1999 Volkswagen Passat 2.8L V6 from North America


Well built quality vehicle, worth the price of admission


Not much has gone wrong with the car, until last week that is. More about that in a minute. Typical stuff, a couple of burned out lights (really easy to change). The mirror control knob came off (warranty fix). Whoever designed the rear cup holder didn't have three kids. (warranty fix)

General Comments:

I bought for a lot of reasons. The quality looked good. The trunk with folding rear seat is huge. I like the conservative style. They've added a bunch of chrome since then, which is too bad.

With the V6 and the tiptronic, there is plenty of punch for the around town driving I do. I would have been happy with the 1.8T and the 5 speed, but it wasn't in the cards.

It's by far the best handling car I've owned, even with the skinny factory tires. You can forget the slow curve ahead signs, they just don't apply.

One caution though, it absolutely hates worn tires. The handling goes away completely. The first time it happened, I thought the alignment was way off. Actually with the 65K miles, it's never been aligned. Try that with a Ford.

Which brings me to last week when my wife tried guardrail surfing in a snow storm. She's fine, but it wasn't so good for the car. Hey, I guess I should have bought the 5 speed, then she wouldn't have been driving it.

It'll be at least 6 weeks until I get it back. It's a steady diet of the '97 GMC van until then. I miss it already.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2003

1999 Volkswagen Passat Turbo Wagon 1.8 from North America


Considering it's only 3 years old with 50K miles, I'm disappointed with the problems I've had.


My stereo died after 2 years, at around 30, 000 miles and the dealer wanted $150.00 for a rebuilt radio. I bought a new Alpine with a CD player for about the same amount, installed. Also within that same week both my headlights went (and my dealer wanted $105.00 to replace the two bulbs).

This winter I've been experiencing something new: when the roads are wet, my engine light comes on and the car runs very rough, however the light usually goes out within 30 minutes.

Several days ago, however, this happened and in the car engine light began flashing continuously. The front end of the car began to shake when the car was in low rpm. I'm hoping that it's a spark plug issue only (it goes to the garage tomorrow). I did notice that after this happened, I lost all my preset stations on my stereo, but don't understand the connection between a spark plug and my radio settings.

I've also had a noise in the engine within the first year of ownership (I think it's a bearing and it seems to be getting louder). The dealership told me the noise was from a vacuum value that helps to cool the engine.

I think the car is so much fun to drive and I feel very safe in it. However, I'm beginning to wonder about these "electrical" problems. Regardless of the problems, I will never return to dealer for maintenance or repairs.

I have also noticed that the car sometimes doesn't seem to know when to shift. Sometimes it shifts high and other times low (and sometimes not at all unless I downshift).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd February, 2003

21st May 2003, 09:28

We've had numerous problems as well, including the infamous engine noise that the dealer told us was "normal". Imagine sticking a plastic cheese slice wrapper in a fan on high and you get a similar noise. Yeah, that's normal.

Our new gremlin is the Emission Workshop! light that has been coming on for months and yet "the computer doesn't show anything". We're unloading ours as soon as we can figure out how to fix it this time.