1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX from North America - Comments

25th Oct 2001, 14:13

You two people do not know the misery you have saved me. I was just about to buy a 97 Passat V6. I guess there was a chance I may have been okay, but I don't like the odds. Thanks again.

Wayne MPLS.

20th Aug 2002, 21:26

I have a 1996 VW Passat GLX, and I have had nothing but problems with it since I bought it. Besides the front wheel bearings going out within a week after I bought it (and the dealer denying that there was a problem... they just smacked some more grease on it and sent me on my way)...I have had more body/hardware issues than I know what to do with. At one point, only 1 out of the 4 door handles would open from the outside. My driver's side window regulator broke twice, and my fan does not work when set to "defrost". Now neither my driving lights or my regular headlights work, and my brakes are going out for the second time (80,000 miles!). It constantly smells like gas or sulfur when I drive, and it idles irregularly as well. The only thing I've found good about it is that it has great pick up. I have a soft spot in my heart for Volkswagens, but I think this may be the last one I'll own.

21st Jan 2003, 15:00

I have a Passat wagon from 1996 between then and now (jan 2003) I have only changed tyres and an exhaust pipe. Other than that no problems at all! Very satisfied about this car!

6th Feb 2003, 19:36

I have owned a 93 Passat GLX about 5 years now. Piece of junk. I've changed the transmission two times and while driving on the freeway one day the transmission broke down suddenly and violently, so my car screeched to a standstill from 60 mph almost causing a huge accident chain.

Right now I'm on my 4th transmission.

Its been leaking oil, water, power steering fluid continuously ever since I've had it. I change one hose and a week later another one breaks.

Various lights on the dashboard don't work or work improperly. I get about 16 mpg with the car. ANd it is slooow.

But it's a great car if you enjoy fixing cars.

16th Aug 2003, 15:05

I own a 1996 VW Passat GLX VR6. It is the most unreliable car I have ever owned. I am currently trying to buy a new car, but because of the odometer issues the 96 Passats had, I cannot get a decent trade-in value for it. This is, of course, incredibly unfair to Passat owners and VW should be forced to purchase these cars when their owners are through with them. I am up the creek with this car. Do not buy one... unless you want mine.

7th Apr 2004, 11:40

Well I own a 1996 VW passat GLX VR6 and nothing has ever gone wrong with it. It is actually very reliable and it runs very good for the amount of miles it has on it (95,000). The brakes work excellent and every feature is still working. The only thing that I do agree on is that the mileage per gallon is very bad. Other than that the car itself is a sweet ride in my opinion.

4th Jun 2004, 14:04

I own a 1995 VW Passat GLX VR6. I have has the car for two years. I have not had very many problems with the car. Just recently I changed the CV axle and both ball joints, due to past mechanical problems. I get about 23 MPG in the city with premium gas.

Other than that the car is a great performer with 138,000 miles. I think with that kind of mileage and with the few mechanical problems I have had, its not a bad car. I plan on keeping it and enjoying it, along with my new 2004 Jetta 1.8T GLI. :)

Daniel.

31st Oct 2004, 09:31

I'm looking into a 95 passat I drove it looked it over well, its nice. its not the vr6 its the smaller motor is there a problem with vehicle that I should know about?

20th Jun 2005, 19:39

I have a 96 passat GLX. My dad bought the car new and has given it to me. We have had nothing, but good luck with this car. The car has 249,000 miles on it and still runs like a top does not leak oil. We have just had to replace the clutch for the first time! everything is functional. This is a great car with a lot of power!

7th Jan 2007, 20:09

I have a 1996 passat GLX vr6. I had loved and owned VWs before, but this car really gave me more headaches than benefits. It now has 70,000 miles on it, but I have spent so much money to have the following fixed: oxygen sensors replaced by dealer because the check engine light was on (now the light still stays on), ABS and hand brake dashboard lights are on, front window regulators on both sides broke, difficult for auto transmission to shift from 1st to 2nd gear, power steering pump broken and causing leaks, among other major problems. This is surely a lemon, even at only 70K miles, and I quit VW.

30th Nov 2007, 00:37

Well, as for my Passat experience, I love this car. I have a 96 GLX wagon and the motor just died on me after 320K miles she (because she is family) has never left me stranded. VW has been very supportive of this car (as far as I'm concern) and the car is fun to drive. Mind you I've had my share of issues. As with any car it's mechanical, so needless to say stuff happens, but my baby has been great. The timing chain broke, so I will replace the motor for what a timing chain install cost 1300 vs 1600 engine and installation. I have aftermarket cams, exhaust, chip and some other extras. It has been reliable to the end... Thanks VW.

7th Mar 2008, 22:01

Got the car used with 98,000 miles on it. It drove like a champ off the lot, but...

98,435mi - Transmission Rebuild = $4500.

98,892mi - Ignition switch bad/no start = $258.

109,385mi - Front wheel bearings, strut bearings, ball joints, and brake rotors/pads replaced = $1256.

119,276mi - Oil leak at valve cover = $223.

124,000mi - Passenger window stopped working = $0 (dealing with it)

127,389mi - Starter motor = $189.

138,737mi - A/C high pressure switch blew up = $97.

143,456mi - Rotors bad again = $154.

Total pain in my rear = Priceless..

Currently trying to get rid of it. It is truly a piece of JUNK. It was my first and last Volkswagen I will ever own.

12th Aug 2008, 19:59

I have had my 96 GLX since new and have mostly good things to say about it. The driving performance is nice, plenty of room, good looking design (added rear spoiler similar to Jetta).

At 180K, I have a few notes for others:

Door handles have a design flaw internally. Learn to take it apart as all it needs is to have the hinge pin placed back into socket once every 20-30K miles, depending on use.

If you have ABS/Brake light/headlight/wiper electrical issues, check to make sure that the ignition switch has been replaced. There was a recall as this will cause this problem which can be dangerous. (at night, in snowstorm, I lost my lights and wipers, 150 miles from civilization)

I also have problems with the trip odometer and clock resetting on start up, 50% of the time, but with the past ignition switch problems, I assume it is related.

I have a manual transmission and have had zero problems with it, but I have heard the auto trans have issues.

Still trying to figure out the issue with going out of alignment and tires wearing unevenly. Camber bolts? Still working on this solution.

Overall, I have been very happy with this car, despite a few issues, and expect it to easily go another 100K or more.