1996 Volkswagen Passat GLS TDI
Once you pay for it, it's like driving for free! 50mpg
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...
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