Used 2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2002 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

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19 Total Reviews

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Surprisingly a good little car
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By gashley2
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

Owned a 2003 Skoda Octavia in Germany was a fun car. Bought the closes thing to it in the US. the 1.8L is fun and great on MPG! I get better mileage then the EPA rating best i got was 40MPG on a road trip! Passat has great styling i think and rides nice really luxurious for what it is. Previous owner did all the differed maintenance cv axels, fuel pump, valve cover gaskets, heater core, timing belt, water pump etc... Currently has 180,000 mile on it and I really like the car, I will drive the wheels off of this car! Great on snow with regular tires. Only thing wrong is the trans makes a LOUD slam noise when downshifts when exiting the interstate, when that goes Ill buy something else.


Best Features

GREAT GAS MILEAGE!!!! Very comfortable on trips. Heated seats are great in the winter. If you do your own maintenance it doesnt cost any more then a toyota. You Tube is your best friend while owning a foreign car. 9.5 times out of 10 you aren't the only person having a particular car problem, do your research. Great styling and european sport handling is a plus. Lots of room inside even in the rear, very comfortable


Worst Features

The little peripheral cheap plastic things inside the car are a little unsettling. The plastic things in the car have a rubberized coating on them that begin to peel everywhere you touch over time. Looses its value pretty quick when miles get high. My car is worth about the same price it costs for a new set of tires for it. Puts you in a predicament when you need a whole new set of tires and they cost the same price your car is worth, depreciation is ridiculous on these VW's. Transmission is cause for concern with the hard downshifting. Auto transmissions are a pretty pricy item on any car let alone on a VW.


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an absolutely solid car, without a new car replacement
8 of 15 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By topagentgroup
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

I bought this car with about 20000 miles at less than a year old for $15500. I'm at 138000 with a private party value of $4500, it's been going up in value the past 3 years! An absolute joy to drive with the 4 cyl turbo and 34mpg. It seems to be a timeless styling blck/blck shines nicely. Synthetic only!! can't stress that enough and use the VW coolant. everyday garages will mess this car up like a bad hangover. I found an old VW specialized mechanic, won't let any other cars in the garage and has kept it running well for reasonable $. Replaced, timing belt/water pump at 80k, both frnt window regulators, 3 sets of tires/brakes, 2CV joints, 1 set of rotors,fuel pump at 136k due to ethanol


Best Features

nite time lights, the engine and transmission strong and percise. cruising at 80mph I step on the gas for a Turbo shot to a quick 100mph - The engine protect sensors to stop! stop! if oil pressure is low, coolant low and the aluminum engine/ valvale are in danger of melt down. Timeless styling, has it's getting older now but can run with the new dogs with gas mpg, performance and overall features; sunroof, heated leather, Tiptronic and 4 cyl Turbo- it's underestimated in the parking lot and on the highway everyday


Worst Features

lower grill pieces were held with plastic clips, I siliconed them in place. the heater core is sooo sensitive to no VW coolant, clogged twice and had CLR pumped through to clear buildup $40 vs $1200 core/radiator replacement at dealer, sunroof drain prone to clog, strange coolant hose beside Turbo has a 90 degree bend and a heat sheild; blew it out at 135k should replace as maint item- check engine lite comes on for brake dust build up- this car is a tank, but not for the cheap gas and go type- it takes a skilled mechanic, 93 octane and full synthetic oil to give back performance. I do carry AAA plus, had it tow twice as not to damage anything else when fule pump died & coolant hose blew


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Update from 2010
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By rilezz13
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

First let me say, I have NO complaints about the 1.8 Turbo 4-cylinder engine. It has been a wonderful, reliable, engine. I have always used synthetic oil and its just been great. My only nitpicking would be that it "sounds" like a 4-cylinder when idling (sewing machine?). Next: The Aisin automatic transmission. WOW!. About a year ago, the car (long story short) got bottomed out and the transmission got slammed into the road. I didn't think anything of it as it continued to work fine. When I took it for servicing much later on, the mechanic discovered that the transmission casing was cracked and like half of the fluid was gone! The transmission still worked fine! (but i did replace it).


Best Features

Obviously based on what I said above, the car's most vital components (the engine and transmission) are VERY TOUGH. The mechanic that discovered my war-torn transmission was very impressed that it still worked fine. I really love the interior of this car. Even in older age, she still draws "nice car" compliments when people slide into the black leather seats. The gauge cluster is gorgeous at night (indigo blues and nice red) and every, and I mean every, button and symbol is lighted at night. The gauge cluster still rivals any brand new car's. All in all, its that German build quality and attention to detail that drew me to this car and that's the reason I still love her.


Worst Features

When I heard that the 2012 Passat won car of the year, I felt like a proud parent. I really did. I've had the typical maintenance annoyances such as the timing belt and one of the CV joints. Also, the engine is very, very small when you think about it. It's a 1.8 liter. With that said, in its older age I think she's still a pretty refined old girl. I see these things for sale at dealerships still looking like new! They are well built, they don't "feel" old when compared to the new cars. The design, features, driving dynamics, etc all feels as up to date as anything. I recently had a brand new Dodge Charger rental car and 100% think my 110,000 mile Passat drove nicer and felt more sturdy.


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Its like a beautiful woman :) HIGH MAINTENANCE
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lovetodrive1
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

I love my passat's looks but sadly it ends there :( It drives like a dream when it is not in the shop. If I can say one thing it would be to find a mechanic who knows something about a VW. That has really been my problem. It has been one expensive thing after another but I am hoping now that I have got all the bugs out it will take me on down the road. I did find a good mechanic finally but seriously this thing has had issues at only 80K that cars with 200K don't even see. Motor mounts, oil pressure problems, AC problems, I have replaced every single hose on the thing some even twice and I keep up on the service faithfully. There is a reason rich people own these cars!


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If you know how to work on car, this is for you
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By saneesh8
on

Vehicle

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

Initially by spending all the money on repairs at stealership, i thought it is bad car. But once i started doing by my own with help from www.passatworld.com, not expensive. Or get information from the above website and find a trusted cheap mechanic. If you follow the simple rules like 40W full synthetic oil every 5k, change ATF at every 60K (Castrol import ATF is fine - from AZ) clean combi valve once in 2 yr, will run longer than a Toyota or Honda. Once you cross 100k, gaskets, hoses, Fuel filter and Timing belt (at 80K). Overall reliable car, decent MPG and most importantly safe. Premium fuel is bad side and don't need to use OEM expensive parts. My car close to 100k going strong..


Best Features

Strong,feels safe compared to Toyota and Honda, tight steering, decent gas mileage for heavy car like this, decently tuned turbo


Worst Features

Seems VW does not do quality assurance for US model. Things which can fail are 1) Ignition coils 2) Didn't told users to use Full synthetic 40 weight oil from starting to avoid sludge 3) SAI pump fails because of bad design (can put a sensor to check combi valve to avoid expensive repair). 4) No mandatory interval to change ATF (which should be at 60k). Seems new models have more issues than this one.


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