1992 Volkswagen Passat CL 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland
Better than the dull reputation suggests
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!
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