1999 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8 turbo from North America


I have had minor problems only, such as the key not working to open the driver's door, but I use the remote anyway.

My antenna connection became corroded, they wanted 500 dollars to rip out the headliner and rewire, so I get very poor radio. So I listen to cds when I am not in the city.

My timing belt started making noises at 89,500 miles, and the belt is waranteed for 90k, and they replaced it for free.

Trunk light works 50% of the time.

Brake rotors tend to warp, but only after 40k miles.

General Comments:

I love this car, and I'm a gear head. I'm also 6'7", so this truly is one of the few cars I can fit in.

Fit and finish have been exceptional.

Quiet and smooth on the highway.

I average 28 mpg. With all the problems I've heard about Passats, it makes me upset, because VW and Audi need to watch their quality control. I just know I've got 145k miles on mine, and have no need, worries or fears of it making it to 250k. transmission strong, but it does go through oil, about 1 quart every 3,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th February, 2004

1999 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 T Sport 1.8 turbo from UK and Ireland


Excellent design let down by poor build quality


Air Mass sensor fault at 56000 miles.

Passenger door lock failed at 58000 miles causing door to jam shut.

General Comments:

The Passat has superb performance and reasonable economy. Acceleration is brisk and the car cruises well on motorways.

The ride quality is very good although I would prefer slightly firmer damping (my car does not have sports suspension despite being a sport model)

The perceived build quality is quite high, the doors feel heavy and make a solid clunk and the interior is well finished although rather gloomy in black.

The car has been let down by problems you would not expect from a "quality" German car. The air mass sensor is clearly a design fault as 3 of my friends with late 90's VWs have had identical problems with their cars.

The door lock fault is apparently quite common according to a friend who works at a dealer. First the door was difficult to close and required several slams and then one day it decided to not open at all.

These faults and dealer's attitudes has left me seriously disillusioned with the marque to which I have been loyal to for 12 years.

It appears that VW have become a victim of their own success and risk losing many of their loyal customers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2004

1999 Volkswagen Passat V6 2.6 from North America


Absolutely not!!! A perfect car for the first 2 years (that was all the warranty covered)


Front control arms needed to be replaced at 75,000 miles. Not under warranty.

Major oil leak with hose needing replacement as well as gaskets and valves.

Camshaft adjuster needed replacement.

Poor pick-up. Throttle body needs replacement at 79,000 miles.

General Comments:

Both Volkswagen of America and the Volkswagen dealership wash their hands off the matters as these issues are not under warranty. 4.5 years is significant amount of time for a car. Needless to say, I was under the impression German cars are of good quality and do last when looked after well. In my case, it does not seem it have made any difference. The dealership (as to be expected) says she can only go by what Volkswagen of America sets out for them, which is really not very much at all. Any brand new car that needs to be in the shop has serious quality control issues.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th October, 2003

1st Sep 2004, 19:08

My car must be a twin of yours. The control arms were replaced at 90,000 miles. Oil pan was replace at 94,000 miles. Valve cover gasket was replaced at 97,000 miles. Estimated cost of repairs until now--$4500. Now at 102,000 miles the crankshaft seal needs to be replaced. Volkswagon may or may not pay for it. German workmanship is a bad joke.

16th Apr 2009, 20:02

I think our cars are triplets. We are now faced with camshaft seals needing to be replaced. This car has cost us over $10,000 in repairs already and we have never been late with scheduled service on it. It has been very well taken care of. We got the same story from our dealer, that Volkswagen USA would have to handle our problems. We got a letter from Volkswagen that basically said "you're on your own folks." Once this car is gone there will NEVER be a German car in my driveway again.