2003 Volkswagen Passat Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Passat Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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Volkswagen Passat Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 5900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 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.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Good, practical car

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Overall Passat is a very good and practical car, did not have any major problems, pleasure to drive, excellent trunk space (as a wagon). Interior is nice, quality of radio sound is good.




Get it fixed right

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

First, I can not understand why there are so many parts within the wheel bearing. That aside, my car has been a very reliable car. After 120k miles, I have replaced all of the ignition coils, spark plugs, struts, and a few other items. The importance of a reliable mechanic can not be made enough. The dealership's work - all of it ever made - had to be redone. No kidding. After I started going to an honest mechanic, someone who told me about certain gas stations, rather than replacing something that didn't need fixing, life was better.




Do not buy a vw!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Two words...oil sludge. All VWs of this engine type (and the V6 I've heard) have several fundamental problems that VW is unwilling to address. Poorly engineered product. Go with a Japanese competitor.




1.8t 5mt gls wagon is

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Just came back from a 2,400 mi trip (Ontario to NC and back). The car is absolutely fantastic: excellent performance in heavy traffic and on highway, low fuel consumption (average 33.11mpg with AC on, 65-70MPH) and very comfortable seats. Great torque @ 2000rpm, very stable/quiet car. I only miss the 6-speed manual transmission. This car will serve you well if the driving habits are reasonable and maintenance is properly done (5W40 syn oil every 5,000mi, good oil and air filters). Yes, some repairs are expensive at the dealer but if you find a good repair shop you'll see a huge drop in ownership costs.




Love it! but expensive to

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

This is my second Passat; bought it used in 2006. It is a joy to drive, and is one of the few 5-speed wagons available in this class. Both Passats had reliability problems ('98: cam followers bad at 120k; window regulator at 60K) ('03: turbo out at 70K, water leaks from roof drains). But in spite of these and many other problems, I bought a second one because it is so much fun to drive and looks great. I will put up with the costs because I love it.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2003 volkswagen passat gls 1.8t

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

This car is exceptionally fun to drive, considering its engine is only 1.8 liters. It is fast and averages an all around 26 mpg. Mine has a 5-speed standard transmission. This is a premium automobile at a big discount!



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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.

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Talk About The 2003 Passat

2003 Volkswagen Passat Discussions See all Started By

manni24
manni24
12-26-2013
Hello, I could really use some good advice here. I've just replaced the timing belt in my 2003 VW passat wagon. While aligning both left and right camshafts to fit the camshaft alignment tool, I turne...


shaneatlanta
shaneatlanta
12-17-2006
I was sitting in a drive through waiting for my order and my 2003 passat started shaking like it wanted to stall. The engine light came on and luckily I was about a mile from home. I drove slowly home...


extra80
extra80
01-31-2007
VW is not very responsive. Google Volkswagen Passat Engine Sludge and related keywords, and there appear to be alot of issues out there in terms of VW supporting their product....



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