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1999 Volkswagen Passat consumer reviews

$21,200 starting MSRP
side view of 1999 Passat Volkswagen
76% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior 4.0
  • Performance 3.8
  • Value 4.0
  • Exterior 4.1
  • Reliability 3.7
Explore the 1999 Volkswagen Passat

Perfect size and configuration.

The wagon version is simply the best-sized, best-configured car ever offered in the US market. Good legroom and headroom, even in back, great-looking "Bauhaus" simplicity of exterior styling, decent fuel economy and cargo space, plus outstanding visibility to the rear and sides. After 22 years of ownership, I can still recommend our 2001, although it helps that I am able to much of my own work on it.


Best car for the money.

Handles like a fine EuroCar. Priced irresistible low. It was about 21,000 when I got mine in 1999. It's now about 22,000 base price. Great warranty. Best small sedan under 25k.


Worst car ever

Cabin leaks created computer failure and the plastic interior bits are engineered to fail. Cross the street when you see this one. I'll never buy any Volkswagen again!


Still running

I bought it new in 1999. It now has 284,000 miles on it and it's still incredibly reliable. In fact, it's more reliable and less troublesome than my two newer Audi's. However, whenever it needs routine repairs, it's expensive. Fortunately the most expensive single item I've had to replace is the catalytic converter. The plastic guide runners in the sunroof have disintegrated, which makes the sunroof usuable, but leaves dark lines on the head cover. I throw a bottle of injector cleaner in every 3,000 miles, and I'm still on the original injector. I burn a quart of oil every 2,800 miles. The tranny and power train are all original. Being a German car, the interior is spartan, but efficient. I love how the great use of space. The trunk is cavernous and even larger with the rear 40/60 seat down. I'm 6'2" and have no problem sitting in the back. I know that VW's are either great or terrible. Fortunately, I have had 4 over the years and none were a problem. In fact, I've given up on the Audi's and now looking at the 2010 CC.


Great first car

I bought this car at 127k miles and with its own unique problem. The locks on the doors don't work half the time. I spent about $1,300 fixing the problem, but the electrical system is still busted. Other than that, I love my Passat. It has a great clutch and an even more fun engine. I would recommend this car to anyone who would like to start out on a stick transmission. Beware though, repairing these cars is expensive, so get it checked first


Most features don't work, but it won't quit

I have had this car for eight years and bought it off a lease with 30K, it now has 172,000 and it won't quit. With that said, I must warn you about the trials I have had with it over the years. At this point I have stopped fixing the problems and just deal with it. 50% of of electronics don't work and I refuse to spend the money to have them all fixed. The electronic MPG gage says that I average around 97 miles per gallon....hmmm I think that's broken. My sunroof leaked about 4 years ago, taking out all of the electronics completely (the computer is located under the driver's seat), so that was painfully expensive. Ironically, the sunroof was the only feature that continued to work in the car after that happened. Actually all the repairs have been painfully expensive. But I beat on the car, and it won't quit working. I do add quite a bit of of oil to it about every 2 weeks.


Do not buy this car

It is the worse car I have ever had in my life.I bought it when it was 7 years old and made 93K miles for $7000. it had a lot of feature were already broken and not working. Within one year and half I spent in its repairs over $2100 and finally I sold it barely for $4800. VW are very expensive cars not because of thier quality but just because they are German.



this car amazing. I bought my car from dealer I think it is not good choise but some owner selling this car, not a dealer. I bought same type of passat 3 years ago and it likes mercedes benz. I recommend this vehicle to everybody. If you don't have a money for new mercedes. This milages is amazing


Sturdy little wagon

I like how my Passat handles. It feels strong and resilient. Aside from having to put about $2500 into my used '99 wagon, and if I could guarantee the issues that plague Volkswagon in general wouldn never affect me, I'd buy another. Not the greatest vehicle for our snowy days but those are fewer and farther in between, so I have been dealing with it well enough.


Best choice for the price range

I bought mine new in September of 99, thus got a good deal as the 2000 year models were already out for a while. Got it for $19k. Which at the time, compared to Camry, Accord, Subaru of same model with similiar equipments, that was great price. At time when this car came out, VW was trying to gain a foothold in the mid-size family sedan market that was dominated by Honda and Toyota. As such, Passat was aggresively priced and very very well equiped. It had standard side airbags when the others did not. It had a sophisticated suspension system that gave it character as compared to others. It had a trip computer, outside temp display, fuel consumption (average/current), tweeter/woofer speakers (they are cheap paper ones though), full size spare (cool), and far superior interior dash materials. Also, since VW bought AUDI, so Passat got the strong AUDI 1.8T engine (which I chipped via APR to 190HP and 220 torque) and a solid 5 speed automatic (I think lots of others were still using 4 speed at the time). And best of all, it had a 7 year 100kmiles powertrain warranty (it came in handy). Lastly, it looked better than other cars. That is why I bought mine. But in its 7 years service, it is not without its problems: 1. the right rear window failed 3 times in 3 years (warranty); 2. vaccum line leaked due to poor quality (warranty) and I have since replaced them with silicone ones; 3. something else failed that gave me an engine light (warranty); 4. MAF (mass air flow) sensor failed (paid by me, oouch); 5. had to had upper control arms and CV boots replaced (paid by me, ouch); 6. had the leaky valve cover gasket replaced (under 7yrs/100k powertrain warranty); 7. ABS (anti-lock brake) control module failed (repaired and re-installed myself). Those are the "unusal" failures/repairs I had done to the car. Other stuff are of regular maintaince wear/tear, so I do not list them. As you can see, not too bad, but not too good either. But I knew when I bought my car that this is what I am getting into, so I am not "shocked". All and all, it is still kicking strong. I think it can make it to 150k or 200k without any major issues.