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1994 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

4dr Sedan GLX Auto

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  • $23,950 original MSRP

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Printable Version

1994 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

Printable Version

1994 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

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1994 Volkswagen Passat

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

Solid build. Firm ride. Confidence-inspiring performance. These are descriptions that have been applied to German automobiles.

Conventional styling. Lack of interior conveniences. These descriptions have also been attached to German vehicles.

Both sets of descriptions apply to the 1994 Volkswagen Passat GLX. Our test vehicle was somewhat boxy and didn't display the attention to interior detail that we would have liked. But it was a strong performer on the road, thanks to its responsive power plant, road-gripping handling, precise steering and effective braking. As a matter of fact, the latter two attributes were instrumental in saving us from a potentially dangerous accident during our test drive.

Our Passat GLX Wagon's MSRP base price was $23,500. We added an electronic four-speed automatic transmission and a Brilliant Black Clearcoat Metallic paint job that brought the MSRP to $24,940.

Walkaround

The Passat GLX Wagon we tested had clean, horizontal lines, reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz wagon of a few years back. It was boxy, yet everything seemed to flow in one sweeping expanse from front to back. The roof-mounted storage rack, for example, had no obtrusive cross members; its two long rails hugged the roofline all the way back.

Our Passat Wagon boasted a finish as good as that of any vehicle we've tested. Halogen fog lamps imbedded in the front bumper, tinted windows and 15-inch alloy wheels even added a touch of sportiness to the exterior package.

Decorative hardware on the Passat was minimal. The prominent VW logo and large European-styled headlamps highlighted the front of the vehicle, overshadowing a conservative black wraparound bumper and a subtle grille indentation. Color-matched bodyside molding blended smoothly into the sides, speaking well of the vehicle's overall fit.

Interior Features

Entry was easy in both front and second row of our Passat GLX Wagon. Once inside, we couldn't help but notice a blinking light on the driver's door that was part of the anti-theft alarm system, a standard feature on this wagon that helps deter unauthorized entry and disables the ignition.

A lot of features up front impressed us. The cloth-covered front seats were extremely firm, and the instrumentation was laid out well, with clean, round analog gauges. An easy-to-reach button activated digital readouts of mpg, oil pressure and trip mileage.

Our test Passat was equipped with a standard sunroof, electrically operated by an overhead switch. The smokedglass exterior panel could be closed o with a sliding opaque cover in the interior.

Several annoying points cropped up during our interior tour. The ignition was hard to find at first-it was tucked up under the steering wheel almost out of sight. Another problem was the steering wheel itself. It was set extremely close to the dash, so if a tall driver were to position the seat all the way back, he or she would have to drive straight-armed.

Although Volkswagen designers didn't forget cupholders, they didn't do much to make them handy. We opened the glove-box door to see two little indents on which to place cups. It was pretty apparent to us that the first bump or swerve in this vehicle would result in hot coffee or sticky soda all over the place. This is one of the few instances in which a functional item was almost begrudgingly included. As the story goes, German designers believe that driving a vehicle should leave no time for guzzling.

To be fair, there were several functional features in our Passat Wagon, including convenient storage bins on the doors and console, a coin holder and wellplaced map lights.

Our test vehicle was by no means large, but it offered ample room in the backseat for three people. Clearly, though, two would be more comfortable. For added cargo flexibility, the backseat had a 60/40 fold-down design.

Behind the rear seat was a good amount of cargo room (34.3 cubic feet, to be exact), but the cover that was included to hide valuable items tended to get in the way when loading and unloading. For added storage, our Passat Wagon also offered side compartments in the back.

Driving Impressions

Visibility was very good but not W excellent. The A-pillar that housed the Passat's seat-belt system was thicker than most we've seen and partially blocked our view.

The ride was firm and precise on typical city streets. In fact, people who are only familiar with Volkswagen because of the old Beetles may be surprised by this kind of ride quality. There was a touch of road-feel transmitted into the cabin, but it wasn't harsh. On rough pavement the ride became jarring, but we had absolutely no problems with control.

Hauling a 600-pound load of passengers and cargo, the standard 2.8-liter VR6 in our Passat showed some speedy acceleration, moving from 55 to 70 mph in a little more than four seconds. Our test model had the optional four-speed automatic transmission, and we could barely tell when the vehicle was shifting---it was really only noticeable from first to second gear.

This was a front-wheel drive wagon, and it really grabbed the road. We powered through heavy, slushy snow and were pleased with the traction. The steering was also sharp: We changed lanes with just a 4 turn of the wheel. However, the Passat Wagon's 38.38foot turning diameter was a little wider than that of some of the other wagons we've tested.

The Passat's standard 4-wheel anti-lock brakes exhibited sure stopping power. We performed several tests by braking from 25 mph and came to a rail-straight stop each time-even without our hands on the wheel.

An unplanned incident underscored our admiration for all that German engineering. While going 70 mph on the expressway, we encountered a Pontiac Fiero doing a 360-degree spin smack dab in front of us. Our test driver applied the brakes and quickly yanked the wheel, barely avoiding the out-of-control vehicle. (Unfortunately, another car knocked the Fiero back into us, but it only clipped off our rear fascia.) We are firmly convinced that if we had been driving almost any other vehicle, we would have hit the Fiero and serious injuries would have occurred. So three cheers to VW engineers for providing a top-notch handling performance.

Summary

Although our test VW Passat Wagon was a great car. It was good-looking in a modest fashion and lots of fun to drive. And frankly, we probably would have been involved in a much more serious accident if it weren't for the vehicle's precise steering, responsive braking and overall superior handling.

Once you get used to the vehicle's shortcomings-mostly a lack of interior conveniences-we think you'll love the Passat Wagon. In many ways, it reminded us of the more highly praised German makes such as Mercedes-Benz or Audi, and it's considerably less expensive.

Model Line Overview
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Printable Version

1994 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Printable Version

1994 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

Volkswagen Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2 years / 24,000 miles from the purchase date comprehensive limited warranty including the balance of the 4 year/50,000 mile original limited powertrain & corrosion warranty.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 112-Point Inspection
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 2 Year 24-Hour Roadside Assistance
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes, at no cost to buyer
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1994 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

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