Used 2003 Volkswagen Passat GL Consumer Reviews - 9 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

2003 Volkswagen Passat

Average Consumer Rating

9 Total Reviews

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Repairs equal purchase price
2 of 17 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By hassef
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GL Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

My brother bought this car for a little old lady 9 months ago for 5k. Haha, ya right. He has already spent 4k fixing it and his mechanic says the ball joints are going, onther 1k. What a lemon. I drove the car, it may or may not have been owned by a little old lady but it definitely drives like one. What a piece of junk.


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OIL SLUDGE AT 120K! READ THE FORUMS
19 of 20 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By j1eis
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GL Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

Sure I took a risk buying this car used at 119,500 miles, but all the reviews online were pretty good for this car.
400 miles later I started having oil pressure lights and engine lights come on and when I googled the symptoms, I got all kinds of bad news about the car.
Oil sludge is a problem and if it's not fixed fast, the engine will need replacing.
I'm not even sure if there really is a fix for this problem.
If you have this car, get it checked right away.
These reviews make it look like a good car, but be careful and read the forums to see what will really happen if you purchase/own this car.
2002 also has this problem


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A great car, but needs TLC
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Passat 1.8T wagon
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GL Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

We bought it brand new off the boat from Germany, and we still love the car at 75,000 miles. These cars do require a little extra appreciation of the engineering and sophistication of the 1.8 turbo four with its low speed torque and light weight. Previously, we owned 3 Toyota Camrys, which also required more repairs as they got older. VW and both local dealers have been good about recall notices and anticipating problems. I started using synthetic oil changes at 5000 miles when VW offered the 80,000 mile warranty, and I think it protects during cold starts and gives a little better mileage, despite the extra cost.


Best Features

Standard equipment in basic model, Precise handling with supple suspension and quiet ride. Good visibility in wagon with comfortable seats w/driver and passenger seats adjustable. Controls, extra lights, design for winter driving and rust prevention.


Worst Features

Better quality control on parts, design for easier repair.


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VW - Never Again
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Millenium
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GL Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

Since I purchased this car 6 years ago, it has been in for repair at least 4 to 10 times per year, every year (on top of the regular oil changes). Always some electrical problem or oil leak. In the first 3 months all four tires had to be replaced. While the people at the dealer were always friendly and cooperative, they were not forthcoming with detailed answers about any of the mechanical/electrical problems.


Best Features

I used to own a VW Golf, and the Passat handled just as well. Really liked it. Also the size of the car was great.


Worst Features

Do not buy a VW. The electrical problems are incessant. The backseat is very difficult to pull down. The heating system never worked properly, especially at your feet. At 100,000 miles I had to give the car up because it would cost $2,500 to keep it drivable - that's after maintaining it impeccably.


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Great on the road but poor from a start
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By RichG
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GL Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

Great looking, fantastic out on the
road, solid as a rock and just purrs at
80mph but the 2 second pause before the
turbo kicks in when you step on the gas
from a dead stop is one big negative.
(you learn quickly not to pull out with
oncoming traffic) Oh, a second
negative, the engineer who figured that
a rotary knob on the side to recline
the driver's seat was a good idea needs
to go back to design school, i.e. just
reach behind you with your non dominant
hand and rotate the knob while lifting
your body weight from the seat ...yeah.


Best Features

Leather is beautiful and the heated seats are great. Nice attention to details. The radio is clear with great definition. Out on the interstate it is a dream.


Worst Features

Eliminate the pause at the start of acceleration. Switch to a handle to recline the seat.


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