This car is still a strong performer even though it is 17 years old. The engine is strong smooth and when pressed will surprise the hell out of you. The build quality is Volkswagen through and through. The automatic trasmission performs but I still prefer the 5 speed manual. For $250.00 this car was worth the expense.
My passat was stalling and I found the problem. It was the MAF meter on the intake. The connectors were not making contact. I took a pen and pushed them in to the MAF and no more stalling. I was going to sell my passat but now I plan on keeping it until it dies.
This car has been nothing but trouble. I have put 30,000 miles on it in 3.5 years. It now has 143,000 miles. I have had to replace ignition coil ($500), upper radiator hose ($200), rear shocks ($350), muffler ($100), brake pads and rotors ($400), the tranny is sloppy (flush and fill, $300), cruise control only works half of the time, all door handles are shot, and the ABS-horn-power seat belt-rear defrost all don't work. This car is fun to drive, but absolutely brutal with repairs. Don't buy a Passat from the 90s.
I bought a 10 year-old Passat and put a lot of work into it. It's been a very enjoyable car. It is a sturdy Teutonic poor-man's Volvo, complete with spoiler and 5-speed manual. It is fun to drive and it has held up well. It has had a few fuel system problems and it needed a new heater core. The ABS system is finally beginning to go at 115,000 miles.
I bought this car used with about 52,500 miles on it. It drove fine for about 3,000 miles and then bamm. It started stalling when going over speed bumps. I thought it was the gas but that's not it. Now it cuts off on me sometimes when rolling slow with the foot off of the gas. Left turns are turning into a life or death risk. I did really like this car but man playing chicken everyday is getting old.