1997 Volkswagen Passat Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Volkswagen Passat Wagon

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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 32/42 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 Volkswagen Passat

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Huge interior with lots of leg room, superb seats, excellent road manners

  • Cons

    2.8-liter V-6 responds sluggishly when harnessed to automatic transmission

  • What's New for 1997

    GLS model vanishes from radar as Volkswagen prepares for launch of all-new Passat in mid-1997.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Ripper in disguise!

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat

1996 Passat B4v Wagon with 5 Speed Manual & VR6 6 Cylinder. Don't believe all these cry babies who trash a complete & awesome model car because of door handle/ lock and window regulator issues with this model..... This B4 Passat wagon is perhaps the most under car that VW ever made. This car in VR6 5 Speed form is fast ! and fun! it rips nicely and handles well too.! & The car has lots of cargo room. It looks nice!. Is very comfortable to drive. It has good AC & a nice glass two way sunroof. This car cruises nicely without effort and above 3500 rpm is a ripper! a hammer ready to throw down if need be ;) My car has excellent ABS Brakes and the front calipers and rotors are Beef SWEET!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Glx passat wagon

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat

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.

Terrible car!

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat

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.

Nice looking, but don't buy

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat

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.

Fun, roomy...too many small problems

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Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat

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.

Fun to drive, expensive to

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Volkswagen Passat

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.

Full 1997 Volkswagen Passat Review

What's New for 1997

GLS model vanishes from radar as Volkswagen prepares for launch of all-new Passat in mid-1997.

Talk About The 1997 Passat

Gas Mileage


  • 32
  • cty
  • 42
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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