1998 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

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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 again
By JC on 05/12/07 08:45 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

Bought this car new in 1998. Will never buy another VW. Electrically unreliable (locks, windows, interior lights, wipers, radio), underpowered and expensive to maintain. The only reason I haven't gotten rid of it is I hate car payments and it's paid for. However, I am considering bailing out soon. Stay away from this car.
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Still in Love with '98 Passat
By B5Passat on 01/30/07 13:11 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

I purchased this car new and it has been a fantastic. It has a great ride and handling and the engine seems to only get better with age. Mine has the original clutch and exhaust system at 109,000 miles. It has had no problems or major repairs. All of my service has been performed at dealerships. This car is very reliable, comfortable on long drives, and handles and performs well while delivering excellent fuel economy. I fear I may never want to get rid of this car, and may not as I don't want to risk getting an inferior replacement. The exterior looks brand new despite never being garaged.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
After All, a Nice Car
By bogdancea1 on 12/04/06 12:06 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought mine used with 84,000 miles on it. It now is 115,000 miles. It has been a fun to drive experience. Its handling and brakes are excellent. The engine is strong and the transmission's fine. It will be a dream car, but has electronic flaws. It seems that the computer is haunted. The check engine light is annoying. It took three visits to fix it, and still no result. After three weeks, it went off by itself. Now it is coming on just from time to time, for no more than five minutes. The sunroof contact bad. Cruise control dead. The only big problem was one with the power engine module which cost $600 to fix. But the way this car handles the curves is impressive. The turbo lag is not very bad if you know how to deal with. Now the CV joints are bad, but is not car's fault. I like to press gas pedal too much in the curves. I'll buy another one in a heartbeat.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Long-Time VW Owner Disgusted!
By RKW on 08/24/06 21:11 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

I am ready to junk my 1998 VW Passat and am mad at VW's poor reliability and pathetic customer service. I bought my first new VW in 1971 and still have a 1979 VW Campmobile that I bought new. Because of my total dissatisfaction with VW customer service I will never buy another VW and recommend that you don't either. I bought my Passat new and have 90,000 miles on it. I love to drive the car and the economy and performance are great. However, I've had all the fit and finish problems, electrical problems, etc. Over a year ago VW had a recall on lower control arms, which I had checked by a dealer in 12/05. In 6/06 noises lead to a $2,500 estimate from VW for the control arms. VW customer service says sorry. I am gone forever!
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1998 Passat
By ET on 06/24/06 08:10 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan

Review

I have owned this car since I bought it at about 129,000 miles. I have kept up on maintanince and it has treated me very well. Right now it has 173,000 miles and when I tell people that, they say it looks like it has half of that. I have the 5-speed and on the highway I can easily get 30+ mpg depending on the speed. The build quality of the car is exceptional, the looks stay strong even after 8 years of driving around; not like the cheap looking interiors of many other cars after time. There have been a few problems, mostly electrical. The door lock/key fob/alarm system is only works intermittently and an electrical problem keeps the trunk light from working on mine. Tip: use synthetic oil
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