1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX VR6 from North America


Solid as a rock and a blast to drive


Had to replace some seals in the coolant system immediately after buying the vehicle.

CV joint was cracked, replaced the axles, installed them myself so was only out $160 for the OEM axles.

2nd gear synchronizer is temperamental, may have to replace the transmission within a year or so.

VW installs rubber bushings and hydraulic motor mounts as stock, so I replaced those with solid poly bushings and solid motor mounts to stiffen up the front end.

The VR6 engine being in a body that was originally made for a 4-cylinder engine makes working on it difficult at times.

Compressor went out on me, now I get to drive around in leather seats with no A/C.

General Comments:

In general, this wagon is a TANK. Never had problems starting it or wondering if it will turn over in the cold Colorado weather.

Has almost 200K miles on it and still plenty of life left. I'm expecting it to last at least another 100K.

Never burns oil or leaks anything at all.

Good and responsive, very agile and quick for a station wagon. Solid engineering on the steering column. Great for driving up tricky mountain roads in all kinds of weather.

Once I took care of the issues that had to get done right away I have had NO problems for the past year and a half. I moved cross-country in it with complete confidence it would get me there. VWs are surprisingly easy to work on yourself and compared to a lot of other European models, the OEM parts are pretty affordable if you know where to shop.

A/C may be out but the heat works great!

This is an all-around super fun wagon to drive. Has plenty of torque thanks to the 6-cylinder engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2008

29th Nov 2008, 19:03

I went from a Saab-900 I'd had for 9 years since new-to a VW as well. I don't feel like I gave up anything.

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX 2.8 VR6 from North America


Great Driveway Gnome!


Bought it used in May 2006, and in June 2006 had to have it towed in for a new transmission at the tune of $4200. Drove it for another 12,000 miles and the pressure switch for the A/C blew for another $250.

Now in October 2008, it's my new "Driveway Gnome" as the transmission has gone again. Always babied (synthetic everywhere) and never raced... now it's in retirement in my yard with brand new tires "YaY for me!".

I will never buy another VW product again... German engineering for your driveway!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st October, 2008

1996 Volkswagen Passat TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from North America


VW should still make THIS car


Plastic trans shifter clip - when this breaks you only have 3-4.

Too soon to tell, car has a lot of miles, and I expect some things to happen.

General Comments:

I am 6'2" 300 #, fits me like a glove, very comfy. I commute 100mi per day. I can't wait to drive the car again!

Controls took a few minutes, had to read the owners manual. But nothing major.

50+ mpg - love it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2008

4th Jul 2008, 14:49

I now have over 3K miles on the car. Have replaced heater lines, power steering hoses (rust). Serviced AC, replaced condenser and dryer, recharged - $400 - works perfect- 40* at vent. Have wet turbo drain line, that will be fixed soon.

Best mileage to date 54.4.

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX 2.8 vr6 from North America


The 96 Vw Passat GLX is a fun car to drive that unfortunately has an engine that hates wet weather


Driver's power window would not go up all the way.

Clutch pedal stem snapped in two.

Water pump went out at approximately 110000.

Constantly replacing brake light bulbs-puzzling.

Engine would run rough in wet weather.

General Comments:

This car performed very well for me in most driving conditions. The bread and butter of this car is in the ride and handling. It offers a very smooth highway ride yet is no slouch in the corners either. Steering feel while in a tight corner is confidence inspiring. In dry weather the engine was very nice. Smooth idle, smooth while accelerating. I took this car on several road trips and I would usually cruise between 80 mph and 100. The car must be built solidly because the ride would always remain vibration free, and the steering wheel had very little shudder. Back seat legroom was impressive considering the relatively small size of this car.

My only complaints about this car is how rough the engine would run in wet or damp weather, and the driver's side power window not working.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd April, 2008

2nd Feb 2011, 21:36

The coil pack on the VR6 engine was horrendous for developing stress cracks useable to the naked eye, moisture would get into it and cause all kinds of issues for the car.