1996 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews 2
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1996 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

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1996 Passat Consumer Reviews

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Date Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating
Terrible Car!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Mika
on

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.


Favorite Features

This is a fun to drive German car. It has the typical stiff suspension and dealer support network (NOW).


Suggested Improvements

Improve the reliability. Lower the cost of parts for repair. Improve the cheap interior materials, fuel mileage, and dealer support network (up until 2004).


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I Like It!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By middlemancrisis
on

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.


Favorite Features

I like how you can open and close all of the car's windows, including the moonroof, using the key in the door. The gas mileage (the sole reason I bought it) is great and it has pretty good power.


Suggested Improvements

VW has already taken care of these will its newer models.


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Has Been Hood
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By toms4w
on

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.


Favorite Features

It is fun to drive and has lots of features for money (heated leather seats, power sunroof, trac control).


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Still one of the best wagons ever
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By JerryCS
on

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.


Favorite Features

TDI motor, comfortable seating with 5 way adjustments, 8 speaker VW sound system, exceptional handling.


Suggested Improvements

Easier access to oil filter, redesigned door handles, and no fifth injector-- all of which have been done on newer Passats.


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runs forever
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By carracer
on

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.


Favorite Features

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).


Suggested Improvements

Better gearing for highway speeds (65+), a tad more hp to help when passing at higher speeds (so you don't have to downshift).


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Nice looking, but DON'T BUY
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By DA
on

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.


Favorite Features

Look, gas mileage, power


Suggested Improvements

Glove box, more comfortable seats, better door mechanisms. I would not recommend this vehicle to anyone.


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Luv the TDI
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Wes
on

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.


Favorite Features

Fuel economy, handling


Suggested Improvements

Good the way it is


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Very Dependable!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Thomas
on

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!


Favorite Features

Quick starts in sub-zero weather. Transmission, Fuel economy, Good power for a diesel, Roomy interior. Great for long trips!


Suggested Improvements

Window regulators. Door handles.


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Car Care is the Cure
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 4N-Fever
on

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.


Favorite Features

Roomy, Exceptional Power, Paint, Cruise Control, Moon Roof and Trunk Space


Suggested Improvements

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.


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Fun, roomy...TOO MANY SMALL PROBLEMS
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jessej
on

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.


Favorite Features

roomy and peppy.


Suggested Improvements

Dont skimp so much on the quality of small parts. dont make eveything so proprietary... focus on improving the computer system. Bring back the glove box. Just make it more reliable... you can do this!!!


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