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.
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