Based on 78 Ratings for the 1995 - 1997 models.Review this car
By black/black_passat on Monday, September 19, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great drive, engine, handling, performance"
Cons: "windows, door latches break with age, cup holder is a terrible add-on design"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this '97 black exterior, black leather interior GLX with 6k miles on it. My guess is the previous owner lived in the south bay of SF (san jose, palo alto, mountain view, etc), bought it in the winter, got to summer and said "holy solar flares, it's an oven in here!" I live in SF, where it's never summer and never hot, so it's the perfect car for SF and maybe Seattle. But trips to wine country, east bay in the summer, and a late spring road trip to AZ/UT (canyon country, Moab, GC, etc) are brutally hot. Love the way this car drives. Even with 150K miles, still drives and handles great. Incredibly fun, responsive to slightest nudge on accelerator, comfortable to be in the cockpit all day. The bad news: the details. All 4 power windows have needed to be replaced cause the clips break and the windows stop tracking correctly. The sunroof broke once too, and over my mechanic's advice I asked him to fix it (and it works now). I gotta have my sunroof and radio, those are must-haves for me. I had the same issues with the door not latching shut in cold weather (winter morning in Tahoe) and had to wait a few hours until the sun warmed it up a bit). The door handles are horrible -- they look fine but the operation is not intuitive; I've had to instruct every friend and family member that they need to do both push (with thumb on handle base) and pull (latch out away from base), just pulling doesn't work effectively and eventually weakens the door latch. Currently, both rear doors don't open from the outside anymore; have to open from the interior. The stock rims are an odd 215/50/15. Only 1 remaining all season tire model left that I can ever find on tirerack. But love the rear log room in this vehicle; far more than comparable Audi A4, BMW 3 series, Infinity G35, Toyota Camry etc. I bought this car partially for this reason, so if/when any 6'3" friends are in the back seat I don't have to move my seat up. And I never do. Huge trunk for size of car too. Long story short: love the car and if I went back in time 10 years would buy it again 10 out of 10 times, but unless you find one with only 50k on it, don't recommend buying it now ... unless you stock up on tires or switch to a different sized rim."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By iowa88 on Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"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."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By spinner on Wednesday, February 23, 2011
overall rating 4 of 10rating details
"I absolutely hate hate hate this vw ... I bought it from a friend 3 years ago and yes it is a 96 and I know it will have its problems but the problems I have had is by far the worst compared to my eighties volvo! I have replaced a bearing a tie rod a water pump a crank sensor some other sensor all the door handles break often they decided to put the most cheaply made door handles ever I mean it is endless with repairs it has been in the shop more then I have had it ... however when it does have a good day I do enjoy the sunroof and the style of the vehicle I would only recommend to someone if they truly love vw and understand how much they break"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Jack on Wednesday, November 10, 2010
overall rating 10 of 10rating details
"I have owned this car for 15 years now and have nothing but good things to say about it. I liked the design and the practical aspect of a station wagon. Not as bulky as a minivan or SUV, but with more space than a sedan. Excellent performance and reliability on this wagon. Total repair costs so far are approximately $ 1,200. Would purchase another VW Passat station wagon but found out that VW is no longer selling them in USA, now that the NMS will be built in Tennessee."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By frog on Thursday, October 07, 2010
overall rating 6 of 10rating details
"loved the car however wouldnt recommend to someone unless they have the money to replace parts every 3 months :/"