I bought my 1990 Passat for my first car, and I don't regret it. Petunia May, (her name) is an awesome highway car, but it is hard to park in tight areas. Other than that, I love it. I had to do some break repairs to it which cost an arm and a leg, but to me that is wear and tear parts. They are going to need attention one time or another in any car you buy.
I bought my passat with 140,000 miles on it and it was immaculate. It runs great and nothing has gone wrong with it yet. Great value. Front wheel drive is great in snow and the car is generally fun to drive with a fast yet rock solid feel. Nice factory exhaust tip and exhaust. Acceleration is a bit slow, but that is expected for a car of this size with 140 horsepower. Super smooth ride. 110 mph feels as smooth as 60 does. Gas mileage is about 25 mpg. Overall, I'd reccomend this car to anyone who wants a sporty sedan with plenty of room to boot.
I just recently bought my passat and I was very pleased when I found the car for the amount of money they were asking for. Now that I have mine something always seems to go wrong and I don't know of any places close by where I can take my car.
Generally we like this car. Expensive to repair - although once repaired it is ok. Comfortable to drive, good mileage, easy handling. We would not buy another Passat because they are simply too expensive. We know someone who has a 1996 and they think it is a money pit.