I've had this 1996 passat since it was brand new and it's been in the shop no more than 3 or 4 times. I have the car in a manual (I hate automatics) and the ORIGINAL clutch is still working perfectly. There's a little rust on the drivers side door, but I live in a heavily salted part of Vermont, so that's understandable. The fuel economy is great for such an old car (28-34 mpg). The gearing gets a little iffy on the highway with a 4 cylinder (it does 70mph at 3200 rpm). Overall a really nice car with a great audio system in a car that refuses to fail.
Long lasting clutch, fuel economy, ride comfort, great reliability, and plenty of knee and leg room in the front and back. Also, the car has a large powerband (2500-5500rpm. it redlines at about 6500).
Better gearing for highway speeds (65+), a tad more hp to help when passing at higher speeds (so you don't have to downshift).
My wife and I have owned our Passat for
almost 4 years and we love it. Plenty of
room for the kids(x2) stuff and luggage.
In those 4 years we have replaced the
timing belt twice (due to high milage)
and the water pump as well. We have put
on 3 sets of tires, changed the oil and
filter approx 20 times and had the
radiator flushed twice. I guess what I'm
saying is, proper or preventative car
care/maintainence will keep your car
going for a long time. The down side
which there are some are the resale
value seems low, the drivers side window
regulator broke, the door handles do not
always open the doors, the air lock
system sometimes fail and the check
engine light remains on all the time.
Roomy, Exceptional Power, Paint, Cruise
Control, Moon Roof and Trunk Space
We replaced the stock 14" tires and put
on 16" this makes the car handle even
better. Change the door locks from
vacuum to electric.
Great feel when driving.
After 3 years, there were many electrical
failures. When temperature outside is below
20 degrees, door would not shut, ignition
key gets struck. Needles on dashboard do
not work. I have heard others with this
problem: THE CHECK ENGINE light stays
on for no reason,
Now in its; 7th year, all indicators on the
dashboard are not working, including the
digital ones. Dealer tell me it is an electrical
and mechanical problem.
Performance, even after 100,000
miles, was very good - tight cornering,
sufficiently-powered engine, nice
steering, solid suspension. For its
size, the Passat has a very large trunk
and lots of room elsewhere.
Reliability was VERY poor. Despite
the car's solid feel, in the 3 years I
kept it on the road, it was rarely
without a problem of some sort. I put
an average of $1200 of repairs into it
annually, and I still never managed to
catch up with everything that went
wrong. Finally, to replace the failing
flywheel, given the low value of the
car, would have been unreasonable.
Performance, roominess, sound system,
fun to drive