1996 Volkswagen Passat Reviews from North America - Page 6 of 6

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLS TDI

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission TDI Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance176000 miles
Previous carToyota Camry

Summary:

Once you pay for it, it's like driving for free! 50mpg

Faults:

The only thing is a weird instrument package freezing issue that happens for about three months out of the year. If the temperature drops below freezing and there is a high humidity (like we have in the American Southeast), the speedometer and tachometer will both freeze in their respective maximum measurement.

Last winter, once I started having the problem, it showed that I was going 95 mph at idle and the speedo would bury itself at highway speeds; same with the tach. Once the cold weather went away, it slowly started "slowing down". Once the hot weather was here, everything turned back to normal.

A friend of mine has a VR6 97' GLX and his tach did the same thing but never worked again, so I consider myself lucky. The dealer just wanted to replace the cluster; the parts were $485 so I passed. The odometer always stayed accurate, BTW...

General Comments:

This is the most awesome vehicle I've ever owned. After 176,000 miles, I'm getting over 47 mpg on the highway and something around 38 mpg in town.

It is a runner, especially when under load. When you set the cruise at 75 mph and start climbing a mountain at highway speeds next to a V6 Camry or Accord, the Passat will leave them all in the dust and never even twitch off the set speed.

The car still looks new inside and out. I would like to find the same car in a wagon with a TDI, but it's beyond a needle in a haystack. I wish VW would allow the Passat to come back to the U.S. in TDI.

We liked the car so much that we bought my wife a new beetle with the same TDI engine. We've got about 32K on it so far with nothing but good things to say about it. Why doesn't everyone make diesels like this???

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2001

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX VR6

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission VR6 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance82000 miles
Previous carPontiac Grand Am

Summary:

The complete hybrid of luxury/sport

Faults:

My check engine light would not shut off after I placed an after-market exhaust on the car.

General Comments:

A very overlooked car. It's that simple. Performance wise, it's a bigger version of the VR6 GTI/Jetta weighing only 200lbs more. Luxury wise, it's not much different than my Aunt's Mercedes Benz C-Class. The only bad point is the economy, maybe its because I have an intake, a chip, and an exhaust, but if you want economy, you might as well go out and buy a Honda.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2001

10th Sep 2001, 19:03

If you buy one with about 100K it will already have had all of it's bugs worked out of it. At about 80K it will need an O2 sensor which will illuminate the check engine light.

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX VR6

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission VR6 Automatic
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.8 / 10
Distance when acquired76500 miles
Most recent distance87500 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

Piece of JUNK!!

Faults:

Everything... The transmission is going out, the water pump has failed (twice), the dashboard flashes on and off, the odometer has stopped working, the ABS light is always coming on, poor gas mileage, etc.

The car is junk and I never received good support from the dealers here in Colorado. Never, ever buy a Volkswagen Passat VR6 automatic! They are junk!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd February, 2001

1st Mar 2001, 13:18

I bought a VW Passat new in 1999. I have had continual problems with it ie. mouldings falling off three times, airconditioner out, radio out, brakes out, ABS light coming on and off and sensor out, third cylinder blown, and now the head of the engine cracked. I have continually tried to get a resolution through customer service with no avail. Piece of you know what. I am currently filing a class action suit against Volkswagen under the lemon law in California.

Carolyn

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX VR6

Year of manufacture1996
Engine and transmission VR6
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.2 / 10

Faults:

4 transmissions (automatic) in 3 years! Luckily, the warranty covers it. Volkswagen will soon have more money in this car than I have! Dealers and corporate both deny any inherent problems with this year and model, but a guy I work with had the same car with the same problems.

General Comments:

Buy an Audi instead.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st January, 1999

9th May 2001, 14:49

I have encountered the same problems with my 1996 Passat GLX. 4 Transmissions in 6 years... ridiculous. I point blank asked a service rep if this seemed unusual and he agreed. Still, he didn't know what was causing it. The car has been a major pain in my butt from the beginning.

27th May 2001, 21:21

I own a 1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX with a manual transmission. Basic components have worked very well--engine and transmission still are fine and after 80,000+ miles I'm still on the original clutch. Difficulties are more in the nickel and dime department: fuel indicator has failed, odometer had to be replaced, cruise control was fixed three times in the last 8 months before it worked properly. Car is less reliable than my old Toyota but a lot more fun to drive: excellent acceleration, holds the road well, comfortable on long trips, roomy back seats. But I understand that reliability with VW is an on and off thing. Current models are very highly rated by Consumer Reports and salesmen say that reliability has improved but I'll believe it when I see the statistics.

10th Jul 2001, 19:34

Wait a minute! Buy an Audi instead? Isn't Audi just an up-market VW? If so, Buy a Toyota instead of wasting hard-earned money on an overpriced unreliable VW/Audi.

Average review marks: 6.2 / 10, based on 23 reviews