Used 1997 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews
Yes, it has hardware issues: door latches, power window alignment, ignition keyswitch (recall issued), electrical gremlins... But even with all that, I love this car! But I am an engineer and tinkerer, own the Bentley repair manual, and don't mind pulling the door panel off, either. 179000 miles and climbing 30K+/year. We'll grow old together. Drive this car hard and it will NOT ever smoke - the computer craves to be driven!
Well, we're headed towards 2011, and my trusty Passat now has 138,000 miles. This car STILL drives like the day I bought it over ten years and 100,000 miles ago. I'm bored and want something newer, as the plastic trim pieces are falling off and the door handles / window regulators continue to be flaky. However, from an economic AND enjoyment standpoint, I simply cannot beat this car.
I have owned nothing but VW's. They all have been reliable and great to drive. In 2000 we needed a bigger car as we were expecting our first child. We drove the new Jetta, and but it seemed small and sort of cheap. Then we saw the beautiful Indigo Passat GLX. It is a big, roomy sedan which drives and handles like a dream. The VR6 engine is the best thing VW has ever designed. The check engine or ABS lights have NEVER been on in this car. I bought it with 38,000 miles on it, now it has 96,000 miles and drives like the day I took it home. The first owner probably neglected a few things. It needed brakes, rotors, battery, etc. that first year, but the dealer covered everything. Find a good mechanic, do your maintenance, and this car will last!
Purchased my VW Passat TDI in March of 1997 after reviewing several articles on the TDI engine. Hard to believe you can get that great fuel mileage in a mid-size vehicle. No American made auto can do that. I have almost 150,000 miles on it now and it still runs great. I like going almost 900 miles before I have to fill up again. I change the oil every 5,000 miles and the timing belt every 60,000.
This car was really nice for about the first 3 years that we owned it. Ever since that point, it has had many nagging, expensive, and repetitive failures. (Among those too numerous to mention - Door Handles, Controller, O2 Sensors, Belt-tensioner) The Yellow light has been on more than it has been "off". Were it not for the fact that I was unemployed on & off for most of the past 4 years, we would have "dumped" it on some other poor sap. Have talked to several other GLX owners - most had same problems. Their highly-touted "German Engineers" should all be fired, and replaced by the guys from GM. (I've never had to replace all 4 door handles on a Buick twice!)