I bought this car as my first car...what a nightmare. The car stereo is immpossible to change and if you do change it, it will cost you an arm and a leg. There are new problems with my particular passat every week (literally). Brakes, timing belts, cooling system, you name it, it can go wrong with this car.
i have had this car for less than a year, and it's an absolute joy to drive. i have the 5 speed version, and recommend that everyone learn how to drive a manual transmission. I've had a few minor maintenance issues with the car, but nothing serious considering there is over 280,000 KM on it. Engine still has excellent compression.
I bought this car from my sister, she bought it as is. Bad move. She had a hell of a time getting it to pass emmissions, and had the front brakes done, as well as numerous belts changed. She barely drove it for a period of a year, and I bought it from her. Things that have gone wrong since I've had it: CV Boots, timing belt, 2 V-Belts, rear brakes totally ceased (new calipers pads and rotors), alternator, rear muffler (this car has 3 of them), pipe leading from exhaust manifold to cat converter, heater core, ingnition switch, rear left passenger window motor.
I am now almost 19, and I had bought a 91 passat 5spd in august of 2002(i was 16). I got it with 192k on the odometer. I had it for a year and a half and got it to 212K. I don't know what the review called "91 Passat breaks more than it works by RIchie" was talking about. the stereo is the easiest out there. the factory stereo uses the same "DIN" and overall dimensions as ANY aftermarket stereo, they just slide right in. I say best I've owned, out of a *93 Saturn SL2 auto (1.9L DOHC). *THIS PASSAT(2.0L DOHC 16Valve) *91 Ford Crown Victoria (5.0L V8) *94 Pontiac Grand-Am (quad-4) auto *85 Cutlass Supreme (V6)(pimp ride) *88 Lincoln Towncar (5.0L V8) (fully optioned w/ sunroof)
Terrible car, cannot understand how VW has the reputation that they do. The car has great style and has every extra you could want but what do they matter when you can't drive it? The quality is the worst i've heard of and repairs are very expensive. This car is past its time, often repair costs in a year exceed the original cost of the car. DO NOT BUY AN AUTOMATIC!!! Auto trannies are notorious as one of the worst out there.