1998 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.9 TDI 90bhp from UK and Ireland


Economical and well equipped


Air conditioning pump failed at 110000 miles - over £400 to fix and that was by a local garage. God knows what a VW dealer would've charged!

One ABS sensor failed.

General Comments:

Considering it was the lowest powered TDI in the range, the performance was adequate and she towed my parents-in-law's caravan with no trouble at at all!

Had considered trading it in for new model Passat, but redundancy and the general apathy of VW dealers put me off.

Excellent economy - 50mpg generally, 42-45 on a fast run and 30 towing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2005

1998 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE 1.9 from UK and Ireland


Poor quality


- Water pump seals leak. Needs replacement. Most economic to change timing belt at same time.

- Substandard suspension components failed. Required new suspension arms at front.

- Required new suspension bushings all round.

- Poor quality indicator flasher unit failed. Vibration from the dash caused electrical contacts inside to loosen and wear.

- Water leaks into engine bay

- Dashboard rattles and makes noises.

- Air conditioning behaves inconsistently - doesn't always switch on particularly at low engine revs (?)

- Brake discs needed replacement at 40000 miles (although this is probably to be expected)

General Comments:

Nice turbodiesel engine. Very economic.

The build quality of this car is however totally inexcusable. It will be the last VW that I ever buy. The dealers charge ridiculous rates for labour to fix problems that are of VW's making.

The suspension design is fundementally flawed, and will be subject to repeated failure and premature wear for the life of this vehicle.

The quality of the electrics, and some of the mechanical parts is highly suspect. There is a feeling of cheapness on close examination of some engine parts. VW engine parts are generally not repairable. The whole part is removed and replaced.

The ride quality is comfortable, and the diesel engine is very economic, but the vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th June, 2005

8th Aug 2005, 03:45

Peugeot's parts prices are a bit easier to swallow though. VW parts are the biggest rip off out - £165 + VAT for a new headlamp unit for my mate's mk4 Golf for example. The same thing for my old 306 cost £40 + VAT through an independent retailer (but was a genuine Peugeot part)

14th Feb 2007, 06:07

Just goes to show how it can all vary. I've just sold my Passat. It's got 279k on the clock. I bought it 2 years ago at 118k and apart from a battery replacement, I've had nothing wrong with it at all. I's highly recommend this car soley for the quility of the engine. SOLID!!

1998 Volkswagen Passat LX 20 V turbo from North America


Car is a paradox--a reliable headache!


Engine light comes on about once a month on average, and it is very expensive to fix the problems that it indicates.

Strange rattling and squeaking noises coming from the suspension when turning the steering wheel or going over bumps. Mechanic has replaced control arms, but that still did not stop these noises.

Cruise control and door locks do not always work, especially in humid weather.

General Comments:

The car is reliable and continues to get me everywhere I need to go without a problem, despite these constant headaches with the engine light and suspension noises. The ride is very bumpy because of the tight suspension. But the car also has a lot of cool features, like an adjustable motorized sunroof.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st April, 2005

1998 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 1.8t from North America


A worthless pile of perfectly good sheet metal. I wouldn't lose this much money betting on the Cubs


Too much.

Costly oil pump with even more costly labor. Included in this there was also the oil filter housing. $1500.

Sunroof, don't even bother getting it fixed because it will just fall apart once you replace it.

Timing belt, I don't talk about this anymore.

Blinkers stopped working, turned out to be the flasher and $100 later.

Locks, it started with not being able to lock the car from the drivers side door, now I can't unlock or lock from that or the hatch lock. I can only unlock or lock my car from the passenger side door.

Power window, I can't roll the driver side rear window up or down from the driver controls. BUT, I can roll it down with the child lock on from the back seat.

Tiptronic had to be replaced.

Now I can tell that the transmission is going and power, what power?

Last week the oil light started flashing again, which happened when the oil pump went, and the check engine light has come on.

I've taken this to numerous dealerships to be looked at for trade in and the most I can get for this vehicle is $2500. WOW, what a great investment.

Not only does this vehicle have major mechanical problems, the part cost is salt to the wound and the labor is a hot poker.

My '68 Volvo that starts on it's own runs better than this car.

General Comments:

Bottom line, I wouldn't sell this car to my worst enemy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th April, 2005

14th May 2010, 03:54

Sounds like normal wear and tear on a car with past neglect.