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1996 Volkswagen Passat

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
6.8
Out of 10

Based on 77 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 (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."

8 people out of 8 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

tough

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

"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"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Reliable and Dependable; Great Value

By on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"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."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

1997 Passat TDI manual

By on Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"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?"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Trouble, trouble, trouble

By on Thursday, July 24, 2008

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

"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!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Worst car I ever owned

By on Sunday, July 20, 2008

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

"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!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Very satisfied

By on Thursday, July 26, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"I purchased this car new and have had great luck with it!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

no hybrid could match

By on Sunday, September 26, 2010

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"How many cars can you drive 212k without replacing any front end part, alternator, starter, or clutch. I have done nothing but replace brakes, struts, filters, oil. It gets 50 mpg regularly and I've even gotten as high as 56 mpg. The car has a large tank which returns around 900 miles on a single tank. I did have two problems: an oil line to the turbo broke, due to a hanger that held it in place rusted and broke (due to the salt use in Maine). which I lost all the oil in the engine at 75mph. But it has survived! I also had a wiring harness chaff through which caused the car to dhort out and die in the rain. No car is without problems, however if you mantain this car it rewards you, in my opinion no other car was a better value."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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