1999 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8 turbo from North America


More deceiving than my last girlfriend


Radio has blown out twice... replaced once under warranty.

At one point (~60k miles), the time would reset every time upon turning on the car.

Tie rods replaced.

Upper and lower control arm on driver side need replacement.

Tires lose tread quickly.

Ignition coil replaced.

Fuel pump went out while on highway.

Engine valve cover replaced due to leaking oil.

Engine began burning oil forcing me to check the oil levels every 200 miles.

CD player decided to stop working one day.

The backlight for the dash controls went out.

General Comments:

In a nutshell, I hated to love this car so much. It was in an accident a couple weeks ago and totaled. Was this a blessing in disguise for me? First off, I have to say I felt very safe while in this car and walked away from a bad accident unharmed.

As for the exterior of the car, it was very appealing and drew a lot of compliments, especially for a car so old. The car stuck to the road like glue and it handled the corners with precision. The interior was well-built and the parts were high-grade.

Despite being fun to drive and look at, the car was too expensive to maintain and a real headache sometimes. VW brought a true German automobile to the table with the Passat but it also brought with it all the nuances. Maybe the next generation of Passats will be better.

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

Review Date: 23rd April, 2008

1999 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T from North America


Poor mileage, poor reliability


Several electrical issues (sensors, etc)

Main bearings disintegrated at 30k miles, requiring engine replacement.

General Comments:

The car performs well enough, though the turbo-powered tiny 1.8 liter engine seems to function as an on-off switch and mileage is surprisingly poor for a 4 cylinder. Comfort and amenities are fine, though the fabric upholstery is difficult to keep clean and the soft rubber covering on most plastic pieces started to peel off almost immediately. The main issue was two of the four main bearings failing very prematurely. Had the extended warranty not covered it, it would have cost us $8000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th April, 2008

5th Dec 2009, 09:16

I thought 30 mpg is not bad.

28th Jul 2010, 08:57

30 MPG is below average for a 1.8 liter engine.

1999 Volkswagen Passat Sport 20V T 1.8 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


Comfortable, reliable, high quality family car


Air mass sensors needed replacing at 80000 miles.

Fan belt tensioner snapped at 95000 miles.

ABS ECU Module failed at 98000 miles.

General Comments:

I have been driving this car for about 7 years and 90,000 miles, during which time it has been generally very reliable, with problems only starting to occur in the last year or so.

With 150bhp, performance is not bad, even with the Tiptronic gearbox.

I have found it to be a very comfortable car, with unbroken journeys of 5 or 6 hours easily achievable.

Boot is huge - I can get all holiday luggage for a family of 4 in it without having to resort to a roof box.

Fuel economy averages around 32mpg in mixed driving.

Interior cabin quality is very high. Even after 9 years it's showing very little wear, apart from the floor under the driver's feet.

Handling is not razor sharp even with the Sport model, but it's good enough for general driving. Ride quality is very good.

The only thing I think is not great is the standard fit VW radio - reception in the South East of England is only just OK on FM, and dreadful on AM.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 2008

8th Jun 2011, 03:21

Despite my problem with the turbo charge, I love the VW Passat. It is a classy, reasonable priced and a fast car.

1999 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 turbo from Australia and New Zealand


Beautiful, but mechanically terrible; to be avoided


Suspected oil release pressure valve failure.

Valves bent ruining engine.

Electric window broke.

General Comments:

Nice, prestigious looking car.

Mechanically it self destructed, losing us about $7000 overnight.

The car had done about 100,000kms and had a very good service record. We had it regularly serviced.

We took it in for a service because it was having trouble starting. The next day the engine was turning over, but would not start and then went dead.

The engine was found to have been completely ruined. No one could pinpoint what had happened, but the valves (?) had bent. It is suspected that the oil pressure relief valve had failed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2008