1992 Volkswagen Passat CL 1.8 petrol
Tough reliable car, if a little dull
Alternator + power steering pump at 110,000 miles.
Timing belt changed at 80,000 when I got the car as precaution.
Suspension mounts front and back at various MOT tests.
Exhaust rear box fell off - quickly and cheaply replaced.
Indicator relay switch replaced. That was about it, plus general maintenance.
A big step up in comfort compared to my previous Ford Escort, this large family VW Passat was better appealing in almost every way apart from the fact it was rather dull to look at. If I'm being really picky, it was only that strange plastic grille at the front that made it duller than it actually was - from the side and back I thought it was a pretty decent looking car, but being the basic CL model it did not have body colour bumpers and those faded to grey as it got older, making it look duller as well. I decided to add alloy wheels that really made it much better.
The 1.8 petrol is a great all rounder with acceptable acceleration and mid range torque, and if you drive carefully enough you could get close to 40 MPG. 5 speed gear box was very tight and fun to use with a nicely weighted clutch. No drivers car, but better than I expected, plus general ride and handling were good. Go for the VR6 if you want a fast car that's fun to drive, or maybe the 2.0 would be a safe bet.
Interior was nice to be in; again though I'd say it was dull, black and grey plastic everywhere, but it was logically laid out and very comfortable, with good vision all round.
The 5 years I owned the car it proved reliable and reasonable costs to run, apart from that power steering pump, that was the only expensive part. To be fair it was already 8 years old with 80K on it when I bought it. Looking back I wouldn't mind another, it was generally more reliable than a lot of modern cars I've had since.
But back in 2005 financial circumstances dictated to me it was time to move on, so when it was 13 years old with 140K on it, I sold it to a family member who said he "ran it into the ground" - drove it hard and did not bother servicing it and scrapped it a couple of years later. It was a tough car I guess.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th August, 2017