1996 Passat

Consumer Reviews

1996 Volkswagen Passat

$2,495 - $2,495  MSRP Range

Review Score

3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5

6 Reviews
67% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
3.8 out of 5 stars Comfort
3.2 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
3.5 out of 5 stars Interior Design
3.2 out of 5 stars Reliability
3.7 out of 5 stars Performance
3.5 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 6 of 6 reviews

4 out of 5 stars

Fun to Drive, Easy to Fix..

by VW Driver from Chicago, IL on Wed Feb 20 2008

I've owned this car for 1 1/2 years since Jan. 07 and for it's age it still handles really well, has a couple issues here and there every now and then, but what older car doesn't, and it's a really comfort/smooth car for long trips. I'm selling mine due to modernization, but would probably keep it if it wasn't for the wife..

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

VW TDI is the way to go.

by TDI lover from Cincinnati, OH on Tue Aug 16 2011

I have owned a 1996 VW TDI since 1996, and have loved every last fill up. I joke that I fill the tank once a month, whether it needs it or not. This car averages 45 mpg, and with an 18 gallon tank I can run about 900 miles between fill ups. Typical maintenance/repairs run between $1000.00 and $1500.00 per year, but after 15 years this car goes and goes. No rust yet, and the interior is still holding up, so the car still looks close to new. I drive about 10,000 miles per year, and with 150,000 miles on the odometer I'm still on the original clutch, suspension and exhaust system. My wife drives a 2010 Jetta, and my daughter a 1999 Cabrio, so we are well versed in funkengruven, and couldn't be happier.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

1996 vw passat GLX

by My96passat from 61065 on Wed Mar 02 2011

Overall a good car, I don't like the light switch though i've replaced mine a few times since i got it, the light switch seems to go out pretty easily and is sensitive you must be careful with it or it will break when you switch the lights on. otherwise it's ok i've also heard though that some people seem to have a problem with it burning coolant that's right coolant i don't know where it goes but' sometimes it just disappears and it's not a leak it actually just disappears every now and then. but no problems i can't handle overall it gets from a to b for a cheap price but you do have to be careful with the air intake i bought my car with a single piece missing and soon after i had to replace the mass airflow sensor and now i'm replacing the o2 sensors because of what happened with the mass airflow sensor.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best of the best

by Earl from Hanover-Baltimore on Sat Nov 11 2017

Bought the car new in 1996. Still gets 47-50 mpg highway. Broke down twice. Currently have over 775,000 miles on it with absolutely no engine or transmission work. I did take very good care of it. Downside is door handles don't last as long as most cars.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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3 out of 5 stars

1996 VW Passat GLX VR6

by MattSD13 from Boston, MA on Tue Aug 08 2006

I purchased my '96 VW Passat GLX VR6 shortly after college graduation in the summer of 2000. I had reviewed consumer ratings that were available on the internet (which was limited in 2000) and decided to make the purchase. There are definitely pros and cons to be considered with this model, especially since we are now in 2006. The performance, comfort and transmission were fantastic, however they were overshadowed by the constant electrical problems I encountered with this car. At 5 years and 70,000 miles, the windshield wipers, rear defrost, power door locks, power windows, reverse lights, rear license plate illuminator, ABS, instrument panel and fog lights were all shot (note this was not a fuse problem, but an major central electrical problem). These problems did not occur simultaneously, but rather one after the other (over the course of 18 months). The clutch, engine and power never failed, however. I recommend an extensive diagnostic check before purchasing this model.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does not recommend this car!!

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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1 out of 5 stars

bad car

by person from on Thu May 09 2013

the worst car i have ever owned. we have had it for five years and nothing work anymore. the interior is also falling apart.

1 out of 5 starsComfort
1 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
1 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
1 out of 5 starsPerformance
1 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car!!

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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1

Our Take on the 1996 Volkswagen Passat

Noisy. Dirty. Smelly. If those are your impressions of diesel engines, you haven't been in the 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDI, which may be the sleeper family sedan of the year.

The Passat tends to get lost in the shuffle next to high-profile competitors like the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. And shoppers may have bad memories of the previous generation of diesel engines. But so good is the Passat diesel that it won a Popular Science "Best of What's New" award and a Popular Mechanics "Design and Engineering Award."

And besides, we like it, too.

She: It's easy to overlook the nondescript Passat diesel because it doesn't have the shock factor of the Taurus design or the reputation for... Read More