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 (11 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Impossible to fix

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

This was a good basic car. However, all of the items meant to make this a luxury car did not work (auto-wipers, auto-AC, etc). I could only get parts at the dealer and only the dealer could work on it. But, even the dealer couldn't fix any of the problems. I sold it with all of the problems that supposedly had been repaired. I did not have a trip to the repair shop cost less than $2,000. From new to sold (including repair costs) I lost approx $30,000 owning this vehicle.




Luxury on a shoestring

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

We looked at a lot of cars, from budget Subaru to opulent BMW 500 series. The Passat won out, not because it was the best at any one thing, but because it had more good things in one package: comfort, convenience, driveability, roominess. And the wagon is easier to parallel park than any other car I've owned. GLX is not exactly cheap, but for the money, it gives you more than most other cars in its class.




Run away fast!

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

Sexy car inside and out. Drives nicely on the freeway. Mine has some really bad rattles that the dealership can't seem to fix and I may have to get an attorney to get VW to do anything about it. Climatronic is the most illogical and difficult to use heating/air conditioning system I've ever encountered. If you're living in ignorant bliss buy this car. If real quality matters run away fast.




A wagon for the banana

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

Our was quite a step up from the college car (Honda Civic) and worht the wait. It has all the necessary bells and whistles, and I would highly recommend the GLX model, because you'll want the extra features. The backseat has ample leg room for passengers, and the stereo is very nice! A great entrance to luxury cars that is less than other luxury makers.




Gas gusler! but worth it!!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLX Fwd 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5M)

This car is the most eligant and at the same time sexy. It is very nice to drive and is a pain when it comes time to refuel every 225miles.




Here i come!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLX Fwd 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5M)

I love this car. Handles smooth. Warm seats for cold winter days. Plenty of cargo space with the wagon. A joy to drive, plus practical.



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