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.

General Comments:

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

9th Mar 2007, 14:03


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.

1991 Volkswagen Passat GL 1.7 from North America


Big waste of money


Head gasket blew at 185,000.

Major exhaust work at 180,000.

Leaking oil constantly (blue smoke).

Didn't pass Aircare 3 times.

Leaking sunroof.

Hood faded to dull red.

Power windows stopped working.

Cooling fan stopped working.

Major electrical work.

General Comments:

This is the worst car I've ever owned.

My Passat was unreliable and cost me so much money to fix.

When I would take the car to the dealer, everything was a mystery to them.

I will never buy another VW again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th March, 2006

3rd Nov 2006, 07:51

Sounds like you're a car killer, if that's the case stick to a NA built car, cheap and throw away... right up your alley. Preventative maintenance once and a while would have solved all your problems.

1991 Volkswagen Passat CL 2.0i from UK and Ireland


Very nice car... you heard me



General Comments:

Excellent car, can't praise it enough. I've had one before, and when I saw this one (very cheap at less than £300) I had to have it. Quick for a 2 litre engine in a decent sized car ; 0-60 mph in just 10 seconds, and it will do just over 120 mph. Just had it serviced and changed the timing belt, runs very smooth.

Comfort? Well, I've had better speced cars (this one doesn't even have electric windows!) but it's a very comfortable car, smooth to drive and quiet, excellent ride. Central locking, alloys, spoiler, and a trip computer, that's about it. Basic spec for cars these days.

Reliability? I've had it six months and its never let me down...again, what can you say for less than £300!!

Economical too, I get close to 40 mpg on average, and that's calculated myself, I don't trust the trip computer on any car, though it does seem to be accurate.

Overall, a very quick comfortable and reliable car on the cheap. I don't know where the bad comments about this car come from - usually the USA, but the Volkswagens there aren't built in Germany, so...

The car is built so well it feels more 'executive' than family saloon. Better than the rivals (Mondeo, Vectra, etc)...not that theres anything wrong with those cars, just I like this better. And believe me, I've had LOTS of cars, everything from a Vauxhall Astra to a BMW 7-series, I just don't know why I like the VW Passat so much! Obviously bigger saloons and sports cars etc are better, but this car is just such a good 'all rounder' in terms of comfort, performance, reliability, running costs, etc.

Can't believe its about 15 years old now - and still going strong. I can easily see it lasting another couple of years. Only downside is parts are a bit more expensive than the average car, but all things considered, I'd highly recommened the car to anyone. This is the mark 3 Passat I have, but from what I here, old to the latest models are all good too, with similar good reports on reliability. Shame the USA got a bad deal on them (Why don't Volkswagen build them in Germany for the USA???)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2005