2003 Volkswagen Passat Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L W 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 270 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/22 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 (6 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Seriously fun and reliable

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion AWD 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

4 Motion, All wheel drive, W8: Overall, it was a great purchase for the price. It is by all means a luxury car. Our only complaint is that the check engine light has been on since the purchase (8 months) and two dealerships and three visits have yet to be able to find the issue, it there even is one. Please note that this car takes synthetic oil so you will pay more for regular changes. Also, it takes a person with higher than average mechanical skills to work on the car personally. So, even minor issues will usually have to be taken car of professionally (the engine is enclosed).




$4000 in repairs in less

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion AWD 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

I bought this at 59,000. Two weeks later it went in the shop. 6 of the 8 ignition coils went bad $620(there was a recall on this so if they need repaired again VW will not pay 4 it). Intake bad, fuel sensor bad, coolant sensor bad. Total that time $1,890.00. Before I bought the car Lithia put $500.00 in what they called basic repairs, 2 weeks ago I put $900 in electrical probs and 2day my valve gaskets blew out of no where (they are new btw) $1,192.00 for those to be replaced. Front light went out and that's $500.00 2 repair bc they have 2 take the front panel off! Oh and the car is now stated to be worth $8,000.00. So in reality I have thus paid $12,982 for a car worth $8 grand




This cat can fly

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion AWD 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

very nice fit and finish. Rides bigger inside then it appears on the outside. long legs can have the room. takes bump solid.............wit the W8 and all wheel drive it's like driving a beer nut slot car.




Acceleration woes

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion AWD 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

Impressive looks, excellent handling, and smooth, powerful engine. The all wheel drive was excellent even in deep snow - better than prior suv's I've owned. Only complaint: I've have had a problem with acceleration when I really needed it. Slammed the gas and nothing!! It hesitates for maybe 2 seconds and then takes off. Very scary when an 18 wheeler is about to T- bone you. The dealer doesn't have a clue as to why.




W8 6m what fun!

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion AWD 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

Just picked up my new W8 6M last weekend, and put 2500 miles on it already. What a fun car to drive!! Only complaints, no where to put CDs, seats should be a bit more comfortable, Recaro would be nice. This engine/tranny is a blast to drive. Can't wait to see a few mods come out for the car, and can only imagine what the Phaeton with a manual tranny would be like! Excellent experience with dealer. Will be back to by another VW when I get bored with this one (if that can happen). Can't beat the quality and amount of car you get for price paid when compared to MB, BMW, and Audi.




Only 5,000 made

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion AWD 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

On the fence between BMI 330i. Choose the W8 for horsepower, safety, style, comfort and price.



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

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs