ve posted elsewhere for family reasons I’m looking at moving on next year to a Land Rover Defender PHEV but will be sorry to farewell the GTE and a bit more nervous about reliability despite the Defender being built in Slovakia.
 

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Rumour is that it uses the VW satnav to decide when it is best to use the ICE and when it should run in EV mode. So you basically programme your destination, put the car in hybrid mode and let it do the rest. In true VW style, manual doesn't go into a lot of detail:

View attachment 136645
Of course it only works correctly if you programme your complete itinerary until your next charge.
 

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Of course it only works correctly if you programme your complete itinerary until your next charge.
Or if you have a newer GTE, you can pair it with reserving part of the battery charge for later use - e.g. reserve 50% battery and use predictive hybrid to the shop, then use the final 50% and predictive hybrid to get home. Or reserve 75% and use predictive hybrid to town, use EV mode around town, then use remaining battery and predictive hybrid to get home. I'm finding the reserving feature very useful, and it seems to play nicely with predictive hybrid.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the advice all. Last week I picked up a 66 plate GTE Advance (so £0 road tax) with just over 50k miles on the clock. I decided to spend a little more to get lower mileage. I'm delighted with it.
I'm loving driving in EV only for most of my journeys (getting 12-15 miles range in this weather which is fine for me). The panoramic roof is lovely, I like the Active Display dash, adaptive cruise control, park assist, 360 camera views and the wife loves the heated seats! The kids say "it's the best car ever!" - but they weren't around when we had a Mini Cooper Sport 500 - that was the best car ever to drive but not really a family car!
I paid for 2 years RAC Platinum Plus warranty. Hope I don't have to use it and if I do that it actually covers what goes wrong!
This article is a little worrying though:

I'm considering buying the subscription to Car-Net/WeConnect despite the slating it gets in these forums. I figure if it's that bad I can cancel within 14 days (some people have no problems with it).
 
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