1991 Volkswagen Passat GL 16v DOHC 2.0L from North America
Poor man's Audi
Iratic idle, faulty speed sensor, rear brakes won't engage parking brake.
Being very leary of Passats, mostly because of their high initial purchase costs, vs the used car market costs today, (amazingly low) I happened to purchase this car from my brother last year. After sifting through a myriad of nuisance problems, I think that the car has finally achieved a baseline of reliability for me.
Performance-wise, the car is adequate. Around town it's quite sluggish, but out on the highway, where the 16V is allowed to breathe, it totes along well. The cabin is spacious, and the car is big by VW standards. (it took a while to adjust from my previous 1990 Jetta size) There is a lot of body roll, that can be quite unnerving to the uninitiated, while whizzing through s-curves.
This car is 15 years old now, and the body is immaculate, with only surface rust present on the trunk lid and fender edges, albeit this car has been regularly oiled. The frame rails and rocker panels are solid and free from rust. With regular maintenance (this is key) this car should serve well past its 20th birthday.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd November, 2006
After a further 3 months, I report that the car has sprung new problems, all of which have been detected by the VAG-COM scan. O2 sensor, and Idle stabilizer valve have proven defective and need replacing. Be warned when purchasing a VW that part costs are high, for example; O2 sensor-$190, ISV-$170...not including labour.