"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."