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Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant

The push for a new vehicle is now a reality. We just found out that my wife is pregnant and hopefully if all goes well we will have a healthy addition to the family. Now, I wanted to ask people's opinions on the new wagon:
1. What are peoples opinions on the sunroofs?
2. Is the monsoon stereo worth the cost?
3. What about the ESP?
Thanks,
Chuck


[Modified by fishhead, 1:38 AM 8-2-2002]
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (fishhead)

quote:[HR][/HR]The push for a new vehicle is now a reality. We just found out that my wife is pregnant and hopefully if all goes well we will have a healthy addition to the family. Now, I wanted to ask people's opinions on the new wagon:
1. What are peoples opinions on the sunroofs?
2. Is the monsoon stereo worth the cost?
3. What about the ESP?
Thanks,
Chuck
[Modified by fishhead, 1:38 AM 8-2-2002][HR][/HR]​
I have a Jetta with all those things.
1. I don't use the sunroof much, except to ventilate it to get the heat out. The only complaint I have from it is how it (rarely) creaks when closed. No prob though. Nice every once in a while.
2. Many say the Monsoon system sucks. I don't think so. I think it sounds wonderful and serves me really well. However, I'm not a music buff, but I think it's a good system.
3. ESP hasn't ever come on (to my knowledge) in my 4500 miles, but it makes me less tense knowing there are sensors monitoring if the car is doing what I'm telling it to do, and if not, correcting it. Check around Mercedes/Audi sites, because they will have flash animations of how ESP works. Also check out http://www.vw.co.uk, as they have flash animations about ESP. Be sure to read this http://www.vwvortex.com/news/02_00/02_11_00/index.shtml. VWoA doesn't have much to say about ESP on its site. I say go ahead and get ESP. The one or two times it ever activates could make the difference between losing traction and hitting a tree and dealing with sucky insurance pay-offs, or maintaining traction and going on with your course.
Edits: links screwing up


[Modified by brent0226, 10:50 PM 8-1-2002]
 

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Was in same situation as you

Congratulations!
My wife and I were in the same position as you in March. We found out she was preganant and decided to get a new car.
1. Sunroof - Even though we didn't originally intend to get the sunroof, I do think it's a nice feature.
It's helpful for ventilating the car when you first get in on a hot day (hot air rises out of the sunroof). Driving around on a hot summer day, I usually tilt the rear of the sunroof to get ventilation. Having the sun come in directly through the sunroof often feels hotter than having the sunroof closed. Tilting the rear is a good compromise.
- What I REALLY like about the sunroof is having it open on a summer evening. It's nice to be able to feel a cool breeze and see the stars (while my wife is driving!).
2. Monsoon stereo - I would try to listen to the Monsoon and the Standard stereo setup. I have to admit that at first the Monsoon sounded pretty sterile (non-musical), but as we've used it more, I have grown to like the sound of the Monsoon system. I recall thinking the other day that it sounded pretty good. Although I'm sure this is a highly debatable issue (and some engineer will jump down my throat for saying this), I found that amplifiers in home audio systems sound smoother and more musical with some break-in time; I think this might be what has happened with the Monsoon system in our Passat.
3. ESP - definitely get this feature. I've driving cars that have this feature on an autocross type course in manufacturer demo days (large Mercedes, Lexus, Cadillacs) & it is truly uncanny how the Stability systems can pull you out of a tight situation. Because many ESP systems are able to brake one wheel at a time, they can sometimes do things with a car's dynamics that even an expert driver cannot do. For that once in a lifetime situation in which you are headed for an accident (black ice, swerving to avoid idiot drivers, etc.
), definitely get the ESP. For the $300 price, I think it is priceless as a safety feature.
 

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Re: Was in same situation as you (Spectre1)

Back when I bought my variant, it took forever to find one without a sunroof, and there was no way that I could avoid Monsoon. I somewhat regret not getting the sunroof - it's fun on the few days I'd use it (since I have a roof rack on most of the time that makes major wind noise with the sunroof open) - but I'm not sure I miss spending the money. Since VW is offering the Passat GL, it should be easier to avoid buying a sunroof.
I have grown to like Monsoon's sound a lot, but most of our systems have odd "quirks" with volume control, especially setting the mininium setting.
As for ESP - I thought about selling my car to buy one with it. I'm that convinced that stability control is a major safety feature, perhaps more than ABS. Spend the pittance that it costs.
Tom
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (fishhead)

Congratulations! - the only problem is that this will probably become your wife's car once the baby is born. We are expecting a baby any time and I've been told that I have to hand over the keys once the baby is born!
I have a sunroof and rarely use it except for ventilation. When it gets below 80 deg I drive around with open and like it - the controls are convenient to use as well. One of the problems with a sunroof in general is that you lose some head room but a friend of mine who is 6'3" sat in my car and was impressed that he had as much clearance as he did.
I have the monsoon as well and like it - again I've never had a Bose system in my car so I have nothing better to compare it to.
Regarding ESP like the others I recommend you get it.
Good luck
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (fishhead)

fishhead,
I have a new 02 variant that's almost 2 months old now, so I can't comment on ESP but the other two...
1) I really am glad I got it. I almost opted out of the option to get a wagon with a 1.8T 5spd on a dealer lot in my area when I was looking in April. I'm glad I waited. Besides the ventilation, imo the moonroof adds an "openness" to the cabin that I don't feel in cars without sunroofs/moonroofs.
2) I enjoy the monsoon as well. I'm not a huge stereophile, but CDs sound great with it to me. You might want to take the previous post's suggestion and check out both though if you are that unsure.
good luck.
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (Yanke)

Sunroof for ventilation only? Man get a life. I love mine and use it all the time. It's very functional, helps lighten up the cabin and feels great when the weather isn't broiling hot. I have Monsoon too and it seems to help. Go for it and congratulations on the coming unit. Babies show you what real love is...o&o-pd
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (FLYWGN)

I'm enjoying the sunroof alot more than I though I would. It adds light when closed, but I usually keep is open as much as possible. It really adds an airy, outdoor feel to the car. Like a poor mans convertable. Even on 100 days, I open the sunroof fully and blast the A/C!
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (fishhead)

quote:[HR][/HR]
1. What are peoples opinions on the sunroofs? [I really liked the sunroofs I had on all my cars!]
2. Is the monsoon stereo worth the cost? [Not for me. A friend of mine has two Passats, one with and one without and he says it does not make the $300 or so difference.]
3. What about the ESP? [Stability Program is a great safety feature and it was important for us to get the 2003 instead of 2002]
Thanks,
Chuck

[Modified by fishhead, 1:38 AM 8-2-2002][HR][/HR]​
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (fishhead)

Congrats, on the good news.
My wife and I are also in the market for a '03 Passat Variant very soon, as our second baby will be joining us in November, and my wife's current car, a 97 Cabrio will not do.... you should see us trying to get one car seat in the back, let alone two!
The sunroof, as many above have stated, is very good for cooling off the car, and general enjoyment, especially on those cool summer evenings, but I'll also add that our daughter who is 13 months old, loves looking out the sunroof at the trees passing by in our '01 Accord. So add in the 'baby pacification' factor in as well and it make a lot of sense.
brent0226 mentioned the sunroof creaking when closed in his Jetta, and we had a similar problem on the Accord, but the dealer fixed it with a strip of special tape that they make for such problems. So that should not be serious concern. (Not sure what the tape is called, but I can find out if anyone has a similar problem).
As far as the stereo, can't help you with any evaluation as I have only test driven a few Passat's but not live with one long term.
I would get the ESP, especially with the baby on the way, as once you have him/her you will do anything to keep them safe, and the ESP is just that extra bit of safety.
BTW, the Accord will go to my wife, and I will get the Passat...Good luck
Hugh
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (fishhead)

I have a 2003 GLX Variant so the options you asked about came as standard equipment - except for the ESP which I don't have - but I do have 4motion. Anyway:
I love the sunroof. I had one in a car in the past and missed it when I didn't get it on subsequent cars. I leave it tilted open during the day which helps with heat ventilation. I've only had my variant for a couple of weeks and, with the exception of one day and a couple of evenings, it has been too hot and humid to drive around with the sunroof open. When it's cooler, I will have it open much more frequently.
The monsoon system is actually very good for the difference in cost. I cannot offer a comparison to a non-monsoon system but I'm usually pretty picky about the quality of the sound in the car. In the past, I've always replaced factory speakers within the first week and, on a couple of occasions have replaced the factory head unit. With the Monsoon system, I don't feel a need to do this - it especially sounds good with the CD. Also, as a previous poster mentioned, some systems do require a 'break-in' period for them to reach optimal sound so keep that in mind if comparing it to the standard system. The only fault I find with the Monsoon is the radio reception is merely passable. Other than that, I think the extra $300 is a bargain for the sound you get.
 

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Re: Wife is pregnant- It is now time to purchase 2003 Passat Variant (fishhead)

No sunroof so can't comment (although I think you should remember that it will make the cabin a tad noisier, even when its closed).
Monsoon sounds excellent to me, especially when you consider it adds only $250 or so to invoice. No complaints from me about volume control, speed-sensitive thingy works great on mine.
ESP makes a lot of sense, as others have said you may only need it once in your lifetime, but that one time could save you + your family's life. Only $280, so I'd say its a no-brainer.
 
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