Used 1998 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1998 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

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90 Total Reviews

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Piece of Junk
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By wasanasan
on

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!!!!


Favorite Features

NONE


Suggested Improvements

scrap it and start from scratch


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still solid after all these years
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By boyce
on

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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German Engineering = Crap!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By CapitalismGoneWild
on

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.


Favorite Features

While rebuilding the engine I also replaced the metal oil feed lines, and installed an oil pressure gauge. For $1000 + $1500 in parts I had a 89 passat is a rebuilt engine. My wife drove the car for about 3K miles and the automatic transmission failed! The internal D Clutch snapped in half!


Suggested Improvements

This is a widely know problem with the ZF TipTronic transmissions used by Porche, BMW and VW.


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98 Passat --nice while it lasted
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By pdhorn
on

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.


Favorite Features

Brakes, overall handling. Smooth and quiet on the highway.


Suggested Improvements

Visibility and seating position could be better.


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Lovely, but troubled
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By leahk
on

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.


Favorite Features

The handling, the interior finish, comfortable ride for tall people. Beautiful car, very classy exterior. People loved this car.


Suggested Improvements

Repair costs! And a turbo that can actually last the life of the engine. A new model that doesn't require premium gas. VW dealers that actually try to give customer service. The selling dealer was good, but had bad experiences in both Savannah, GA and during a visit to Los Angeles.


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