1996 Volkswagen Passat Overview


Looking for a Used Passat in your area?

CarGurus has 24,880 nationwide Passat listings starting at $999.

Average user score
4.1 5 stars
Based on 20 reviews

1996 Volkswagen Passat Overview

For 1996, Volkswagen continued to add tweaks to its Passage GLX and GLS sedans and wagons, and introduced a diesel version, called the TDI (turbo direct injection), later in the production year.

The entry-level Passat GLS four-door sedan came with a less-than-powerful 2.0-liter in-line 4-cylinder engine that generated 115 hp, while the higher-end GLX, available as both a sedan and a wagon, was powered by a more appropriate 2.8-liter V6 engine that pumped out 172 hp. The turbodiesel, aimed at those who sought better gas mileage, was equipped with a 1.9-liter, 90-hp 4-cylinder engine. It also was available in both sedan and wagon versions.

All engines were linked to a five-speed manual overdrive transmission, which was standard. A four-speed automatic was available as an option on the GLS and GLX.

In an effort to increase the Passat's safety features, daytime running lights were added in '96. Other standard features included front airbags for the driver and passenger, heated exterior mirrors, CFC-free air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, an audio anti-theft alarm system, and an eight-speaker AM/FM/cassette audio system.

The GLX trim package added anti-lock brakes and traction control; leather seats were available as an option.

While drivers noted that they enjoyed the car's handling, styling, roominess, and comfort, many reported numerous problems with the car, including the fact that "fit and finish" items such as door handles broke way to easily, resulting in expensive repairs.


What's your take on the 1996 Volkswagen Passat?

1996 Volkswagen Passat Top Comparisons

Users ranked 1996 Volkswagen Passat against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

1996 Volkswagen Passat vs:

    Have you driven a 1996 Volkswagen Passat?  
    Rank This Car

    Cars compared to 1996 Volkswagen PassatPeople researching a 1996 Volkswagen Passat contacted a dealer about


    Looking for a Used Passat in your area?

    CarGurus has 24,880 nationwide Passat listings starting at $999.

    Have questions?   Ask a question

    Volkswagen Passat Questions


    Are Owners Of These Having Trouble Finding Parts?

    I'm wanting to purchase one of these TDIs. But have been warned by a trusted mechanic that finding parts may be difficult due to the age and limited numbers of US import/sales. these are fantastic v...

    130 views with 3 answers (last answer 6 years ago)

    Car Wont Start

    disconnected the battery, reconnected the battery, put the key in the ignition, power was on, turned the key the car clicked once and then completely died. 30 seconds later power comes back on tried ...

    426 views with 2 answers (last answer 4 years ago)

    Can I Swap A Timing Belt From A 1996 Vw Passat Vr6 To A 1998 Vw Passat Vr6

    29 views with 2 answers (last answer 2 years ago)


    Hi i have 1996 passat and i m loooking for the fuel filter not the one next to the gas tank,Im looking for the one in some were in the engene...anyone know were is that fuel filter located???

    105 views with 2 answers (last answer 4 years ago)

    Changed Battery 1996 Passat And Now Will Not Start

    battery was battery was bad replaced it and now will not start

    624 views with 2 answers (last answer 6 years ago)