"BOUGHT 11/2003 WITH 99,000 MILES. NOW HAS 125,000 MILES. VR6 ENGINE, MANUAL TRANS. STRONG ENGINE, SMOOTH SHIFTER. PEPPY. A BALL TO DRIVE - DRIVES LIKE A BMW. COMFORTABLE AND ROOMY. PROBLEMS WITH EXTERIOR DOOR HANDLES. MINOR PROBLEM WITH AC. REPAIRS AND PARTS ARE PRICEY. I AM ABLE TO DO MOST MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS MYSELF."
"I bought this vehicle for a good price thinking it would be a good car to drive for a couple of years, and it has been just that.However due to the fact that it's an import, parts are more expensive so take that into consideration before buying.The tires alone on the car are very rare making them 3 to 4 times as much as a normal tire.The features I like are the heated seats which is great for those freezing cold days and while on that topic let me explain a huge fault on Volkswagons part the door handles, living in the midwest we have cold days and the I know when its really cold out I'm going to go to my car and the door is not going to shut, the locking mechanism on the door isn't on the inside like most cars so the extreme tempatures keep the door form closing.I've had to go as far as attaching a hair dryer to an extension cord to heat up the latch to get it to close and when I'm not at home i have to hold the door closed while I drive.Another flaw is because the 97 model was built so poorly almost all the work that you'd be able to do on your own on a domestic car, can't be said for this car, for example tranmisson fluid can only be put in with a special machine used at liscened Volkswagon Dealer, and to replace the altanator you'd have to lift the entire engine to get to it. Because I got a deal on this car I can't get to mad about certain things but just beware and do your research, but if you stumble across one that has had routine maintanance and you plan to keep up on it as well I recommend buying it."
"I just bought one for about 500 bucks and it was all messed up because of the privious owner did not take care of it. I got it, cleaned it out, filled with oil and surpizingly EVERYTHING works! I do have and oil leak... This car is super fast even with a beat up engine. no smoke, and never stalls out. love it. and yes the door handels dont work..."
"It's a good car overall. Since it's reliable and get's better milage than kelly blue book says it does. I personally got 29 miles to the galllon on the highway. a mixture of city and highway is 25 miles to the gallon and 19 to the gallon is about right for city. I get complaints though that my old honda was more comfortable in the back seat than this car. the front seat is pretty comfy though just the back as much room as it has people say it just isn't comfy like my 97 honda accord was. but I like the way it handles at high speed Since I love driving fast it handles turns going pretty quick quite well. I think it's like a sport's car when it comes to handling. and it holds it's value pretty well. (unlike american cars)I'm quite an aggresive driver so if you need a car that can handle intense driving than look no further it's low price and great handling will ensure lot's of happinesss behind the wheel. I am not a volkswagon fan but I have to say I'm impressed with this car."
"I bought this vehicle used @ 55,000 mi. during 07.2002. It has had some problems cruise control works occasionally, a/c compressor needs replacing @ $1,200. I would probably buy another but, not recommend it to a friend."
"Very solid car, spacious and comfy, strong VR6 engine. Had almost all common VW problems: driver side door handle, power window elevator, sensors, auto transmission works not quite smoothly... But they are not big deals if you know how to buy parts on-line and get a honest repair shop(not dealer!)
Anyway worth my money."
"The car looks good. It is fun to drive, when it works. Constant headaches. All 4 door handles have broken at least twice. You have to reach inside to open 2 of the doors. Lock on trunk broken. Motor that unlocks all of the doors continues to run for 1 minute after doors are unlocked. A/C has gone out twice. Transmission has broken twice (car is automatic). Water pump blew up at a dealer while waiting for a different repair job. Throttle body broken at 74091 miles. Mass air flow sensor broke at 76000 miles, causing the car to be inoperable untill fixed. Most VW shops won't work on this car. Dealerships rarely fix the right problems. Do yourself a favor and buy something reliable... an Acura perhaps."
"My 1996 Passat wagon has 105,000 miles and is in the shop more than not these days. We just replaced the transmission. I've had many problems with the electrical and the drivers side door. But I loved that car and will fix it and sell it to a friend. We just bought a 2005 Audi."
"Bought 96 VR6 Passat Sedan new. It now has 150,00mi. On the whole, it has needed repair a little too often, but so far nothing huge (e.g. engine or transmission). I've been able to repair everything myself. I wouldn't buy a new one again, but I did buy a 96 Passat Wagon (now has 115,00 mi) a few years ago because the resale value had dropped a bunch, and was a good value at that time, and I knew I could fix the common problems. The Passat has a good strong engine (VR6) but many other parts have had problems. This car is definitely not for someone who sends their vehicles to the shop for repair and finding a good discount VW parts web site is highly recommended."