1991 Volkswagen Passat GL 2.0L from North America


Maintenance Pig


Coolant Fan blew.

Distributor failed.

Head gasket blew.

Fuel sending unit failed.

Ignition failed.

Windows failed.

Catalytic converter plugged.

General Comments:

This car robbed me of all my money. I bought this car because I loved the drive of it, and don't get me wrong, this car handled extremely well. Nice brakes, nice suspension, firm gripping tires. I thought that I would fix it a BIT and drive it for a long time.

Well, after a year and change worth of ownership, I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't trade it in because the VW dealership said that they won't accept any Passats of that gender due to the sad reports on them, I couldn't sell it, so after putting over 5k on repairs alone, I called a junkyard to take it away. It was running, but one of the valves were going in it. I didn't want to see it in my driveway anymore.

Too bad about it all you know, I starved, didn't buy new clothes, or even go out to nice dinners, because my car drained my bank account.

I now have a Honda Civic which is far less a maintenance pig, and much cheaper to get repaired, and it actually looks quite nice to see a car in my driveway that I own, instead of a rental car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th February, 2003

1991 Volkswagen Passat GL 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Excellent, although not as long lasting as I expected


Nothing has gone wrong with the car other than the usual replacement of tyres, brake pads and exhaust.

The car never broke down and always started first time.

General Comments:

Toward the end of my ownership the car became more squeaky and rattly so that I felt I needed to buy a new car. This was annoying as I thought that it would last me a long time.

It must be the effect of my driving and British roads!

Overall the car was excellent providing cheap, comfortable travel and was particularly good on the motorway as it had plenty of power to accelerate over 70 miles per hour.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2003

1991 Volkswagen Passat GL 2.0L from North America


Great for smooth highways, not lumpy city roads and traffic jams


Turning the steering wheel left to its maximum causes a clunking noise. The dealer couldn't fix it.

Exhaust leak at about 6 years.

Head gasket started to leak after 5 years.

Engine burns a lot of oil.

Heater coil leaked at about 8 years.

Thermostat switch broke recently, at 10 years.

General Comments:

The car's suspension isn't smooth enough. I can even feel the painted lines on the road. This causes a very rough ride on many of the roads in my town.

But, after all this negativity, the car is a blast to drive on the highway.

Good feel even at speeds over 140kph.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd June, 2001

1991 Volkswagen Passat GL 2.0i from UK and Ireland


Solidly built German underperformer


- Steering rack (leaked fluid).

- Track rods (both) + rod end.

- Valve guides (smoky idling).

- Shot rear shocks.

- Warped coolant elbow (leaked coolant).

- Failed drivers' side electric window regulator.

General Comments:

I have to admit I quite like this car now after putting some work in it to get it right. Handling is not very involving but the engine has loads of low and middle range grunt. Everything feels solidly screwed together and works.

Cylinder head related problem was bit unexpected, but the rest of the engine is still in good works: Honing marks on cylinder walls were still visible at 127,000 miles and it doesn't consume oil anymore.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2001

1991 Volkswagen Passat CL 1.6 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Solid, reliable and runs forever


Normal wear & tear bits.

Head gasket blew at 100,000 miles (not too bad).

Runs on fresh air.

Engine getting a bit tired now, but I think that's reasonable for the age and mileage!!

General Comments:

Reliable, a bit boring, comfortable.

Good motorway car but a bit sluggish around town.

Classic, solid, reliable boring saloon with loads of space, a massive boot and rear legroom.

I get the feeling that it will run forever.

Not a spot of rust on the paintwork.

Can't complain, but it will never light any fires!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2000

21st Jul 2013, 08:46

I had the same model (1.6 diesel). I've had nothing but trouble with it. Drive shafts, then gearbox, then engine. It broke down every other day (once on a Saturday and Sunday).

In the end I scrapped it; best place for it. I will never ever buy a VW again, and from what I have heard from VW owners, I would be wise not too.

Overrated crap; not a patch on Japanese cars.