1999 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Review: DO NOT BUY THIS CAR

1999 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

202 Total Reviews

GLS 1.8T Sedan (1.8L 4-cyl. Turbo 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By kachopsticks on


1999 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Turbo 4dr Sedan


My family purchased a 99 passat auto 1.8 turbo back in 2008 with roughly 87,000 miles on it.
It has been my daily driver since then and now is about to hit 120,000.
Since buying the car we have had to replace the following in approximate order:
Power Steering Rack: $800
ABS break module: $250 - (we did the install)
Turbo - $1000
Engine Coil Packs - $300
We have also had to replace lots of little things.
My headlight assembly shattered randomly while driving.
The windshield wiper motor broke ($100 for that part!!!). When replacing it I pulled out a NAPPA motor so it was the second time the part had broke.
This is on top of regular maintenance such as tires, oil changes, and breaks.

Best Features

Hmm... cool features of the car... The directional stick that no longer stays up. Every time i hit a bump I signal to turn left. Sometimes the trunk just will not open. The lights on my AC assembly give out randomly. The paint is pealing. The ac vents break. The seat levers are cranks?? German Engineering I guess... The turbo doesn't know when to boost, and the waste gate basically breaks its self over time. You can feel the car go clunk! One thing I actually do like about this car is the interior. It's sharp looking (mine is the black interior), and it is comfortable even on long drives. Lots of head room.

Worst Features

Also wanted to note, the previous owner had replaced the timing belt and water pump. Every time something breaks the mechanic will tell you it is a "common problem with these cars." So I would say, if you like buying products... that suck, buy this car. I will never in my life buy a VW again. I have owned two cars from the 80's before this that both had way less problems. I had a 89 toyota mr2 with 100000 that didn't break once. For improvements, I would say VW should buy Toyotas or Hondas and put the VW badge on them. German Engineering needs to incorporate some six sigma.
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By kachopsticks
on 03/08/12 15:31 PM (PST)

Just an update. The car has about 128,000 on it now. It just decided not to turn on any more back in December. Finally decided to take it to the shop last weekend. The mechanic told me he had to search online to find the cause of why my starter was broken and no longer getting power. He found on a website that they run wires directly under where your feet are when you are driving. Overtime the force from your feet, and water on your shoes can ware down the insulation on these wires, causing them to ground and blow fuses. Another 500 bucks for that repair.

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By lizzieliz7
on 08/23/11 06:56 AM (PDT)

I could not agree more! when i first bought mine in '08 I had to fix one of my power windows b/c the motor had broken. then I had to fix something in my engine. two months ago my timing belt broke and that was a HUGE debacle, it messed everything up on the top part of the engine it took a month and a half to fix and $2,282. THEN, this past weekend a rock got in my alternator belt, destroyed it and now i have to fix my crank shaft pulley. this is my first and last VW.

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