1998 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 90 Total Reviews
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Piece of Junk
By wasanasan on 09/17/09 21:27 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Wagon

Review

In the 10 months that I owned this car it was drivable maybe 2 months out of 10. The front axle snapped, a hole in the gas tank suddenly appeared, it ate oil like there was no tomorrow, electrical problems, smelled like exhaust fumes were coming into the cabin from the engine compartment to the point were I thought I would pass out. This car is a money pit!!!!
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
still solid after all these years
By boyce on 09/04/09 22:20 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Wagon

Review

4 cyl turbo sedan, on its 11th year, aging beautifully in ca weather. Reasonably reliable, zippy, good looking, great build quality, 24 mpg. What"s not to like? and paid for for the last 5 years.
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6 of 6 people found this review helpful
German Engineering = Crap!
By CapitalismGoneWild on 06/13/09 15:04 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

Purchased a 1998 1.8T passat with a blown engine for $1000 and I rebuilt the engine over the summer. There is a lot of chatter about oil sludge destroying these engines, this is completely false! Oil comes through a metal tube around the back of the engine over the catalytic converter, exhaust manifold and through the turbo charger. Non-synthetic oil cokes (forms hard particles called turbo-turds)inside all of these components. Eventually enough of this coked oil breaks free, clogs the oil sump screen and oil starvation occurs. This is what causes the vast majority of 1.8T engines to fail. Either VW engineers are complete idiots or this is an engine designed to fail.
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5 of 5 people found this review helpful
98 Passat --nice while it lasted
By pdhorn on 02/20/09 14:46 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

Car still drives and handles well but costly electrical problems have developed, forcing me to donate it on the market after 142,000 miles. Sunroof and door locks mysteriously stopped working--costly to repair.
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Lovely, but troubled
By leahk on 07/28/08 12:04 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

This car handled like a dream. It had great pick-up, suspension and was a blast to drive. The honeymoon, however, was short lived. It shortly became a money pit! I was only the second owner and bought it with 17,000 miles on it. The turbo quit at 70,000 miles and required $2000 to fix it in 2003. Then, the spark plug broke and fell into the piston shortly thereafter. That was another small fortune to fix. Then the cruise control worked only once in while. The transmission started cutting up and I sold it.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This Passat treated me well
By boyce on 07/01/08 16:54 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

My next car will be a plug in, but in the meanwhile I have few complaints about my manual 98 Passat, or the dealership. Bought new, used only in CA, and still a pleasure to drive. Mileage 25-27 mpg. Things do occasionally go wrong, but mostly they are under warranty. I added up my unexpected repairs over the past 10 years, and found they came to less than $5,000, or $500 per year. New alternator, 2 new batteries, new brakes, a gasket or two, minor suspension repairs, etc., but none of the spine-chilling disasters you can read about elsewhere on this blog. I'm lucky! I plan to keep it until that new plug-in (or 60 mpg diesel) shows up at the dealer. (My other car is a 2004 Prius).
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Ambivalent
By superegoid on 05/17/08 17:19 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

Up until I owned my awesome 2007 BMW 335i coupe, there was no car I had more fun driving and showing off than my sporty and sexy white Passat. Guys dug the car and girls dug me (cuz of the car)! But that's not really important. The car looks great. At the time, the design was new and totally original; soon it would be replicated in almost every make on the road. And like most VeeDubs, the interior was modern with lots of new tech. It was comfy to sit in for hours and the drive was gutsy. The turbo, even though with significant lag, gave the engine amazing boost. It made 150 horses feel like 200. So it's too bad that it spent so much time in the shop.
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Never Buy This Car
By jwilkins on 05/10/08 19:19 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Wagon

Review

The most unreliable, expensive, money-hole of a car I've ever owned. This car, with care and repair, only lasted 145,000 miles. It was a Volkswagen Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle, and it was a rip off. And to add insult to injury, the Volkswagen folks are really rude.
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Bad car no bisquet
By loucfd on 03/22/08 17:45 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 4dr Sedan

Review

When we first bought this car we loved it. Then the honeymoon was over. The car got real buggy fast. It has been a relentless pain in the a**. Electrical system problems all you can eat style. Door locks and alarm problems are annoying but the ecu/ecm problems are the real killer. Cha ching bring your checkbook or if it is real bad hope your credit line is impressive. The suspension is a nice drive till you have to fix it, then wow how much did you say that was gonna cost. Do yourself a favor if your wife falls in love with one of these. Promise to let her have another baby or divorce her. Either would be cheaper than owning one of these cars.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Good If You Don't Keep It
By desplanes987 on 05/25/07 19:56 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Wagon

Review

My wife and I bought this car in 1998 b/c we wanted a safe vehicle for our first child. Fast forward to May 24, 2007. It now has 96,000 miles on it. It is on its 2nd factory radio, 2nd set of door locks (all replaced after 3 years). Both back doors were just partly rewired. The ignition system cost me $900 last year and now the turbo is dead ! Its $1710 total replacement cost is covered under the 10/100 warranty. Lucky! Overall, I don't recommend the car. Unless I have $20K to throw away every 2 years on a fresh Audi or VW, I won't ever buy one again.
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