1992 Volkswagen Passat CL 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Better than the dull reputation suggests

Faults:

Thermostat and housing - cheap easy fix.

Coolant leak, around the same attaching hose where the thermostat was. Must be a common problem, but fixed easily and cheaply.

Noisy wheel bearing, but at over 100,000 miles at the time, I'm putting this to wear and tear (I corner too fast as well which didn't help).

Oh and the rear window winders broke. Don't let your kids mess about in the back of the car in the dead of winter. They have not learned about how frost sticks things together and that's why the windows won't open no matter how hard you wind them!

General Comments:

A car I bought at nearly 10 years old with already some mileage on it, it was average looking in condition and I took a chance on it. The 4 years I ran the car it proved to be a good choice, minor problems and maintenance aside.

A popular sight on the road in the UK throughout the 90s and early 2000s, however never as popular a car as similar rivals. Shame really, it was a cut above in my opinion. Maybe not up there with BMW or Audi for quality at the time, but damn near close, the interior fit and finish was very solid.

The 2.0 engine gave good acceleration. I believe it was the same engine used in the Golf GTi at the time, at least the 8 valve version, but I could be wrong. Averaged nearly 40 MPG on a long run, can't say fairer than that for an older petrol engine.

The CL model lacks electrics, but it did have a trip computer that was surprisingly accurate. Seats were very comfortable and plush for such a low spec car, but I'd have preferred the later GL models or even better a GT for the sake of more performance and some options. Mine was red in colour, which faded in the last couple of years of its life (especially the plastic front grille); still looked decent enough with aftermarket alloy wheels I fitted, with quality tyres that made it grip better, despite a lot of body roll in corners, but a typical predictable front wheel drive car at the end of the day.

In conclusion I believe the 1990s Passat to be where VW got a good reputation for reliability along with the Golf model from the same era. This car was tough and I ran it to very high mileage before I sold it for scrap, regrettably, only because at 14 years old and a lot of mileage on it, I moved on to the newer shaped Passats that were introduced in 1996, since had a couple of them, also good cars, but for some reason I still miss this early 90s Passat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2016

1992 Volkswagen Passat Variant 1.8 petrol from Germany

Faults:

Exhaust was on its last legs when the car was bought - replaced for 450 euros (including cheapo new parts).

Replaced both back wheel bearings within a year of purchase (35 euros each time including cheapo parts).

Rust in the corners of all doors. Back door (5th) rusted especially badly - apparently a common problem with this model.

General Comments:

I purchased this car for 300 euros shortly after moving to Germany with a purpose of getting used to driving on the right-hand side of the road (lived in Australia before) and getting rid of what's left of the car a few months down the track.

Now 3 years later I am preparing for the fact that I will have to part with it shortly - there is too much rust and the mechanics "promised" me I will not pass the next TÜV/MOT/Rego/Technical in November.

Using 8-9 litres of petrol /100 kms, this car took me all over Western and Eastern Europe. I have driven it at the speeds of 175 kms/hour for over 2 hours at a time and never had any problems. Last long trip was to Slovakia - over 500 kms each way in comfort.

Huge inside, comfortable, a little bit on the ugly side, but nevertheless your best mate in any weather.

Changed oil and filters once, added oil once.

Would have driven this car for the next 5 years (despite the funny looks of many German "perfectionists") if not for the technical examination, which the car has no chance of passing.

Very popular in poorer European countries for its durability and low cost of breakage.

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

Review Date: 18th July, 2009