The ‘swagen: 2009 VW Passat R36 Estate

The ‘swagen: 2009 VW Passat R36 Estate

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d_a_n1979

4,277 posts

49 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
RoVoFob said:
d_a_n1979 said:
Ref BMWs; this was my previous Jap import E39 Touring: https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

I'm well versed on the BMWs, more so the E39s, but know enough re the E61s of what to look out for etc. The BMW 5 forums has always been a superb wealth of knowledge and fellow owners etc (sods law the forums down currently due to hosting issues)

The E91 335i is of interest to me as well; but the worry is it may be a bit small as I'm not an averaged sized hooman laugh

I do this for a hobby:

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/qMQjThUm67M

Hence why an E61 petrol touring is of great interest to me
Ah, the E39 is a serious BMW. I imagine that the E61 would feel like a step down after that quality and styling-wise, though the 30i engine is a decent improvement. The 335i no doubt is much sharper than the E39, but sounds like size might be an issue!

While the Passat is pretty spacious, do you think you’d get on with the huge seat bolsters?
The build quality of the E61 isn't as good as the E39 I know; but the overall build of the E61 is better than the E39, far less corrosion issues and still a very stiff chassis etc...

Plus the looks have gotten much better with age wink

And it's not the 530i I'm aiming for, but more the big V8 biggrin

Yup; the 335i would be a superb car, but as you said, the size could be an issue and referencing those seat bolsters in the R36. I've wide legs and a wide back with years of powerlifting/weightlifting etc...

My main worry is that I simply wouldn't fit!

Hence the E61 ticking a lot of boxes

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Cambs_Stuart said:
I had a VW CC with this engine/gearbox/drive train. It was a superb motorway cruiser and surprisingly economical for a heavy car with a big n/a engine. I sold it when the timing chain started to get very noisy and I got tired of treating rust on the wheel arches.
As a note, I found the gearbox was very see sensitive to tyre pressures and condition, unless everything was perfect in traffic it would change up to second too early then lurch. After I sold it someone said that could also be a gearbox mount issue.
Yeah, it’s annoying that the rust is such a problem. My A6 was three years older and had zero rust - above or below.

I’ve found the gearbox very smooth so far. I did check the tyre pressures straight after I bought it - and bar one tyre being 2psi out, they were spot on.

Think I might do what I did with the Audi and pay a specialist to spend an hour giving it a once over. The bodywork is my first job. Can anyone recommend a decent body shop/paint shop for treating several small rust spots and tidying up some iffy bits of paint?

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
The build quality of the E61 isn't as good as the E39 I know; but the overall build of the E61 is better than the E39, far less corrosion issues and still a very stiff chassis etc...

Plus the looks have gotten much better with age wink

And it's not the 530i I'm aiming for, but more the big V8 biggrin

Yup; the 335i would be a superb car, but as you said, the size could be an issue and referencing those seat bolsters in the R36. I've wide legs and a wide back with years of powerlifting/weightlifting etc...

My main worry is that I simply wouldn't fit!

Hence the E61 ticking a lot of boxes
The looks of the E61 are definitely getting better with age. Ah, the V8s are appealing, but have many more reliability issues, from what I’ve read. Scared me off, personally. But then I don’t know which way around to hold a spanner…

Maybe you could go on one of the diets actors who play castaways do, so you can fit in the R36 idea

d_a_n1979

4,277 posts

49 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
RoVoFob said:
d_a_n1979 said:
The build quality of the E61 isn't as good as the E39 I know; but the overall build of the E61 is better than the E39, far less corrosion issues and still a very stiff chassis etc...

Plus the looks have gotten much better with age wink

And it's not the 530i I'm aiming for, but more the big V8 biggrin

Yup; the 335i would be a superb car, but as you said, the size could be an issue and referencing those seat bolsters in the R36. I've wide legs and a wide back with years of powerlifting/weightlifting etc...

My main worry is that I simply wouldn't fit!

Hence the E61 ticking a lot of boxes
The looks of the E61 are definitely getting better with age. Ah, the V8s are appealing, but have many more reliability issues, from what I’ve read. Scared me off, personally. But then I don’t know which way around to hold a spanner…

Maybe you could go on one of the diets actors who play castaways do, so you can fit in the R36 idea
Haha sod that; I like picking heavy stuff up biggrin

Ref spanners; I'm fairly handy when it comes to spannering, more so when I get to use/abuse my pals ramps too

Lucky in that sense; having 2 pals that run their motorsports mechanic business and both know the likes of the BMWs etc inside out too!

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
Haha sod that; I like picking heavy stuff up biggrin

Ref spanners; I'm fairly handy when it comes to spannering, more so when I get to use/abuse my pals ramps too

Lucky in that sense; having 2 pals that run their motorsports mechanic business and both know the likes of the BMWs etc inside out too!
An aftermarket driver’s seat?

That’s useful with the V8 E61s. Probably makes them a much more viable option than they’d be otherwise since so many people have warned me off due to likely big garage bills…

I need to find me a decent paint/bodywork/rust place and/or somewhere that’s R36-savvy to compensate for my unhandiness. There’s no chance of me fixing anything!

d_a_n1979

4,277 posts

49 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
RoVoFob said:
d_a_n1979 said:
Haha sod that; I like picking heavy stuff up biggrin

Ref spanners; I'm fairly handy when it comes to spannering, more so when I get to use/abuse my pals ramps too

Lucky in that sense; having 2 pals that run their motorsports mechanic business and both know the likes of the BMWs etc inside out too!
An aftermarket driver’s seat?

That’s useful with the V8 E61s. Probably makes them a much more viable option than they’d be otherwise since so many people have warned me off due to likely big garage bills…

I need to find me a decent paint/bodywork/rust place and/or somewhere that’s R36-savvy to compensate for my unhandiness. There’s no chance of me fixing anything!
Meh; TBH most folk that tell other folk to avoid certain BMWs are the ones that go by hearsay rather than actual ownership knowledge...

It's always 'heard from this bloke that blah blah blah...' laugh

Agree; never go into ownership blind; due diligence is a must...

But the BMW parts network is very easy to navigate; LOTS of stuff out there easy to find and at great prices (OE/OEM only mind) and the various forums are a wealth of knowledge. Inc on here too...

Which is probably the same for most motors...

Although I did put a post in the Audi section on here a good few days ago and no ones answered it; so says a lot about how much that section on here is used etc!

And no; I'm not faffing with aftermarket seats haha...


RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
Meh; TBH most folk that tell other folk to avoid certain BMWs are the ones that go by hearsay rather than actual ownership knowledge...

But the BMW parts network is very easy to navigate; LOTS of stuff out there easy to find and at great prices (OE/OEM only mind) and the various forums are a wealth of knowledge. Inc on here too...

Which is probably the same for most motors...

Although I did put a post in the Audi section on here a good few days ago and no ones answered it; so says a lot about how much that section on here is used etc!

And no; I'm not faffing with aftermarket seats haha...
I’m sure a lot of it is hearsay, however, I’ve had enough issues with my first three BMWs at least, to know that they’re not bulletproof. My current one has been very good and my A6 was pretty solid, too, though I mostly put that down to good maintenance by the previous owners rather than nothing going wrong.

I’ve found BabyBMW.net very good for 130i stuff, though that’s less useful for E61s!

Have finally managed to save the perfect driving position in the R36. The seat is pretty multi-adjustable with bolsters that you can loosen/tighten, adjustable lumbar support and general up/down back/forth and tilt adjustments. Not sure how much you can widen the bolsters, but no doubt that would be the main issue for you.

Was interested to see that my two month old’s child seat only just fits behind me. There was an extra cm or two clearance in the A6, though the cabin didn’t feel any bigger. Think I sit further back in the Passat, as the wheel comes out further than in the A6, making it more comfortable being relatively far back…

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
The R36 comes with a decent range of standard kit including:
  • Bi-xenon headlights with dynamic curve lighting
  • Rear ISOFIX points
  • Cruise control
  • Automatic headlights and wipers
  • Electric folding door mirrors
  • Electronic parking brake with auto-hold
  • 12-way electric front sports seats
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • 8-speaker sound system with CD player
  • Sports suspension, lowered by 25mm
Mine has the following options added:
  • Reflex Silver Metallic
  • Black/Grey 'San Remo'
  • Heat insulated tinted glass from B pillar back
  • 6 disc CD-autochanger in glove compartment
  • DVD (Europe)
  • Rear view camera & sensors
  • Multimedia socket to connect external audio source
  • DVD nav/radio touchscreen, Dynaudio s/pack
  • Leather trim 'Vienna' / micro fiber

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Starting to get a good feel for the 2009 R36 now, after lots of motorway, country road and town driving. Really pleased with it so far, though I’m compiling a short list of things I’d like to address. Not sure whether it’ll be a long-term car yet, but can’t think of anything else that’d suit me better right now (at least nothing that isn’t an extra £5k or more…).

The cabin is a notable step down from my 2006 A6 quality and design-wise, though the seats, steering wheel and gear lever are all much nicer to use. Mechanically, it feels very good compared with the A6 (the A6 was excellent condition but just felt far less responsive gearbox-wise - though the engine was similarly potent - the steering was a bit slack and the air suspension clattered over bumps).

The R36 is firmer but better damped over bumps and provides a much better feeling of control. It’s not quite as refined, with more road noise, but you get to enjoy the engine more - especially, as the exhaust is unexpectedly rorty. However, the bodywork isn’t the best compared with the very tidy A6, with some spots of rust and dodgy paintwork, that I’d like to get sorted. Here are my initial impressions, 300 miles in…

Engine: Love the sound, ample torque and decent revviness of the engine. It offers the perfect amount of speed, volume and raspiness for me, though it is pretty inaudible when cruising. The only downsides come from the exhaust…

Exhaust: Cruises quietly and makes a satisfying racket when worked hard. It can be boomy around 2,000rpm on a mid-throttle, which is a little annoying. As the gearbox responds so quickly to the paddles, I’m sure I’ll learn to work around this. I personally don’t mind the volume toooo much, though it’s not ideal with my wife and son in tow, as it makes me feel like a yob in a Civic with a drainpipe exhaust.

Steering: Really nice weight and very precise - despite having Michelin Cross Climate+ all seasons on the front, which I think are a bit higher profile than they should be. I’m really picky about steering, hating overly light or vague setups, but this is just right for me, whether driving around a car park or on a country road.

Suspension: Nicely damped. Relatively firm, but pretty comfortable. It deals much better with closely packed bumps than my 130i on Bilstein B12s. Newer stuff is better still, but I think the level of firmness is pretty well judged. Think the tyres are a bit wider and higher profile than they should be, so I’m intrigued to see how the ride changes when I get those switched.

Handling: I haven’t thrown the car around much, but the suspension setup and steering feel pretty responsive, so the car feels more precise than I expected. We’ll see what it’s like with hard driving, but so far this setup is more pleasing than my old Subaru Legacy 3.0R Spec B, which handled very tidily and had very precise - but overly light - steering.

Fuel economy: 34.4mpg over the first 250 miles, though this involved lots of 50mph and 60mph roadworks and leisurely country road driving and only 10 miles or so of town driving. Looks like around 20mpg should be possible with a typical semi-urban trip to Tesco and 28mpg or so with medium-speed suburban and country driving. I imagine that’s about 15% better than the A6.

Seats: Really comfy, tonnes of adjustment and both supportive around corners and good at keeping your back comfortable on longer drives. I’ve now managed to get my seat position saved, though I don’t think it’s quite as comfy as it was when I first adjusted the seat. Sometimes the more you adjust the seat, the worse it gets!

Dynaudio speakers: Good but not great. Despite their 600W rating, these feel less punchy and have worse clarity than the 335W Bose setup in my A6. Have played around with the equaliser settings a bit, but might try fiddling around a bit more. The Bose surround sound setup gave a broader sound stage than I’ve found from the R36 speakers so far. Have heard good things about the Dynaudio system, so will persevere…

Speedometer: Really don’t like this. The numbers are too small, cluttered and the needle is too dark on the black background, making it very difficult to quickly gauge your speed. 100mph is at the top of the dial, so legal speeds take up an unnecessarily small portion of the dial. Find this so annoying that I’ve even toyed with getting a replacement speedometer for Japanese import models, where the numbers are much more spaced out. Can’t see a way to have a digital speedometer apart from the current tiny kph display below the speedometer.

AC: Seems a bit weedy and might need regassing.

d_a_n1979

4,277 posts

49 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
RoVoFob said:
Starting to get a good feel for the 2009 R36 now, after lots of motorway, country road and town driving. Really pleased with it so far, though I’m compiling a short list of things I’d like to address. Not sure whether it’ll be a long-term car yet, but can’t think of anything else that’d suit me better right now (at least nothing that isn’t an extra £5k or more…).

The cabin is a notable step down from my 2006 A6 quality and design-wise, though the seats, steering wheel and gear lever are all much nicer to use. Mechanically, it feels very good compared with the A6 (the A6 was excellent condition but just felt far less responsive gearbox-wise - though the engine was similarly potent - the steering was a bit slack and the air suspension clattered over bumps).

The R36 is firmer but better damped over bumps and provides a much better feeling of control. It’s not quite as refined, with more road noise, but you get to enjoy the engine more - especially, as the exhaust is unexpectedly rorty. However, the bodywork isn’t the best compared with the very tidy A6, with some spots of rust and dodgy paintwork, that I’d like to get sorted. Here are my initial impressions, 300 miles in…

Engine: Love the sound, ample torque and decent revviness of the engine. It offers the perfect amount of speed, volume and raspiness for me, though it is pretty inaudible when cruising. The only downsides come from the exhaust…

Exhaust: Cruises quietly and makes a satisfying racket when worked hard. It can be boomy around 2,000rpm on a mid-throttle, which is a little annoying. As the gearbox responds so quickly to the paddles, I’m sure I’ll learn to work around this. I personally don’t mind the volume toooo much, though it’s not ideal with my wife and son in tow, as it makes me feel like a yob in a Civic with a drainpipe exhaust.

Steering: Really nice weight and very precise - despite having Michelin Cross Climate+ all seasons on the front, which I think are a bit higher profile than they should be. I’m really picky about steering, hating overly light or vague setups, but this is just right for me, whether driving around a car park or on a country road.

Suspension: Nicely damped. Relatively firm, but pretty comfortable. It deals much better with closely packed bumps than my 130i on Bilstein B12s. Newer stuff is better still, but I think the level of firmness is pretty well judged. Think the tyres are a bit wider and higher profile than they should be, so I’m intrigued to see how the ride changes when I get those switched.

Handling: I haven’t thrown the car around much, but the suspension setup and steering feel pretty responsive, so the car feels more precise than I expected. We’ll see what it’s like with hard driving, but so far this setup is more pleasing than my old Subaru Legacy 3.0R Spec B, which handled very tidily and had very precise - but overly light - steering.

Fuel economy: 34.4mpg over the first 250 miles, though this involved lots of 50mph and 60mph roadworks and leisurely country road driving and only 10 miles or so of town driving. Looks like around 20mpg should be possible with a typical semi-urban trip to Tesco and 28mpg or so with medium-speed suburban and country driving. I imagine that’s about 15% better than the A6.

Seats: Really comfy, tonnes of adjustment and both supportive around corners and good at keeping your back comfortable on longer drives. I’ve now managed to get my seat position saved, though I don’t think it’s quite as comfy as it was when I first adjusted the seat. Sometimes the more you adjust the seat, the worse it gets!

Dynaudio speakers: Good but not great. Despite their 600W rating, these feel less punchy and have worse clarity than the 335W Bose setup in my A6. Have played around with the equaliser settings a bit, but might try fiddling around a bit more. The Bose surround sound setup gave a broader sound stage than I’ve found from the R36 speakers so far. Have heard good things about the Dynaudio system, so will persevere…

Speedometer: Really don’t like this. The numbers are too small, cluttered and the needle is too dark on the black background, making it very difficult to quickly gauge your speed. 100mph is at the top of the dial, so legal speeds take up an unnecessarily small portion of the dial. Find this so annoying that I’ve even toyed with getting a replacement speedometer for Japanese import models, where the numbers are much more spaced out. Can’t see a way to have a digital speedometer apart from the current tiny kph display below the speedometer.

AC: Seems a bit weedy and might need regassing.
That's a good insight & review pal

Plenty of info to go on for potential new buyers...

Like you, the pics & videos I've seen, the cluster looks very small/very cramped and being tall; that can be an issue for me as the top of the steering wheel blocks the vision of the cluster etc

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
That's a good insight & review pal

Plenty of info to go on for potential new buyers...

Like you, the pics & videos I've seen, the cluster looks very small/very cramped and being tall; that can be an issue for me as the top of the steering wheel blocks the vision of the cluster etc
Here are the main speedo options I can find. Wouldn’t really want to swap the speedo as it’d raise questions when selling the car, but we’ll see.

Wouldn’t expect being tall to be a problem. There’s loads of wheel adjustment but I don’t have the issue of being tall…

Older UK model:


MPH speedo for older Japanese imports:


Newer UK model:


MPH speedo for newer Japanese imports:


Edited by RoVoFob on Saturday 14th May 20:45

Court_S

7,698 posts

154 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
That’s a good insight to the car.

The speedo on the old car does look a bit rubbish. Daft question, but are these able to display a digital speed read out anywhere? I’ve coded that to my 335 using Carly and it displays in the central box where my MPG etc is shown. I’m not really up on VW cars, hence the question. Might be easier than changing dials.

MDMA .

7,073 posts

78 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
Court_S said:
That’s a good insight to the car.

The speedo on the old car does look a bit rubbish. Daft question, but are these able to display a digital speed read out anywhere? I’ve coded that to my 335 using Carly and it displays in the central box where my MPG etc is shown. I’m not really up on VW cars, hence the question. Might be easier than changing dials.
I had the Polar FIS in mine. Gives all the info you need and you end up just looking at that.



RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
Court_S said:
That’s a good insight to the car.
The speedo on the old car does look a bit rubbish. Daft question, but are these able to display a digital speed read out anywhere? I’ve coded that to my 335 using Carly and it displays in the central box where my MPG etc is shown. I’m not really up on VW cars, hence the question. Might be easier than changing dials.
It currently shows a tiny digital kph readout in the box where the mileage is shown, though even if that were in mph, it would hardly be that visible. Not sure about the possibility of using the centre digital screen. As helpful as that would be, though, I still find a decent physical speedometer much quicker to glance at than a digital figure.

Had a look at the Carly site, but it only quotes generic functions, as far as I can see.

WTFWT

816 posts

200 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
That’s a very good looking estate. Chapeau.

My mother used to live a few doors away from one of the UKs landed families. Duke of …. They had one of these as their daily smoker (no RR, Cullinan or some highly visible nonsense). Liked the car and the family ever since.

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
WTFWT said:
That’s a very good looking estate. Chapeau.

My mother used to live a few doors away from one of the UKs landed families. Duke of …. They had one of these as their daily smoker (no RR, Cullinan or some highly visible nonsense). Liked the car and the family ever since.
Thanks. Interesting choice for very wealthy folks; not the most luxurious or most reliable option. It’s quite subtle, but then an A6 or Legacy would seem to do that better. Having owned all three, though, I do think it blends the satisfying drive of the Subaru with most of the quality and solidity of the Audi - so maybe it is the logical choice!

d_a_n1979

4,277 posts

49 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
RoVoFob said:
WTFWT said:
That’s a very good looking estate. Chapeau.

My mother used to live a few doors away from one of the UKs landed families. Duke of …. They had one of these as their daily smoker (no RR, Cullinan or some highly visible nonsense). Liked the car and the family ever since.
Thanks. Interesting choice for very wealthy folks; not the most luxurious or most reliable option. It’s quite subtle, but then an A6 or Legacy would seem to do that better. Having owned all three, though, I do think it blends the satisfying drive of the Subaru with most of the quality and solidity of the Audi - so maybe it is the logical choice!
Thoughts on the A6 and Legacy interest me...

The A6 Avant 3.0 TFSI and Legacy Spec B estates are in my watch list too

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
So, I’ve trawled through all the paperwork and it seems like the car has had a decent amount of TLC over the years. Lots of money has been spent on it, so hopefully won’t have to repeat some of these jobs.

The only thing I’m suspicious about is the last two stamps in the service book - generic Arnold Clark ones with no address/garage name on them. They have ticked different things on them, used different pens and are in different handwriting, so fingers crossed they’re not fabricated…

Anyone know whether Arnold Clark would have a log of completed services, like a car manufacturer itself would?

All in all, this R36, registered in April 2009 and with just over 114,000 miles on the clock, seems to have had the following:
  • 9 x oil changes
6 of which were interval services
5 of which were inspection services
  • 4 x DSG oil + filter services
  • 3 x Haldex oil services
  • 1 x DSG rebuild @ 75,000 miles
  • 1 x Mechatronics replacement @ 18,000 miles
  • 1 x replacement timing chain @ 77,000 miles
According to my maths, looks like everything is up to date, which is good.

Think my initial tasks are to get the rust spots and iffy paintwork addressed, and then potentially another brake fluid change and another oil change/interval service if I can’t corroborate the two most recent Arnold Clark stamps.

Is there anything else you’d recommend? I’d normally change the tyres and be tempted to have another DSG oil/filter and Haldex service done, but it simply doesn’t need them…

RoVoFob

Original Poster:

933 posts

135 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
Thoughts on the A6 and Legacy interest me...

The A6 Avant 3.0 TFSI and Legacy Spec B estates are in my watch list too
That A6 was top of my shopping list - to replace my old A6 - but bar some ropey ones and expensive Japanese imports, there simply aren’t any around.

Think the A6 3.0 TFSI should be a pretty reliable and good quality option, as all 3.0 TFSIs are facelift C6 models, with most of the issues ironed out. My 2006 A6 had a fantastic quality interior and felt incredibly sturdy, but the air suspension wasn’t the best. Oddly it handled better than it rode (even on 17s). Even the later models don’t have the best suspension, judging by the one I test drove. The A6 has a bigger boot than the Passat and Legacy and the lowest tax (though pre-06 Legacys are the same) and the most scope to boost performance with a remap.

The Legacy has a beautifully smooth flat-six engine, a very slick six-speed manual gearbox and very precise - though overly light - steering. It’s light and nimble, has excellent visibility, a decent range of standard kit, but the cabin feels dated and a bit basic. The boot volume wasn’t the best with the boot cover in place, though the seats folded flat (unlike the A6) and the overall volume was very good. I averaged 29mpg over 2,500 miles of motorway trips, suburban driving and a bit of town stuff (compared with a 23.0mpg official figure).

The Passat has the smoothness of the Legacy engine and willingness to rev, along with the torque of the A6’s 4.2. It sounds great and the DSG gearbox is infinitely more responsive than the A6’s conventional auto and similarly short geared as the Legacy, meaning you can enjoy revving the engine more than with the A6. The steering is nice and meaty, the suspension is firm but comfy and the seats are infinitely better than the Audi ones (standard SE seats) and the Legacy’s shapeless sports seats. Refinement isn’t quite as good as in the A6, but better than the Legacy.

My favourite? The Passat, I think. I wish it had the all-round quality feel of the VW and the openness and practicality of the Subaru, but it blends most of the positives of both cars for me. I owned both the Audi and Subaru for six months, so we’ll see how long I keep the R36!

blank

3,079 posts

165 months

Sunday 15th May
quotequote all
There was a way to get a digital speedo on that age of VAG vehicle so it might work on the Passat...

It involves changing the speedo country to Australia and then switching it back to mph. You then get an option for showing digital speed assuming the central screen is capable.

You ideally need to plug it into VCDS or similar and have a look at instrument cluster long coding.