Used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel

1996 Volkswagen Passat
List price range
1996 Volkswagen Passat

Pros - Not Available

Cons - Not Available

Used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel for Sale

Sorry! There aren't any 1996 Volkswagen Passat for sale near you.

Get more for your trade-in

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.

Receive offers from our dealer partners fast.

See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The Passat has never sold well in the United States. Weak engines plagued the early editions, ineffective marketing has played a role, and a muddled brand identity that has defeated sales across the board have all contributed to this car's seemingly invisible presence on the sedan market. Of course, its plain-vanilla styling didn't let the Passat stand out for much recognition other than the lack of a grille on the nose.

Volkswagen has been trying to change things lately, and the Passat has received a good bit of attention. The 2.8-liter V6 that has literally transformed Volkswagen's lineup from staid German sedans to road cars brimming with vitality was transplanted into the Passat. Last year, a revised exterior design gave this Volkswagen more character, and included a grille for the first time. Passats came fully loaded in one trim level for 1995; the only options were an automatic transmission, a sunroof and a CD player. Antilock brakes and traction control were standard equipment. With a singular GLX trim level, fresh styling, and renewed performance ability, Volkswagen focused the Passat's mission, and became the focus of people who appreciate quick, well-equipped German cars. Priced in the low 20's, and equipped with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, the Passat GLX was a real bargain.

It seems Volkswagen has decided to fiddle with the Passat recipe again, and we fear that the focus placed on the excellent GLX will become blurred with the arrival of newcomers. Late last year, a bare-bones entry-level Passat GLS debuted with the meager 2.0-liter four cylinder from the Golf. At $18,000, the GLS is no match for the Ford Contour SE, which offers the same tight European driving manners and a whole lot more speed for the same price. Even Volkswagen's own Jetta GLS makes better sense, and you lose little interior room in the swap to the smaller VW sedan.

Later in 1996, a TDI (Turbo Direct Injection) diesel model will arrive. Volkswagen says this is one diesel that will be quick, clean and quiet. We've followed a few test mules around on the streets of Tempe, Arizona and concur; the TDI loses nothing in acceleration ability to the GLS. Still, the hit-and-miss availability of diesel fuel and relatively low prices for gasoline in the United States make us wonder why VW thinks North America needs a diesel Passat.

The GLX is still the one and only Passat to consider, in our opinion. It continues to offer an excellent blend of value, performance and exclusivity, in either sedan or wagon format. So what do you think a fully loaded German sport sedan (or wagon) might cost? The base price of a new Passat GLX is roughly equivalent to the price of a well-equipped Taurus LX. Surprise, surprise. We think you ought to try the Passat whether or not performance is important to you. It's a good car at a fair price, with the ability to put a grin on your face every time you drive it.

1996 Highlights

Daytime running lights debut, two new colors are added to the palette, and a new price-leader GLS model powered by a 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower, four-cylinder engine is introduced. Midyear, a Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel model appears in sedan and wagon form.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Volkswagen Passat.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

680,000 and still running
VW on the BRAIN,05/31/2009
I have been a VW fan since 65". This was my third VW, and my first wagon. I loved it, and still do, its had a few problems, door handles, wheel bearings, gears, speedometer, window motors, rust, spindles, locks, and Volkswagen scalloping back wheel wear. These w's, you either love em or hate them. This vehicle needs better headlamps, the plastic interior was shoddy, half of it busted. The cup holder snapped off, the glove box, broke, little thing like that can piss you off. The seat rails screwed up. The heated seats, were replaced but, the seats were never the same. The odometer went at 181 k, and it was 1200 bucks to fix. This car is fun to drive but you must have patience.
best engine and tranny combo
I love my passat, I bought mine with 127K miles and it has 291K now. It's roomy, comfortable, and a pleasure to drive. Has good all around visibility. True the door handles are a pain and the window regulators go, but the car has never let me down and I get about 43 mpg average. It's paying for itself. Important to find a good diesel vw mechanic as most shops haven't a clue. My goal was to keep it until 300K, but I'm going as far as I don't have to do any major engine work. It's going to be a sad day when I retire this baby
Dependable work-horse
I purchased my '96 TDI used with 125k miles, and it has turned out to be one of the most dependable cars I've ever owned. It now has 273k miles on the original engine. I'm quite impressed for a diesel, it's much quieter than Mercedes, does not smoke, burn oil, and it consistently gets 42-48MPG. I drove from Sacramento to Kennewick Washington on ONE TANK of diesel. Over the years, the car has began to "age", and as such, the door handles are faulty and cease up, the cup holders broke off, lid to glove box broke, and AC switch broke one really hot summer day. Other than that, this is a very comfortable driving, easy handling automobile that I will drive until the doors fall off.
I Like It!
I bought my 1996 Passat with 119,000 miles on it. It now has 161,000 and still pulls strong. I have had to replace belt tensioner, water pump, and other numerous little items that you'd expect to change at 150,000+ miles. Make sure that you have the intake cleaned after 75,000 miles! They tend to smoke more on start up with clogged intakes (typical for TDI's). The best gas mileage that I have gotten is 53 hwy in the summer, The worst was 39 mpg, in combined driving using winter diesel. The car feels solid and well built, except for the door handles. It is not an eye catcher, but it is rare. The stock seats are too stiff. Also, you lose noticeable power with the A/C on. This car has an excellent turning radius. It makes a great daily commuter.
Write a consumer review of your vehicle for a chance to WIN $100!

Features & Specs

31 city / 41 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
90 hp @ 3750 rpm
31 city / 41 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
90 hp @ 3750 rpm
See all Used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Volkswagen Passat
Used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel Overview

The Used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel is offered in the following styles: TDi 4dr Wagon, and TDi 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesels are available in my area?

Used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Volkswagen Passat Diesel for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1996 Volkswagen Passat Passat Diesel you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Passat for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $25,237.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $24,371.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Passat for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $19,056.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $24,856.

Compare prices on the Used Volkswagen Passat for sale in Ashburn, VA to other major cities

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Volkswagen Passat?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Passat lease specials