1998 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8 T from UK and Ireland


Nice looker - disappointing mechanicals


AC Compressor at £400

Suspension Control Arm at £200

Rust on rear window sill

Noisy tappets.

Slow coolant leak.

Intermittent electrical fault.

General Comments:

A nice car, that shows off the Germanic build quality of the interiors. As its not a Sport model however, the suspension is wallowy, and does not engender safe feeling at high speed.

The suspension problems have also put me off, as I read many people suffer from the creaking suspension bushes that are costly to fix!

Overall though, disappointed really, and will be returning to Nissan shortly (changing to a 99 plate Primera today!). Much better handling, and reliability to boot... although the interiors will need some getting used to.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th March, 2004

15th Mar 2004, 16:22

If you dare just give a try to Peugeot 406 (oldie) but GOOD STUF!! You'll be suprissed...IF DRIVEN

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8 turbo from North America


A fast 4 cyl turbo that sips gas and is very comfortable and reliable


Both rear door locks quit working around 7000. Lumbar support broke in driver's seat, one little cable broke when it was very cold out. The dealer says I have to replace the entire seat for around $700. The power steering pump was going out so replace it around 72000. Tie rods had to be replaced at 85000. The splash guard that protects the engine keeps falling off. Every time I take it into the dealer for an oil change, they zip tie the splash guard on instead of using the appropriate disposable screws.

General Comments:

This car is very reliable. Its had a few problems, but has never left me stranded.

It gets great gas mileage, 30-33 around town and 37 on the highway. On a couple of trips to go snowboarding it averaged 42mpg.

The 1.8L 4 Cyl turbo engine is great for gas mileage and power when you need it.

I find this car very comfortable to ride in, especially on long trips. I am 6'3" and this is the first car I have to move the seat up toward the steering wheel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th February, 2004

1998 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8 20V from UK and Ireland


Suberb good looking car


Nothing as I know to. Very reliable. Have checked over at VW garage and no problems with it since the day I brought it.

General Comments:

Stunning car. Best to buy. Great handling, smooth, glides, eye catcher. Suberb car to have. Never want to sell it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2004

1998 Volkswagen Passat GL 1.8 turbo from North America


Good Engineering at a Costly Price


Electrical problems: 1) hazard lights controller malfunction; 2) power window motor failures; 3) car lighter power source not operational after two years.

Mechanical problems: 1) defective charcoal canister led to engine choking after fueling - component should act as a vapor pressure relief, but was allowing liquid to enter system; 2) recall on front steering tie rods - items fixed free of charge 3) After 105K miles the nipple on the turbo relief valve failed (minor repair, but important to maintain turbo). 4) Absurd replacement of underneath plastic cover - quick oil change vendors did not have the disposable plastic replacements and led to cover dragging and causing me to replace at cost of $350. I did not replace it the second time (not really needed unless under snow conditions or flooding conditions); 5) Cabin filter needs replacement - gives bad odor at 90K miles; 6) Air condition not as cool after 70K miles and putting freon has not helped; 7) the key-less entry controller does not last and costs $40 from the dealer (about $20 on ebay). 8) Poor cup holders

Maintenance costs: I have not totaled all expenses, but a quick rough estimate maintenance cost has been approximately $800 - $1000 a year for the last 4 years of ownership.

General Comments:

The above things are what I have experienced from my car in the negative sense. On the other hand:

Electrical Benefits: Cool looking dash, windows open and close with key, great sound system.

Mechanical Benefits: Great handling, smooth ride, excellent comfort on long drives, and fun to drive, nice performance from the 1.8 Turbo, great anti-lock breaking and handling saved me from one major accident.

When compared to my 2002 Ford Taurus company car, I still prefer the Passat. The Taurus did not give the comfort, the enjoyment, or the security that the Passat gives.

My advice if you want to own a Passat is to buy a used Passat from one of the dissatisfied owners, find a good local VW specialist, and maintain your car. From an engineering standpoint, the VW Passat outclasses many of the cars from the ‘99 vintage, but it is very apparent that VW has to learn a lot and I hope they have since about service, ergonomics, communication, and reduced maintenance costs.

All and all, I might buy another VW Passat at the right price. After finding a VW mechanic at $65 an hour I am a lot happier. VW service charges $90 and hour. Ford charges $85 an hour so you don’t save much there and believe me my ‘02 Ford Taurus pays lots of visits to the dealership, but their service is better. Even with 105K miles I still love driving my Passat and it is still "fun to drive". Keep up with the maintenance and the car will last. Another piece of advice, if you like to change cars frequently then this might not be the best car for you, but if you like keeping a car for a while, then take care of your VW and it will take care of you.

God bless,

Israel Silva.

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

Review Date: 20th January, 2004

29th Feb 2004, 16:31

My experience has been different. We've maintained the car very carefully, spending too much at the dealership because we thought we'd get the best service there. Despite careful maintenance we've had about $5000US dollars of repairs in the last 2 years: ignition switch, water pump, front suspension, axles, radiator, ABS system, oil leaks, etc., etc. Don't get me wrong, I love driving this car, but I am disugted with the level of service I've received both from the dealership and VW of America. I purchased the car because of the wonderful reputation VW has for quality, I figured that if we took care of this car it would last a long time. Even though I was fully aware of the relative expense of maintaining German cars, I never imagined it would cost us as much as it has. Based on the poor, incompetent, outrageously expensive service (and parts) I will never buy another VW again.

27th Jan 2007, 01:28

What on earth is chaulkacal?

6th Mar 2008, 15:53

Chaulkacal == charcoal. He means to say "charcoal canister".