1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8L turbo from North America




ABS light came on and has to be flashed at dealer.

Alarm goes off randomly several times a day and at night.

Domb lights never worked.

One speaker didn't work.

Drivers door panel handle broke off.

Steering wheel leather started coming off.

General Comments:

I liked the power and control I had on the vehicle. it always started smoothly, but the electrical problem started pissing me off. the turbo kicks in beautifully and I drove it across the state of Washington and got 31 mpg for a full size sedan and the trunk space was pretty big.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd August, 2007

1998 Volkswagen Passat SE Turbo 1.8T from UK and Ireland


Very fast money pit!


Everything went wrong with this.

I had the car for 2 months, and I had to replace:

Cam-belt and tensioner (OK, perishable item)

Water Pump


Turbocharger gaskets

Inter-cooler pipe

3 suspension arms needed replacing- I didn't do them

Numerous pieces of trim.

Drive-shaft fell off!

The car developed an alarming vibration at 3500 rpm, which disappeared after 4000.

General Comments:

The car was fantastically comfortable, and very fast, 8.5 seconds to 60 for an estate car is impressive.

However the fuel gauge moves downwards as quickly as the car moves forward.

I had to get rid of the car after only 3 months, because the cost of repairs was just stupid.

The front suspension is a notorious design, its very comfortable, but the control arms wear out very quickly, and you might as well replace them all at once at a cost of over £350.

"If only everything was as reliable as a volkswagen"


Also beware, they are difficult to sell on too, as soon as people realise it is a Turbo Petrol, not Diesel, they are no longer interested.

I changed the car for a Volvo s40 TD (incidentally the same as my previous car) with over 145000 miles and have had no problems whatsoever.

I will not buy another VW, I will stick with Volvo. THEY deserve their good reputation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th August, 2006

15th Dec 2008, 04:13

I perfectly agree with your review. I also had the Passat 98 1.8T for 8 months and I just sold it off because it gave me problems and maintenance was very expensive.

25th Aug 2009, 18:46

Turbo gasoline engines are most of the times faulty and items which need special treatment. People should know that. Increase of power without increase of volume in an engine does not mean you save money on gas. You just save money on road tax. People should know that before buying cars like the 1.8T or whatever turbo gasoline car, from any manufacturer. If somebody needs power the best is to invest money on a V6. Smooth engines, reliable, and not so thirsty.

1998 Volkswagen Passat Estae 1.9 TDI 1.9 TD from UK and Ireland


Lovely to drive, economical on fuel and very quick, but very troublesome


Comfort control unit (Doors, seats etc.) went twice.

Security control unit troublesome.

Turbo blew. Got it fixed and Head blew on way home from dealership, Cost over €4,000 in total to fix (Dealership denied responsibility for head) and cooling system went eight weeks later. (Different) dealer agreed in writing that it was the previous (VW appointed) dealer's fault, but no redress.

General Comments:

Very comfortable and very quick estate.

Huge boot space.

Economical for its size, speed and comfort levels.

Too many faults to be comfortable with it.

Appalling service from one of their approved dealers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2006

15th Aug 2006, 12:30

So much for diesels and their vaunted reliability.

1998 Volkswagen Passat SE Estate 1.8 petrol 20v turbo from UK and Ireland


Over priced, over-rated and poor quality for the price


ABS unit failed

Turbo wastegate flap disintegrated

Central locking inoperative

Various engine oil leaks.

General Comments:

Parts for the turbo petrol model very expensive, dealer spark plugs £9 each.

ABS failure is common on the type of unit on my car, quoted £900 + vat for replacement.

Turbo wastegate again a common failure, quoted £350 for repair plus removal and re-fitting.

Nice on the motorway, but could not get better than 33mpg even with relaxed speeds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th June, 2006