It is a great car for everyday use. I have mine for 6 years and I drove around 70K miles and it runs like a champ. These V6 engines are strong and hard to kill. The only thing I changed besides suspension, is timing ( which is normal every car, so is the oil), gaskets, thermostat, and water pump. Yes these are expensive parts, if you buy original like you should. I am a mechanic so every part I buy, I change it myself. This car is great for hauling cargo inside. So if you're looking for a first car and know something about how change little things and have budget limit to 5K, I suggest you get this car. Now it depends on a person, if you're planning on modifying like boosting, get a 1.8T, if not and want to have the car as a daily drive, get a V6. Why a V6 for a daily drive, because turbos are very expensive to replace, and you never what the car went through with previous owner.
Overall, this has been an excellent vehicle. To me the most impressive aspect of the car is how it drives so well in snow & rain. I did have a few issues with the front end suspension around the 135,000 mile mark, but they have not come back since. Fuel economy has been as advertised averaging around 23 highway & 17 city. The exterior fit & finish is relatively decent, and the interior is so well built, it still looks almost like new.
I've never driven anything but VWs. (I also have an 04 Passat Sedan). Keep in mind, VW is not like
Honda/Toyota, VWs require a little more work, but will easily surpass the 500,000 mile mark. As long as you take care of a VW, it will take care of you.
Exterior Fit & Finish
Interior Fit & Finish
Overall ride quality
this vehicle ran great first 80k miles. But the window fell out & a bunch of interior things broke while still considered a newer car. I read all the reviews on car.
I got the car from friend knowing she was about to run into trouble with it. It was in good to fair condition. I bought it with another friend at a good price knowing we would be dumping
a lot of $$$$ into it over the next few years who I knew could tackle the problems ahead. What I wasn't prepared for was everything happening at once AND PROBLEMS WITH the rack and pinion. I hope I spelled that right.
If you are looking to buy a Passat 2000-2004 do a Vin history on it. If you're looking for a smart buy, this ain't it!
When in good running order it drives like a much more expensive sports car.
I usually don't dig wagon's but this is a nice looking vehicle and holds a lot of stuff in the back.
I love the night time interior dash lights.
They are purple.
clips for replacing the passenger side window are difficult to find.
The rear hatch we have to prop with a pole to keep open, cup holders are a total joke, everythings all jammed up too close to the front dash like bogus cup holder, plug for cell charger, ash tray and shift nob, etc..etc...
I'd say they need to use BETTER QUALITY PARTS USED in production that last as long as people believe VW car & parts will last.
My father had a VW beetle in 1965.
He sold it for more than he paid for it in 1989. Never had a problem with his "BUG". .
And most people believe VW is a quality product to buy.
Not in this case. Thank god my friendships solid with my friend I bought it from : )
Great handling, comfortable and firm seats: I can drive from Florida to North Caroina in one day. And I am over 50. Power is good (I chipped up the motor). Brakes very good. Visibility is super. Small on the outside but plenty of room inside. Heat is adequate.
AC still works and well!
Handling, ride, comfort, visibility. Reliabiilty has been very good. Cost of ownership is low.
More power (by another 20 - 30 hp). Wind noise is noticeable at freeway speeds, but really not bad. Cup holders are inferior, but do i care??
Why I will never buy another VW.
Replaced control arms twice in 80,000 miles.
Bad ABS module, bad CCM, bad ECU, all oxygen sensors have been replaced, engine sludge problem, two bad window regulators, Emissions Workshop Errors all the time.
Every two winters battery needs to be replaced.
Took it to dealer for a check engine and was told I had 2 bad catalytic converters, $2,300.
Had it scanned somewhere else and was told that it does have a catalytic error, but the dealer failed to mention several vacuum leak errors.
I replaced $20 worth of vac hose, problem solved.
Haven't had an error in 10,000 miles, this is a record!!
Replacing the above parts with non OEM has helped a lot.
I like the interior the most, comfy and cool looking with the blue and red dash/control lights.
Performance is average, mine is drive by wire so there is a hesitation when accelerating, especially when rolling at about 35 mph waiting to merge onto a highway.
Ride is smooth and quiet.
Better engineering, better oem parts, better service.
VW corporation doesn't stand behind their products and fix known reoccurring problems, especially with the ABS unit and control arms. I view these as safety issues since the ABS unit also controls the traction control feature and the control arms keep the front wheels pointing the same direction and help steer the car. If you do a little research you will find many 2000 Passat owners, as well as owners for the whole B5 generation of Passats complaining about them, yet no recalls have been issued.
The dealer will just keep replacing them with the same junk.
If I didn't work on my car myself and use better non-oem parts, I'd be broke.