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1996 Volkswagen Passat

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
6.8
Out of 10

Based on 78 Ratings for the 1995 - 1997 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    7.5/10
    Quality
    7.1/10
  • Reliability
    7.0/10
    Performance
    7.9/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    7.7/10
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Nice car but lots of problems

By on Thursday, February 02, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I've had this car since '99. I've only kept it this long, because it's paid for. Like many other reviewers, I've had a lot of problems with the car beyond the normal maintenance. I've also replaced the door mechanism on all four doors multiple times, and three of the four doors don't work correctly right now. That is my biggest complaint about the car. Otherwise, the V6 engine has plenty of power, and the ride is decent. As far as a recommendation, I'm not sure how many people are in the market for a car from the mid- to late-90s. If so, stay away from the VW Passat."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best Investment I've Made

By on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"I bought my diesel Passat new in '96 for 19,600. It now has 255,555 miles on it. I brag about it all the time, especially with today's gas/fuel prices. I get 51 miles to the gallon!! Admittedly it doesn't have the acceleration of the non-diesel models. I bought it because I was on the road as a salesperson; I have taken it on 2000 mile trips (middle-aged woman alone). I've driven in all kinds of weather and almost always feel safe. Yes the door handles are stubborn, especially now. Yes I lost the driver's side window regulator once. The sunroof now leaks in a powerful car wash. I have hauled furniture, dogs, family, scrap wood and demolition material to the dump. Now I recharge the a/c annually. I replaced 1 bearing. Original clutch. Mine was built in Germany. I get 60k miles out of the tires I put on it. I have the dealer put synthetic oil in it. I did have to replace the radiator a couple years ago. I replaced part of the exhaust system once. Now I will need tires, brakes and a timing belt again, kind of all together, but I hope for another 100k miles. Anyone else have this great car?? When I bought it there were only 3 in this state. I feel very lucky. I bought the car (my first new car purchase after leasing several) for the long run...and we're still running. I love it, in spite of a few small faults."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best (German car) bang for the buck.

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 225,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Brakes, Suspension, Engine"

Cons: "Electrical quirks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned my 1995 Passat GLX (VR6, 5 speed) for 12 years. Over the years, I have been impressed by the overall performance. Brakes are solid, suspension well balanced, and the engine is powerful and sounds great."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Worth it

By on Tuesday, February 12, 2008

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"I bought this 95 from a small dealer with roughly 50k on it. Today, thanks to the snow I slammed sideways into a telephone pole, airbags deployed and the car is surley totaled (Insurance purposes).....but unbelievably after the tow driver got it to drive onto the truck (to my shock), I got him to let me drive it home....220,000 miles on it, a telepone pole later and the car purred like a kitten all the way home (except the open, smashed windows and passenger doors, sunroof etc). No check engine light, no leaks (no bumper). Now remember the car IS totaled, the bent roof etc are not repairable....but the beast handled the hit well. After such a hard hit, the car rolled home for an hour and a half drive. I hate to loose it. The engine, radiator, the steering, the frame etc... all held up to a big accident after being on the road 13 years and 220K. Yes there were a few problems, clutch around 80k, (normal), a couple sensors around 120k, ignition swich, an arching coil pack that would arc only when it rained (rather than replace it we sprayed it with silicone and that worked) that i did not replace, and infamous Volks Electrical issues that let to a window that went down when it wanted to. A dime kept it in the up position until one bad winter day when I decided to just open the door and disconnect the window rather than pay VW $500 to 'maybe' fix it. And yes the headliner peeled but that was the fault of the guy installing a new windshield. So read the complaints and the whining and remember, almost any car will need some repair after 13 years and 220K. Anyone can get a lemon even from a new car. With the book value around 3K it would have been a steal if someone bought it. But I couldn't bear to sell it. I loved it too much. Had it for 10 years or so-so I don't think the number of repairs or the severity of them was unacceptable. Oh and I always used Mobil 1 synth oil and changed it every 10-15K miles and syth trany (Royal Purple). Like another review, I had someone recently ask me if it was a new car. A nice detail and it looked spanking new in and out. No one believes it is a '95. So good luck. I don't know that I would buy a new Passat or even another used one as I think there are likely better deals to be had, but if I ended up with one I would certainly be happy enough. happy hunting"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

fun to drive powerful great gas/mileage

By on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I own this car

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "very powerful"

Cons: "parts hard to find and usually expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"problems with door handles and windows,easy fix for experienced mechanic,replaced coil pack,car has heated seats leather enterior(fair conditioin) body fairly clean 1 rust spot,1 dent on rt front fender ac is fully charged but needs switch or something/worked great when switch was bypassed,needs front passenger window track fixed/replaced overall a decent dependable car"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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