Buying advice Volkswagen Passat (B5/B5.5) 1996-2005, Common Issues, Engines, Inspection

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Hi everyone,

Welcome at my video series about buying a second hand car. Normally we look at cars that are 10 to 15 years old, but today i make an exception.

In my quest for finding a new car, I also took a look at the Passat B5. The B5 was produced between 1996 until the mid 2000’s, Than at the end of 2000 there was a facelift, the B5.5.

During my search for a new car i also searched information about this generation passat,  and i want to share my experience with all of you out there that is looking to buy such a car.

So this car was basically produced between 1996 until 2005, which is quite a long time.

Now let’s talk about the Powertrain

Volkswagen had 8 engines for sale for the Passat B5, so there’s no issue with finding an engine that fits your requirements.

However, the best engines for this car are the diesels, especially the benchmark 1.9-liter TDI with 130 HP.

Volkswagen also took care of the petrol range, there is even a 4.0-liter W8, which produces a healthy 275-horsepower. In terms of fuel efficiency, the W8, was more economical than the average eight-cylinder.

How about the Handling of the B5 ?

Since the Passat B5 is based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf Mk 4, expect a smooth driving experience on highways and A-roads, but that changes once the VW Passat B5 meets winding or bumpy roads, then you will find out the ride becomes unstable due to high body roll and imprecise cornering. There’s also a very small amount of feedback transmitted through the steering, although you’ll have a roughly accurate idea of what the wheels are during due, so precision is not an issue here.

Is the Passat B5 a safe car ?

The VW Passat B5 remains a sturdy car, better than its predecessors in this department, and the four stars it received after being examined by Euro NCAP reflect that. However, the model earned only two stars for pedestrian protection. Either way, those inside will feel safer knowing that the sedan is fitted with four airbags as standard, along with features like ABS, brake assist and ESP.

How come you still see these cars all over Europe ?

In many parts of Europe these cars still drive around and many of them have lots of experience by now. A further testament of the durability of the engine and reliable engineering.

Some of the TDI models, the cars equipped with a diesel engine, reached more than 1 million kilometers.

As with most Volkswagens from this era, there are several things you should look at before buying this car.

On top of the list is changing the oil on time, and regularly checking the oil level.

These engines will use some oil, this does not need to be a bad sign of expensive repairs ahead, these cars simply use more oil than you would suspect. People who own or have owned VW’s probably are familiar with the phenomenon.

Also for the longevity of the engine it is always wise to give the engine time to bring the engine up to optimal working temperature, this will take 10 to 15 KM from a cold start.

After that you can drive the car a little faster. This is better for the engine and will help you save fuel in the long run.

This car does not suffer from rust even after 15 years of daily use. Just make sure you wash off all the salts after the winter.

If you have any questions about this car, or you want to share your own experiences from owning this car, please leave a comment.

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Drive safe, see you guys in the next video.

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