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Problems with 99 VW Passat GLS



  • I'm in new car mode and would like some comarison feedback from anyone who's driven a 328/528 series BMW (6 cylinder) vs. a Passat GLX. What are your 'objective' thoughts on performance, quality and reliability?

  • Has anyone noticed a metallic knocking sound from the rear left seat? ( mine is a 99 GLS on the road since July 99. Once the seat back is dropped, the noise disappears,possibly a fit issue. Also don't skimp with fuel,use the good stuff to avoid ping. Turbo lag will decrease with lower fall temps as the intercooler needs cool air to work properly. Otherwise "quelle belle voiture" it rocks & draws looks (black pearl on black leather YIKES)
  • This car is the absolute worst car that I have ever owned. I have 67,000 miles on the car and have probably put over $3,000 into the car in repairs. The latest is the power steering pump went. The VW dealer quoted me $780 to fix it. Whoever heard of a power steering pump going on a car less than 3 yrs. old? I would not advise anyone to buy this car.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    Yup, I've heard some bad things about the 97 and older Passats.

    Let's be clear though ...
    The current Passat, starting with the 1998 model year is a 100% NEW car which shares NOTHING with the pre-1998 Passats. 98+ Passats are built on the same platform as the Audi A4 and A6, utilizing the same chassis, suspension, engines, and tranny.

    Just want to make sure everyone is clear on that.
  • Eric,
    I happen to own both a 328i and a Passat. I don't think you can really compare them. For starters the BMW is quite a bit more money, and one is RWD and one is FWD. The only way is for you to drive both cars decide what you like and dislike about both and apply your own subjective importance to each item. I read too many posts especially in the car topics that seem to offer the definative judgement about a certain auto vs. another. If we all liked the same things there would only be one type of car. For instance the Maxima vs. Passat where people say the Maxima is better because it is bigger. Well that's only if you want or like to drive a bigger car!
    What is most important is what you like, unless someone else is going to buy it for you.
    P.S. I obviously like both the BMW and Passat because I brought both.
  • Ticking noise is there. To me, it sounds like the seat frame flexing. Ignore it. Ride is first rate. Power steering is weakest feature, overboosted as in all the Audis. Clutch grabs higher than I would like, but you get used to it. Spacing is too wide between 2 and 3rd gears. Beautiful low end tourque makes realaxed around town driving a breeze. It is odd thw way the gas peddle gets sucked in on near stall starts, but it's just a quirk. If you are not stalling the car on takeoff at least twice a week, you are probably riding your clutch. Best brakes I have ever had, and I've had two Porsches. The suspension is a little mushy, and the overall drivers feel is short of BMW or Porsche, but kills Camry by a mile. (Don't know about Hondas -- hate the way they smell. VW Leather is so sweet smelling) I wish the drivers seat had a tilt adjustment for the bottom seat cushion. VW service is low end of scale. After years of selling nothing, they suddenly have three hot cars and can't handle the volume. Free maintenance only aggravates the problem. Re 5sp vs Tip. Tip makes the engine noisier, especially on the highway. But it's fun for an automatic. 5sp keeps you involved, but is not as relaxing. On the other hand, no enthusiast would want to be without it. I paid 21,000 plus tax. The only car I would prefer is the Audi A6 2.7 Twin Turbo with 6-speed. It runs $40,000 plus. For value, Passat is best deal on the road, despite a few shortcomings.
  • My new Windsor Blue 1999 Passat GLX Sedan 6 cylinder is driving me crazy. I have had it less than 3 weeks and in the shop 3 times for the very annoying halting at speeds 55 to 65. Each time I am on the freeway going along at the speed limit it feels like it is losing speed, I have had 3 different people from the dealership go out with me on test drives and they all agree they feel it but say it is NO PROBLEM and I should just get used to it because ALL PASSAT cars do this, IT IS THE WAY THEY ARE MADE????? I am now trying to check with other Passat owners to see if this is the case? Am I crazy is it just my car? It does not do this at any other speeds but 55 to 65. Please help I want to drive it off a cliff and buy a Toyota like my last car, never one problem , my son now drives it. Any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks Susan
  • Same problem noted here in Raleigh, NC. Very strange and annoying "pulling" down in speed of the engine around 60 mph. Almost like it wants to downshift, but has no reason to, while the gas peddle is being held steady. Mechanics told us same thing: "That's just the way they are". I think we're getting something else soon. Scared it indicates a bigger problem looming on the horizon.
  • I have difficulty in trying to decide what is a fair offer. Figures such as suggested retail, holdbacks, invoice and add-on items are all confusing at time. Do you use a percent of the suggested retail price? Thanks
  • Start with what is the exact car that you want, which includes the VW options that you want. Non VW options are referred to as Dealer "packs" (another term is additional dealer profit) and are not applicabe to the Passat. I say that because no matter what they say about supply this car is a second or third year body style, and the competition is too hot for a mid-size vehicle of this class to warrant adding "packs". Then check around and see what the going rate is in your area. I saved $1000 by going 60 miles out of town. There are dealers that want to sell you a car that day and ones that don't. It has to do with a lot of factors I won't go into, but that's the way it is. I think it is most simple to deal in $ over invoice.
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    For buying and pricing questions, please visit the Smart Shopper Conference. Please try to save this space for maintenance/repair related questions.

    Conference Host
  • I am considering a 2000 gls passat w/the tiptronic trans. I would like the V6 but am concerned that the city mileage is only rated at 18MPG the 4 looks better at 21 anybody have any comments on fuel economy around town that they would like to share?
  • looking at the problems on VW Passats (looks LIke A lot) versus problems on the late model Maximas (I can't find much at all) I getting scared off buying the VW. I currently own a 92 Nissan Stanza, it has 77k miles on it, the only thing that has gone wrong is the passenger power window switch broke ($33 for a new one)
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    If, from reading this and other threads, you have deduced that the Passat has "a lot" of problems, then by all means, buy the Maxima. I almost did the same, and now am so glad I didn't.

    Over 9000 flawless miles on my 99 GLS 1.8T Passat. Remember, EVERY manufacturer puts out a few lemons.
  • some more than others...
  • I got the response from Grace and I am wondering if there are others out there that have the same problem with the Passat GLX? What can we Passat owners do about this problem,I just bought mine 1 month ago and the dealer says I just have to get used to it. The haulting at speeds of 50 to 60 is soemthing I can't get used to since it is the speed limit here in No. Calif.I have been assured it is not a safety problem but I am going to try to get a new car or money back or something. I do not reommend a Passat because all of them have this problem. Please others respond so I know it is all owners not just 2 of us. How did this car get to be Car of the Year?
  • I am seriously considering leasing a Passat GLX and am looking for any advise and input from someone in the Cleveland, OH area. I just moved here and have never lived in a climate like this before. How does the Passat perform in the snow?
  • We picked up our Passat GLS last Friday and love it. I noticed the driving speed as being quite different from anything else i have driven- this was apparent in the test drive. Triptronic is also a different feature than what I have driven, maybe that is something for the owners who are unhappy with the way it drives at higher speeds to look into. I plan on learning how to best utilize this system. Yes- there is definately some diferences in this car all the way around. It is not flashy, overly costly, yet it is compact, stylish, roomy inside and 100% luxury & comfort. As for as the speed lag, etc... my guess is that it is something to do with the triptronic system?

  • I just got off the phone with VW of America and they do not intend to do anything about the GLX lag or halting problem which happens to all of these models( GLX V6 ) at freeway speeds of 50 to 60 mph. My lawyer has advised me to take the car back to the dealership and give them the keys. I do not want the car and this problem was not disclosed upon purchase, therefore I should not have to keep it. Do any of you Passat owners intend to keep yours with this problem? Please respond, I think I am in for a huge fight. Susan
  • squantosquanto Posts: 12
    just out of curiosity.. what were your previous cars?
This discussion has been closed.