1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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GLX Passat Wagon
By Meghan M. on 10/13/10 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

I am quite familiar with a lot of the issues I have been reading. One thing I have noticed with this car is that proper maintenance and proper fluids such as G12 coolant, premium gasoline, and synthetic oil are necessary for longevity. I have rebuilt the engine and replaced all of the gaskets, timing chain and tensioner, water pump, and cv shaft. I am approaching about 160k miles and I am still in love! Though, my boyfriend and I are VW enthusiasts and do many of the repairs ourselves and it is definitely important to find a VW mechanic and NOT a dealership. I will say, if someone is looking into this car, be prepared for a good amount of maintenance.
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Terrible Car!
By Mika on 12/22/06 06:03 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

This is my second Volkswagen Passat. My first one was a '91 Passat which I loved. I decided to upgrade for the VR6. With 176 horsepower on tap on a much heavier car it wasn't going to win any races. This car has been a dismal experience, as the O2 sensors (in engine bay and under the fuel tank) have gone out, as well as the thermostat and automatic transmission. After thousands of dollars in repairs and countless man hours of doing the work myself, I have finally gotten rid of the beast.
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Nice looking, but DON'T BUY
By DA on 06/15/05 00:34 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

Since buying our Passat GLX wagon in early-2004, we've had nothing but problems. The front doors don't close in the winter, the driver's door won't open at all, the transmission skips, the check engine light is ALWAYS on, the temperature light stays on through the summer months, it leaks oil...I'll stop there. This is a GREAT looking car with good gas mileage, but I will never buy another Passat wagon.
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Fun, roomy...TOO MANY SMALL PROBLEMS
By Jessej on 09/23/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

I have the same experience as so many others here... really love the brand, love the car... HATE the constantly breaking $200-$500 repairs on small things. Since the beginning I have had a rattle in the stickshift/transmission, O2 sensors replaced often, check engine light goes on all the time, ignition switch replaced, 2 door handles just stoped working, 3 window regulators replaced, clutch pedal broke off, tires are very non-standard size (restricts your choices and increases cost), ABS is gone. The door handles and windows are the most annoying... c'mon, those should not break so often over only 70k miles!! Really want to buy another, just cant.
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Fun to drive, expensive to maintain
By Dave GLX'ed on 04/19/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

Bought this car for my wife in early 1998 w/ 30K miles. The car handles very well and gets good mileage. However, it's dark side is the reliability and maintenance costs. At 45K the instrument cluster stopped working. The check engine light is always coming on. Numerous visits to the garage to extinguish. Heater core disengrated, taking the water pump out with it. Now the rack and pinion is going, not sure if I should continue or put the car out to pasture. I am still a VW fan (my 87 Golf is at 310K and still going strong), however VW really over complicated the automobile when they designed this vehicle. Also the Service manual is terrible.
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If Mazda made a 626 wagon . . .
By oldsport on 03/07/04 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

I would be driving that. Wolfsburg could learn a thing or two from Japan about quality. Right off the bat, I had to replace a rear wheel bearing, and then I was burning O2 sensors every 6k miles. Then I found a good independent mechanic. The cruise control gaive up the ghost at 60k, and the radio is about to fall out of the dashboard. I bought this car used from a VW dealer, and discovered at 70k miles that the rear axle was bent. We've got the mechanicals sorted out, though, I'm getting about 26-27 mpg, and Autozone has oil filters for $15.
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No problem
By giannib on 08/07/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

We purchased our wagon new and haven't had any reliability problems and haven't done anything other than normal maintenance in 66K mi. Maybe mine was built in the middle of the week...
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sweet wagon
By mhix01 on 06/04/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

We bought our manual transmission GLX wagon new in 1996. The VR6 gets up and goes (with enough RPM's) and it handles GREAT!! The rear hatch seems to eat anything we try to put back there. We've replaced the clutch, one of the half-shafts and the front wheel bearings. ABS comes and goes (but the brakes still work). Fun car to drive. Not so great reliability (but not horrible either).
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Art hauler
By judydoody on 03/08/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

I use this wagon as my only car - skiing in the winter, and summers doing art fairs. I haul a 10 x 10 tent and walls, and all the stuff to display my art as well as my partner, luggage, cooler, pictures for display in the tent, 2 directors chairs and a ladder. It performs superbly without the hassle of a SUV.
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Passat - another word for
By Southern Tier of NY on 01/19/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX V6 4dr Wagon

Review

And I thought I had the only bad Passat! The Check Engine light comes on about once per month, with multiples of $100 consequences. Last month it was O2 sensor connector and it's ON AGAIN! Transmission leak fixed, but it's still losing fluid somewhere. Gas mileage nowhere near published w/ VR6. Wire came loose from drivers door handle, causing all power windows to roll down in pouring rain. Security system has not armed in some time - probably another broken wire. Don't let the battery get low, the computer will get reset. Previous car was 1985 GTI, traded in at 189,000 miles on this piece of junk. Been kicking myself ever since.
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