1998 Volkswagen Passat 1.6 from Singapore


A high cost low performance pain in the butt


In addition to the standard replacement that needs to take place (i.e. new tires, new brake pads, etc.), we have had the following problems:

Drive shaft repaired at 58'000km.

Under-carriage tightened at 58'000km.

Evaporate coil replaced at 58'000km (for over 1'000 Singapore dollars!)

Read left hand side door lock replaced.

Knee board shelf replace.

General Comments:

I wouldn't consider this car over-engineered, but the fact that it costs S$600 and takes 2 days to look behind the dashboard, makes me a bit uncomfortable when thinking of how this car was put together.

In Singapore, we were given the option of buying either the 1.6 or the 1.8T. Since you can't really drive fast, or accelerate that quick here, we opted for the 1.6, as the yearly road tax is much lower as well. But the car is definitely completely underpowered. It consumes unbelievable amounts of a fuel considering it is a 1.6 (but that is because the body is very heavy), but it drives beautifully once you hit the highway.

Unfortunately the dealership here in Singapore is quite incompetent and unmotivated. We paid S$150 for the grooming and it came back more dirty than before. The car gives off vibrating sounds every time we drive off, and during cruising the undercarriage is rattling - which was supposed to have been tightened. Despite the fact that this car costs unbelievable large amounts here to acquire, it is not worth a single cent. You just don't know where your money goes to, as even the engineers at Toyota looked so much more professional and knowledgeable about their vehicles than at Volkswagen.

I am not going to say anything else, except - if you have a Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes, or one of the more reliable Volvo's, and are thinking about buying a Volkswagen, then my tip is keep your car and your money.

I'm off to trade in my car for a Camry.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th May, 2003

11th Jun 2003, 06:59

Update: I have just sold my car. And, even though it was a pain, we somehow do feel that we had grown quite attached to the car. It is now off to New Zealand! Good luck to the next owner!

1998 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


A waste of money and time


New gearbox,when one was NOT needed!

Oil leak

Broken plastic lugs on both sun-visors

Fan blower unit broken.

General Comments:

The car is unreliable, and it seems their quality control in extremely variable. The magazine reviews praise the car, but the annual JD Power and other car buyers reports accurately mention it's less than satisfactory reliability and dealer service.

The dealers are a disaster; rude, uncaring.. even unknowledgeable!

The auto gearbox is badly mated to the 1.9 turbo-diesel engine, in that the gear changes to 3rd and 4th are delayed. When I mentioned this and that it seemed the box was faulty, they agreed. It took 4 months to get the box, and then the new, replacement box does exactly the same as the previous one did!

To drive, its OK. On balance, no more VW cars for me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th May, 2003

3rd Nov 2004, 08:18

Compared to the Toyota you used to have, you simply cannot expect VW's to offer the same level of quality and reliability.

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8 turbo from North America


Piece of crap


Where to start-

Control Arms (Twice)

Tie Rods.

Wheel Bearings.

Fuel Sending unit.

Mass Air Flow Sensor.

Sway Bar.

Door Locks.

Valve Cover gasket.

General Comments:

This is the worst car I have ever owned. And I owned a Ford Escort once. My 1989 Chevy Blazer with 168,000 when I got rid of it was more reliable than this waste of sheet metal.

Stay away from VW's. They have no interest in standing behind their cars. As soon as mine gets out of the dealership for the 3rd time this year, I'm selling it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th April, 2003

4th Dec 2003, 11:04

Please contact NHTSA about the fuel sending unit you had to replace. Plug in NHTSA in Google for their number and they'll send you a form.

VW has a recall on certain models (2000 Passat & 98-01 Audi) for the fuel sending unit, but not your car or mine. They used the exact same part (fuel sending unit) but are selective in their recall. I filed a complaint with NHTSA because my sending unit failed twice and VW states this is normal. The more claims with NHTSA the better chance of a mass recall. Let's hold VW accountable.

7th Jul 2004, 13:28

I have a 1998 Passat GLS with 71000 miles and have been having problems with the tie rods and control arms. The car now makes a really bad knocking noise and "spring" sound. When I took it to the VW dealership.. they suggested it was the tie rods. I had the tie rods replaced and the noise is now worse. I love the car, but could seriously deal without the problems.