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.
Handles good on curves and has good acceleration. Looks aerodynamic but is poor on mileage.
I think a total redesign of the engine would be a good call. Engines burning oil are totally unacceptable these days.The interior should also be redesigned to provide more comfort. Germans back to the drafting board.
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.
The car handles well, little feature like auto-down and auto-up windows are nice at the drive-thru. It is smooth and secure in the manner that it handles. It truly provides the ride quality of an Audi at a VW price.
The car could use better brake pads on the rear, with greater durability. The CV joints have worn out at less than 60,000 miles, sad to say. The electrical system including door wiring, keyless remote and set heaters have been an issue.
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.
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 :).
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.
Body design is cool, dash design (blue dash lighting when driving at night, faque wood trim and metal accents), stereo, heated seats, almost 6' of room when folding the rear seats back, black cloth trim looks elegant, sun roof, HID headlights, big door pockets for maps, remote garage door access.
Performance is good, but won't beat a beamer out of the block, and the gas mileage (takes Premium) could be more in sinc with the Japanese, dial seat adjustments are wierd, wiper blades don't work that great, could use a more console storage, a full-size spare, higher ground clearance for offroad.