1997 Volkswagen Passat TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from North America


Keep up with the maintenance, perhaps do some yourself, and this will save you money in the long run


I have had the following done for:

Regular maintenance - Timing belt, brakes, front struts (rear also need done).

Issues needing repair - IP timing needed reset (did myself), ignition switch replaced, IP gasket leak, coolant line damaged by the leaking diesel fuel.

General Comments:

This car is fun to drive. It is very peppy for a diesel and gets 50MPG highway. I have gone almost 900 miles on a tankful (18 gallon tank). Yes, I have to put some money into it, but then again it has 280K miles and is 13 years old.

Because of the year Passat, it is very roomy for a VW. I use it to commute 60 miles each way to work, and it does that job well. Heck, I only paid $2700 for the car. After I have put 100K miles on it, I will have only depreciated it by maybe $1000. Try that with a new $30K car and see if your depreciation is as little money as mine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th June, 2010

1997 Volkswagen Passat TDI 1.9L turbo diesel from North America


Love the engine, but everything else is problematic


Typically poor design quality and reliability, both for the 1997 Passat and my previous 1987 Audi Coupe. Both vehicles had door lock and window regulator problems.

My current Passat is on its 6th window regulator. The problems are not due to abuse, but because of inadequate design for the intended use.

Door locks fail from normal use, and I have modified them to prevent these chronic failures.

General Comments:

The TDI engine is a wonderful engine, and something that VW has done very well. If maintained properly, it just keeps on running. That is why I still have this car, otherwise it would have been scrapped a long time ago.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th September, 2009

1997 Volkswagen Passat sport tdi 1.9 tdi from UK and Ireland


Economy, reliable and comfort


All suspension arms replaced (rattling when I bought it)

Mass air flow meter replaced.

O/S rear door lock locks and unlocks with central locking as it pleases.

Air con compressor (bearing collapsed)

General Comments:

This is a largish family saloon that would comfortably carry four large blokes anywhere. also capable of returning 50+ mpg better on fuel and quicker top end than my previous car 02 bora tdi 130.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2007

1997 Volkswagen Passat GLX VR6 2.8L Turbocharged from North America


Fast And Fun


Some of the things that have gone wrong with this car are; Left rear window regulator does not work, Drivers side door does not lock, passenger side door does not open from the outside, and the cruise control does not work all the time.

General Comments:

This car is fast. With an incredible performance and great handling, this car can whip around corners and go from 0-60 in 8.0 seconds. The seats are amazingly comfortable, and the way that they adjust in a great convenience. The spacious layout of the car makes ideal for travel, and a luxurious ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2006

1997 Volkswagen Passat S 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Quality large family car


Air conditioning malfunctioned at 12,000 miles.

Passenger seat became immovable at 16,000 miles.

Brake pads were replaced at 25,000 miles and again at 43,000 miles.

Clutch wore quickly and needed a major repair at 30,000 miles.

General Comments:

Aside the minor faults mentioned above, the Passat was a very reliable car.

The best thing about the Passat was its solid build quality and superb reliability.

I also appreciated its comfortable interior and big boot.

Cost a reasonable £15,000 and held its value well.

Private retail value was £8,000 after three years.

Ride and handling were smooth rather than sporty.

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

Review Date: 16th April, 2006

1997 Volkswagen Passat S 1.9TDI from UK and Ireland


Good car, bad badge


Glow plug light kept flashing. (Still today.)

Near side suspension bushes knocking constantly. (Still today)

Viscous pulley bent forward at 124000 miles, new pulley, belt and fan fitted by dealer.

Alternator shaft bearing snapped a week later.

General Comments:

Apart from the disapointing customer service from VW, a brilliant car to drive.

Frugal and very, very powerfull. The turbo makes overtaking so easy.

The torque is impressive.

I will cry the day I sell it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2005

20th Feb 2006, 09:31

A little update so far...

The car has just reached 161800 miles, and still pulls like hell!

At nine years old, it still leaves the boy racers for dead at the green light. Only a few minor worries since I posted the message... a hole in the turbo's intake hose and a damaged door lock. But I'm happy with way I'm being treated by my mechanic in Cardiff.

I would recommend to anyone not to go to Vw for repairs, your local garage might scare a little, but their service is second to none. Vw just laugh in your face as they quote your repair bill, but my mechanic does a quality job and for a tenth of the price of Vw.

I will definitely go for the new shape Passat... it looks the works and does the job!