1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel Review | Edmunds.com

1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Volkswagen Passat Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.9 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 90 hp @ 3750 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 31/41 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1996 Volkswagen Passat

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  • Safety
  • Pros

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  • Cons

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  • What's New for 1996

    Daytime running lights debut, two new colors are added to the palette, and a new price-leader GLS model powered by a 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower, four-cylinder engine is introduced. Midyear, a Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel model appears in sedan and wagon form.

Full 1996 Volkswagen Passat Review

What's New for 1996

Daytime running lights debut, two new colors are added to the palette, and a new price-leader GLS model powered by a 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower, four-cylinder engine is introduced. Midyear, a Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel model appears in sedan and wagon form.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Best engine and tranny combo

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Sedan

I love my passat, I bought mine with 127K miles and it has 291K now. It's roomy, comfortable, and a pleasure to drive. Has good all around visibility. True the door handles are a pain and the window regulators go, but the car has never let me down and I get about 43 mpg average. It's paying for itself. Important to find a good diesel vw mechanic as most shops haven't a clue. My goal was to keep it until 300K, but I'm going as far as I don't have to do any major engine work. It's going to be a sad day when I retire this baby




Love it!

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Sedan

I bought my car from my brother in South Dakota for $100. It had been abused, and ran without oil, so my dad and I had to completely rebuild it. After finally finishing this job, I know all about my car, and I love it. Even with it's peely paint. Best first car ever. I plan to keep it, and fix all my own problems for the rest of my life. :) Thank you Volkswagen! I love you!




Dependable work-horse

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Sedan

I purchased my '96 TDI used with 125k miles, and it has turned out to be one of the most dependable cars I've ever owned. It now has 273k miles on the original engine. I'm quite impressed for a diesel, it's much quieter than Mercedes, does not smoke, burn oil, and it consistently gets 42-48MPG. I drove from Sacramento to Kennewick Washington on ONE TANK of diesel. Over the years, the car has began to "age", and as such, the door handles are faulty and cease up, the cup holders broke off, lid to glove box broke, and AC switch broke one really hot summer day. Other than that, this is a very comfortable driving, easy handling automobile that I will drive until the doors fall off.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

680,000 and still running

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Wagon

I have been a VW fan since 65". This was my third VW, and my first wagon. I loved it, and still do, its had a few problems, door handles, wheel bearings, gears, speedometer, window motors, rust, spindles, locks, and Volkswagen scalloping back wheel wear. These w's, you either love em or hate them. This vehicle needs better headlamps, the plastic interior was shoddy, half of it busted. The cup holder snapped off, the glove box, broke, little thing like that can piss you off. The seat rails screwed up. The heated seats, were replaced but, the seats were never the same. The odometer went at 181 k, and it was 1200 bucks to fix. This car is fun to drive but you must have patience.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I like it!

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Sedan

I bought my 1996 Passat with 119,000 miles on it. It now has 161,000 and still pulls strong. I have had to replace belt tensioner, water pump, and other numerous little items that you'd expect to change at 150,000+ miles. Make sure that you have the intake cleaned after 75,000 miles! They tend to smoke more on start up with clogged intakes (typical for TDI's). The best gas mileage that I have gotten is 53 hwy in the summer, The worst was 39 mpg, in combined driving using winter diesel. The car feels solid and well built, except for the door handles. It is not an eye catcher, but it is rare. The stock seats are too stiff. Also, you lose noticeable power with the A/C on. This car has an excellent turning radius. It makes a great daily commuter.




Still one of the best

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Wagon

This is the finest all around car I've ever owned: comfortable, quiet, amazing mpg, and a blast to drive. With sport suspension it handles like a sports car. The TDI diesel motor is powerful and fast, and extremely reliable. With 142,000 miles, it stilll has the original clutch. Its only downside is some of the VW body parts: door handles, window lifts. Everything else continues to work well and we still get 45 mpg on the highway, in a mid-size wagon, running it on 100% biodiesel-- an American grown, renewable fuel.



Talk About The 1996 Passat

1996 Volkswagen Passat Discussions See all Started By

cosmo
cosmo
03-15-2008
1996, 1997, 2004, and 2005 were the only Passat TDI models imported to the U.S. As with other VW models, the electronics can be problematic. We have had only two minor problems (windshield washer pum...


jfriedl
jfriedl
07-23-2000
My wife and I bought a 1998 Accord when our 1996 Passat got totaled by a delivery van. We loved our Passat to death and "settled" for the Accord because nobody had anything on the lots (GM ...


bizappraiser
bizappraiser
12-29-2001
I recently test drove the 2002 4 Cyl. Passat base model against the Altima. It was wonderful. No question that it handled considerably better than the Altima and that there was less road noise. But...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 31
  • cty
/
  • 41
  • highway
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