Transmission, transmission, transmission!! Have I mentioned that the transmission failed, and would have cost more than the car's value to fix?
Window motors failed immediately following my purchase of the car.
The timing belt, which had been replaced twice previously before I owned the vehicle.
The whole exhaust system needed to be replaced (which cost over $1000US, without labor).
Various other minor things that I won't mention, but did fix and cost me a mint.
This car was trouble from the moment I laid eyes on it, but the gorgeous shape the body and motor were in took my focus off of what truly mattered about the car, which was the fact that the transmission had problems.
These transmissions in early 90s model Passats were notorious for being utter garbage, and I'd recommend anyone pondering the purchase of one of these fine vehicles get one with a standard, as they are great as far as I know, and I have asked around.
The car was great other than minor stuff, other than the transmission problems of course. One thing that was annoying was the major vibration it gave when at idle, which was very noticeable and unnerving.
Parts for this particular car, and any from Volkswagen for that matter, and any German car manufacturer are astronomically expensive, and I truly wish I'd done my homework before purchasing the vehicle, rather than after, because it most definitely would have swayed my decision.
One good thing is that most VWs retain their value quite well, and the car I originally paid $550US for, I turned around and sold for $1500US, and that was with a bad transmission, which required a rebuild very soon.
If you've got a never ending supply of money, then maybe I could recommend this type of car to you, but if you're anything like myself, I would recommend something which would be much less to maintain and that wouldn't be breaking down constantly, as Passats do, and most other VWs I'm told.
As I said, it really was a nice car, but it also had major problems, and it wasn't by itself either. I've read that if you're in the market for a Passat, then you'd be wise to stay away from the automatic transmission since they ALL fail eventually, and most sooner in their lives than later. I suppose for a well off person it would be okay, but then I suppose a new car every year would be in order, and there would certainly be no need for an ready made headache.