2003 Volkswagen Passat Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 190 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Volkswagen Passat

  • This is our favorite midsize car -- in both sedan and wagon form. Don't make your vehicle choice without driving one.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Fun to drive, excellent value in GL or GLS trim, roomy interior with upscale feel, outstanding build and materials quality, available all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Expensive upper-level models, can't get AWD on GLS, less rear-seat room than Camry or Altima, some confusing interior controls.

  • What's New for 2003

    For 2003, a base GL sedan and wagon are available. Think of the GL as a GLS 1.8T for buyers who don't require any extras like alloy wheels, leather upholstery, seat heaters or a sunroof. Meanwhile, alloy wheels and sunroof are now standard on GLS models. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system will not be offered on GLS V6 models, forcing interested buyers to cross the 30-grand line; however, VW has made stability control (ESP) optional on all Passats (except the W8, which has this standard). Also this year, you'll be able to get W8 sedans and wagons with a six-speed manual transmission and a sport package that includes a firmer suspension and the requisite 17-inch wheels. Lastly, the standard stereo head unit gets backlighting for the buttons.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (8 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


2003 passat wagon

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 Fwd 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5M)

This car looks good and drives well but it lacks in reliability. It burns oil and is plagued with recalls. This is the second VW I own and again to be disappointed.




Love your mechanic, you'll see

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 Fwd 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5M)

The car has had repeated issues with brakes (5 incidents). Electrical problems with doors, set heaters, fuel pump issue. Repeated Check Engine Light warnings with repeated assurances that it was a computer "glitch". Only after the car was out of warranty did they agree to change the charcoal cannister (at my expense) which resolved the issue that plagued me for a year! I wasted too much time on this car. Would not buy another VW product based on service experience. Rear brakes are too thin and the fuel economy is appalling.




Disappointed with 2003 vw passat

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 Fwd 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5M)

This review comes from a loyal VW owner, however, I've been very disappointed with my 2003 VW Passat V6 AWD Wagon. It is a beautiful, comfortable car but it's been in the shop way too much! My car has had the rotors replaced twice, a bad auto air conditioning fixed twice, and now a bad fuel pump. All of these problems are with a car with less than 35,000 miles. I was very pleased with my former cars a '95 VW Cabrio and '98 VW Passat, but I will look elsewhere for my next car.




Great wagon can compete with

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 Fwd 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5M)

Was looking for a wagon and found it in the Passat. The interest rate and the fact it was a CPO was another great decision. Despite some different opinions on the 2002 models, I believe this is a solid car. I could not get the diesel wagon may be next time premium model will do :).




Cool car dude

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 Fwd 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5M)

I've had this car for a year, and I still get compliments. This car feels like luxury (even though it has cloth seats) is a pleasure to drive. I drove it almost 800 miles in one day, and the miles just flew by (averaged over 80mph no problem). Had a head gasket leak, but VW replaced it no questions. It's been running pretty strong otherwise, although the electronic ignition hesitates in cold temps (<40). The car is very responsive on the highway and almost has that "driving on rails" german feel to it, and the cabin is very quiet (not quite Lexus quiet but close). A little bigger than the A4 but a fraction of the price. Was trying to hold out for new Legacy but no regrets with the VW.




My car

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 Fwd 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5M)

I LOVE THIS CAR! This is The most fun to drive. I look for excuses to take highway trips just so I can be in my Passat. Her name is Luna and she's a beautiful Dolphin Grey. I used to think it was weird that guys named their cars...until I met my Luna.I've fallen in love with the American lanscape again and even drove this all the way from Michigan to Santa Fe and back- ALONE- and I'm a 49 year old woman. It makes you feel safe, confident and dare I say it...young! This car screams- "LET'S TAKE A ROAD TRIP"!



Full 2003 Volkswagen Passat Review

What's New for 2003

For 2003, a base GL sedan and wagon are available. Think of the GL as a GLS 1.8T for buyers who don't require any extras like alloy wheels, leather upholstery, seat heaters or a sunroof. Meanwhile, alloy wheels and sunroof are now standard on GLS models. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system will not be offered on GLS V6 models, forcing interested buyers to cross the 30-grand line; however, VW has made stability control (ESP) optional on all Passats (except the W8, which has this standard). Also this year, you'll be able to get W8 sedans and wagons with a six-speed manual transmission and a sport package that includes a firmer suspension and the requisite 17-inch wheels. Lastly, the standard stereo head unit gets backlighting for the buttons.

Talk About The 2003 Passat

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs