"I rarely use my Passat, only has 55k miles over 7 years, however I have run into a mulititude of problems, many of which are out of the owner's control: electrical, valves slipping, pipes cracking, etc. I owned a '97 Accord for 3 years, never had a single problem, I have owned the '00 Passat for 7 years, have had dozens of mechanical issues. Going back to Honda!! Also, VW has to figure out minor details too, such as cupholders that can hold cups, and trunks that don't require bodybuilders to lift and close."
"Having owned my 1998 Passat for 9 years I have to say it is an excellent car. It still drives wonderfully, looks great - timeless style and design, and is very reliable. I will say that I have maintained it well over the years which I think is a must with a German Car. But for the $ I think it is such a nicer driving and handling car than its Japanese competition. I highly recommend the Passat to someone who loves to Drive and is willing to take care of their car."
Pros: "Comfortable, handles well, lots of room for cargo"
Cons: "Tends to bottom on uneven roads, flooding problem"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car is good for tall folks. I am 6'2" and have trouble fitting comfortably behind the wheel of some cars. The seat height adjustment and tilt/telescoping wheel make it easy for just about any size driver to find a comfortable driving position.
There is lots of room to haul stuff if you put the back seats down.
The ride is comfortable and steering is tight, not wishy-washy like some other cars. The suspension is not great for rough terrain or pot holes and has a tendency to bottom out, especially when fully loaded. I bottomed out onto the protruding edge of a manhole cover and cracked my transmission.
The main design flaw is the trough under the battery. It has a small drainage hole at the bottom and if it gets clogged with leaves or other debris, that trough will fill with water when it rains. When this happens it overflows into the passenger compartment and floods the two computer modules which are under your feet in the front seating area. Those two modules control just about everything in the car and are over $300 to replace. There was also a drainage issue around the sliding sun roof."
Cons: "average luxury, premium gas, high maintenance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"when it came out, i loved the styling of the car.
the first 3-4 years of upkeep were fine, but once the vehicle hit about 75k miles, maintenance costs quickly became a problem.
after $3k in catalytic converters, and $2k in sensors, i gave up and traded it in for a non-VW car.
this car also requires premium gas.
if you want an older vw, get a jetta. same engine but less weight = faster and more efficient."
"This is the most fun car I have ever driven. It handles amazingly and is so much fun to drive. I hated to have to get rid of it. I had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with this car. Here's why:
Pros: fast, great handling, a blast to drive, loads of features, side airbags, heated leather seats, sun roof. This car felt like a tank. I felt very safe driving it.
Now the cons: everything this car did not need to run, went out on it. Everything suspension related (it's heavy) went out at least twice, engine mounts are cheap and break easily, power steering system sprung a leak and had to be topped off every 3 or so months, abs control module went out, catalytic converters (both) failed...among other things. Long story short, it's too heavy of a car to use cheap plastic parts...they're going to break when this much weight is put on them. And to top it off, its very expensive to work on. Altogether my repair bills were over $3000 and another $4000 of work was still needed. I now work at a VW repair shop and this is common...I hear this stuff every day.
Bottom line, I absolutely loved that car and in spite of everything that went wrong, it was reliable. Like I said, everything that car did not absolutely need to run went out."
"The car started falling apart at 60,000 miles, and now needs to be sold at 70,000 miles as we can't keep throwing $3K a year to maintain it. Electrical issues, multiple oil leaks, and issues with the brakes. Volkswagon should be ashamed of this car."
"We bought the 2000 Passat V6 new in 1999. This is the best car we have ever known. After 12 wonderful years we are ready for another Passat. It is similar to the Audi A4 but less expensive and you get to drive the Passat more since the Audi is always in the repair shop. Yes, I've owned an A4.
Styling and performance is comparable to it's Audi A4 cousin.
Cheers to a great car!"
"A comfortable, roomy, attractive vehicle that needs constrant TLC. It requires lots of maintenance as it ages and goes through tires and brakes more quickly than other cars when driven similarly. Plus, the V6 needs Premium Unleaded $$$"
"I have had my passat for 8 years and the oil has burned all 7 years. The deal has "fixed it" a total of 13 times now and has paid for only a couple. This car is not worth the money and the people at the dealer treated me like dirt. They never called me so I had to call them. The car is simply bad luck. It is nothing more than a money pit"
"This wagon has served me well. It is as fast as a bat out of heaven. However, there have been problems with the engine and emissions- most of which were covered by warranty. Would I buy another one? Well I am looking for one of the last front wheel drive V-6 wagons 2007ish made. If I can't find one I will wait for the new Honda station wagon."
"When I bought this car less than 4 years ago it had 32,000 miles on it. It was everything I ever wanted... And I had no problems with it for the first year. But since then, I've had to fork over about $5,000 worth of repairs (major oil leaks (twice within one year!), upper control arms & boots, and regular maintenance, and now the heater core needs to be replaced, etc). It's a great car and I love it, but I just can't afford the maintenance on it. Volkswagen can get away with charging so much because it's such a specialized vehicle. It seems to need major repairs twice a year, and I've barely even scratched the 100K mile marker!"
"This car has given more trouble than any car I have owned. Constant electrical problems and numerous check engine and air bag light issues. Once fixed it will work for a few weeks, then something new happens. I do not reccomend this type of car to my worst enemy."
"We have owned this vehicle since new, it is a 2001 1/2. 4 cyl turbo with man. tran. gets 33 mpg hwy and 27-29 around town. No repairs until 90,000 miles then came a water pump (bad design), One axle, and mass airflow sensor.
I sold our 1990 Passat at 10 years of age (in New England). It had 165,000 miles and almost no repairs after a few in the early stages under factory warrantee."
"I bought my v6 new in 2001 and I ca tell only how good the car still performs 115000 later. I took very good care of it so far taking t to the scheduled services including changing the timing belt at 85000 and cv boots. It has the original brake pads! I prefer the kick of the v6 over the 4 cyl versions. No electrical issues either, great car."
"i have owned a 99 passat for about 6 mos, runs fine, although i think turbo is going and there is a slight oil leak and a little sludge. you MUST use synthetic oil (ELF) for your oil changes and change oil every 5000 miles!!!!! other than that it is a good car although awful expensive to fix."
"I bought this car new and it now has 70,000, mostly city, miles on it. I love pretty much everything about this car, style, performance, economy, handling. It's only been in the shop twice, and yes the parts are pricey but I know I would be bored in a toyota or honda.
I hesitate to recommend this car to a friend, for fear their luck may not be so good (as I have heard there are problems), but I know I will replace this car (in maybe 5 years) with another VW; I imagine another Passat Wagon."
"I have a 1999 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 Tiptronic. I bought the car used in 2006 with 105K miles on it. I got for $3000 less than KBB. I thought this was going to be a good reliable car but that is not the case. Once I bought the car (from a private seller) I had to put about $2000 into it. I had to change everything from the the ABS computer system (which should have never gone bad) to the remote flip-out key fob. The only thing I didn't have to change is the tires. Maintaining this car is way too expensive. Yes it's a German car but it's still just a Volkswagen. The Volkswagen dealership in my area charges +- $100/hour. The parts themselves are very expensive too. Compared to a Toyota or Honda that is way too much. The V6 engine is very powerful though. I swear it does 0-60 mph well under 7 seconds. The car's chassis is very tight and the suspension is sporty but not to firm on bad roads. The engine doesn't start sometimes the first time I turn on the ignition; especially in the winter. There is a loud squeaky sound coming from the back driver's spring in the suspension. I am afraid to have it checked out because I don't want to be stuck with another $500 service fee just to replace a spring in the suspension. The new Passat is supposedly better so I would reconmend that one only if you buy it brand new and are able to maintain it."
"I have owned my Passat now for 9 yrs. and rate it among one of the best I have owned. When comparing to the Honda Civic that I owned prior to the Passat, I felt as though the comfort level increased 10 fold without much difference in MPG. I fell in love with the test drive and still love to drive it.
There have been a few issues with the electronics. I left my driver window down and the console got very wet during a unexpected rainstorm. Needless to say, the wetness shorted out my horn fuse which shorted out the horn completely. The replacement cost was pricey at the dealer.
I have a chronic problem with starting the car and driving it for a short period, ex: moving the car out of the driveway to let another car pull out. The car stalls and hesitates afterwards, especially, the next day. How weird is that I asked the dealer after I had the car towed to the dealership to repair?
The manager suggested that I had "flooded the engine" when trying to start it up. AAGH! After a few other occasions with this happening, I drive the car around the block for a few minutes so that the fuel injectors do not FLOOD the engine as a mechanic friend suggested. He said that the VW has sensitive fuel injectors...oh well.
Other than these few problems, I find nothing to complain about with my Passat. It is very comfortable to drive and ride in, fitting 5 adults comfortably. The gas mileage is not bad considering the cost of gas now...>$4.10 for premium which it requires. I paid $21,000 with my Honda Civic trade-in 9 yrs ago and feel that it is worth the money. I have a moon roof and rear spoiler that add to the value that it still holds along with a 5 CD changer.
Great car for the money.
Happy in Elkton, MD"
"We bought the 1999 Passat GLS 4cyl turbo new in 1999. After the very short warranty (2 yrs/24000 miles) expired, the car began to give us nothing but problems. Definitely research the oil sludge issue. At about 80000 miles, the turbo burned out as a result of the oil sludge issue. Luckily, I had every receipt for oil changes for the life of the car, and therefore VW covered the turbo replacement and the Oil system replacement (would have been $4000 if not covered). The headlights seem to burn out at will, as we have gone through about 5 headlight bulbs. The radio stopped working about 2 years ago and neither VW or my private mechanic can fix it- no AM reception and only very local FM stations. The ABS module failed and needed replacing, and now the ABS wheel sensors have failed. After the recall for the front suspension, the dealer found no issues, but for 2 years the car front suspension squeaked intolerably until I had all the control arms replaced. Now the car is having electrical system issues, door locks and windows randomly fail to operate, the side mirror switch failed and needed replacing, and the sunroof is now leaking. My mechanic told me that leaks are a problem, as the electrical system is housed under the floorboards, and is easily damaged by water from cabin leaks. Overall, not a very good experience. I will be trading it in soon for a Honda Accord and will take what I can get for it...."
"My Passat drives beautifully. It's quiet, comfortable, and sporty. It drives much better than the Accord in my opinion. However, I've endured a number of problems(it's now at 120k) including ball joints, engine temperature sensor, CV joints, door lock, AM radio, engine misfires, heater core, and many broken plastic parts in the interior."