2003 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

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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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

People need to understand their

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

This is my second VW i got this one very used it had 160K and one thing i can say for sure is you have to make sure all your maintenance is done up to date. These cars are very sensitive to that. I do my repairs my self Synthetic oil MANN filter Premium Gas and good K&N air filter I'm getting close to 30mpg on High way and 25.5 mpg in the city. Dealer is the last place i would go they are rip off specially Valley Motors in Hunt valley MD Changing oil and never touche filter or charging for service they don't do. Help your self and find a good small shop tech that knows VW and go to him he will keep you rolling for my repairs other than oil change I go to Izzy auto service in Reisterstown




Great car

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

The 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 besides being very reliable, is a lot of fun to drive, and looks very smart. VW did a beautiful job with the Passat and my next car will be another one.




Another volkswagen bust

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

This is possibly the worst car I have ever driven. At eight months old the vehicle needed a new transmission. Shortly thereafter I have had purge valve problems, a blown speaker, and at twenty two thousand miles the fuel pump went along with the rear brakes (rotors and pads). A completely unreliable vehicle. I will never look at another VW.




I get so many compliments!

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

At the risk of jinxing myself. . . I *love* the car. I have 10K miles on it to date and the only problem was a trouble light that was fixed in a quick (free) visit to the dealer. She'll cruise at 85 all day no problem, eats traffic on the highway around town. So quiet I have to use the cruise to keep from speeding. Had to get used to downshifting more to pass -- can be sluggish in wrong gear. So pretty, people stop me on the pking lot to tell me. Great winter car with heated seats and ASR for ice.




Germans still haven't learned from

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

Generally acceptable. Just a commute car, though. No thought given to American life on the road. Lacking in convenience features. Uncomfortable rear seating. No cloth option. Very cramped interior for 6'+. Bizarre heating/cooling control. Limited access to interior due to small door angle opening. Excessive trunk liftover height and miniscule trunk entry considering actual cargo space. Not a good value considering price. Typical VW - mostly marketing hype, short on reality.




Best car i've owned yet.

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

So far, my Passat has been a joy to drive. Its dimensions are perfect; not too small and not too big. Although for my 6'3" frame, I could use just a little more room. I have had few minor annoyances: sporadic buzzing in dash; creaking suspension noise when exiting the vehicle (I only weigh 180 lbs.); squeaky brakes. I've had two of these problems checked out by the dealership, but was not fixed right by the dealership. The brakes still squeak and the suspension still creaks. I'm not too concerned with the buzzing in the dash, since it's muted by the stereo. What a great bargain for a German car. Thanks VW for a job well done!



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