"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."
"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."
"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."
Pros: "doesn't leave you stranded..powerful and torquey"
Cons: "small things breaking are like water torture"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Bought my car with 100,000 miles on it. Drivetrain(manual) has been reliable. Strong engine and great handling, but as others have noted, the small stuff will drive you crazy. the previous owner had extended warranty that had expired. I know why she sold it. It was in the shop about every 2 months. Even the instrument panel failed. These are our repairs: window regulators, leaky windows, door handles(of course!),heater core, cooling system leaks (upgraded parts solved this), fuses mysteriously blowing, 2 clutches, clutch pedal, heater controls.
Oh well, now it's like an old dog. Gonna keep it til it dies."
"ive had mine for about 3 yrs now and well the trannty, ignition cylnder, rear windows, ac wheel bearings, and moon roof all quit working with in a month of eachother. for the amonut of money it would cost to fix it i could by 2 other cars
get somthing else"
"I bought this car used from a colleague in 1998 and have owned it since. Despite having a tough life being used mostly for city driving in the northeast and being parked on the street where it's been assaulted every winter by salt and sand trucks and plows as well as potholes, it has virtually no rust and has held up very well. During my last auto inspection, the mechanic commented on how tight the front end is. Never had a breakdown or a major mechanical failure in the 12 years I've owned it."
"I bought my Passat TDI from Carmax with 12,000 miles on it twelve years ago. I am now at 151,000 and still smile when I walk out to get in my car.
I am 6'5" tall, and even with my seat back all the way, there is still plenty of room for someone to sit behind me.
It has had its challenges over the years...had to replace the ECU in 2005, and have had to replace window regulators, door handles, locks, headliner, and should replace the gear shift boot and emergency brake boot.
The Passat handles well, although I would not say that it is sporty. It's compliant over bumps on the highway, and continues to be fun to drive with the manual transmission.
Given the huge, well-designed trunk, we have used this vehicle for family vacations, and I used it for years as a traveling office when I was in sales.
The engine has always been serviced with synthetic and runs very well. The turbo allows me to keep up and merge with highway traffic, and the cruise has kept me out of trouble.
It's been a great vehicle....and I've always averaged between 45 and 50 mpg...durability, economy, looks that don't go out of date...what more could you ask for in a vehicle?"
"I bought this car new in 1997. It has been trouble from day one. This car has gone thru 3 transmissions. Both the drivers side and passengers side window have fallen into the doors 4 times each. Numerous electrical issues. Had AC replaced. Spedometer and odometer have not worked for the past year and a half. Cruise control broken. Trunk lock won't open. Right side door locks will not lock or unlock, must be done manually. Check engine light continually on. "Leather" seats ripped on both sides, exposing that they are not really made from leather. Drivers side window will not open or shut with power window button, glass must be pulled up or pushed down manually. Requires expensive, low profile tires which only last a maximum of a year. Over heats when air conditioning is on. Everything squeaks, rattles, or creaks. Other than that, excellent car!"
"I bought the car from a used car dealer at 90K. Had nothing but problems from the start. First is started with windows falling into the door, doors not opening, flooding, then antifreeze began to leak on to the drivers side floor. We owned the car for 2 years, bought it for $4000, put over $1,500 into it and finally sold it for only $800 very disappointed!"