1996 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 69 Total Reviews
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Terrible Car!
By Mika on 12/22/06 06:03 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat 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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I Like It!
By middlemancrisis on 10/23/06 07:07 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Sedan

Review

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.
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Has Been Hood
By toms4w on 10/05/06 06:58 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLX V6 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought my 1996 Volkswagen Passat new and have only had minimal problems after 10 years.
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Still one of the best wagons ever
By JerryCS on 03/21/06 11:01 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Wagon

Review

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.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
runs forever
By carracer on 06/17/05 09:21 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLS 4dr Sedan

Review

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.
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Nice looking, but DON'T BUY
By DA on 06/15/05 00:34 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat 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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Luv the TDI
By Wes on 05/02/05 22:06 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Sedan

Review

Delivers 42 city, 48 hgwy, 5-spd is fun to drive, a little smokey on start-up. Good in the snow.
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Very Dependable!
By Thomas on 01/14/05 09:51 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought this car with 107,000 miles on it. My parents were the original owners. It has been a very dependable car that continually averages around 42 mpg combined driving. At 196,000 miles it still has the original alternator, ac compressor (blows ice-cold) oil pump, clutch, master cylinder, etc... Vehicle uses little to no oil. I have had to replace all of the door handles at around 160,000 miles. Also had to replace the reverse gear in the transmission. Blew it out when I was stuck in a snow drift. Window regulator has been replaced in drivers door twice. Overall great car!
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Car Care is the Cure
By 4N-Fever on 10/23/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat GLS 4dr Sedan

Review

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.
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Fun, roomy...TOO MANY SMALL PROBLEMS
By Jessej on 09/23/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volkswagen Passat 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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