I bought new, now have over 230,000 miles. This is a fun car to drive, especially with the manual. Have not had any major mechanical issues. The paint and interior have held up very well. Only annoyance is that the headlights burn out more often than most, but are easy to replace. Keeping up with preventive maintenance and fixing small problems quickly are essential though! Parts are expensive, and I agree with other reviewers that dealer service departments are terrible- I found a great VW mechanic locally.
Steering and suspension, build quality, transmission, leather seats, fuel economy.
More power- the stock 1.8T is a little weak. I upgraded with a power chip that adds 20 hp or so and quite a bit of torque- definitely was worthwhile to me.
This is the 2nd 2003 Passt we've owned.
My niece had a 2003 also and told me that they had to replace the motor once, and the turbo charger once, and recommended I don't get one.
During the 2 years with our first Passat, we had it in the shop 6 times for engine lights.
Finally they said it was caused by the turbo charger & wanted $4,300.
We could afford the repair & traded it on another 2003 with lower mileage & extended warranty.
We've had the this second car for 3 years & the engine light has come on 9 different times.
Sun roof opens on its own and the rear windows fall out of the tracks.
The car is in the shop now for it 2nd new turbo booster and guess what? No more warranty. GRRRR
The car is very solid and very comfortatble.
Gets good milage.
For the ride and comfort, this is by far the best car I've owned.
Volkwagon knows that there is a flaw in these engines and the turbo chargers on them.
They should stand behind their cars, and not behind the income they receive from the "once faithful" customers they use to have.
I bought vw passat 03 as certified used and had a very bad experience. The only reason I bought the car was because of its sexy interior and exterior(silver). Last 4 yrs, I had nothing but bad experience, done every service regularly, almost every time the vw dealer finds some problem costing anywhere from $300.00 to $1500.00 for that repair or this repair. I was driving probably about 50 miles a month as I had a Honda Civic. After about 3 yrs of use, I was worried and purchased a top vw platinum warranty, but the problems didn't stop nor was any part/problem covered by this worthless warranty - i paid about $2000 for this warranty. NEVER BUYING A VW AGAIN.
I had a friend who also had Passat, told me had similar issues, not to buy, but I did not heed his advice and have paid for it, am paying for it. Some of the issues I had were: trunk hydraulics stopped working(tight trunk cover),CV Joint failed, axle boot, bulbs failed all the time. Worthless car!
I think that the guy who bought his VW from CarMax got the one that I unloaded. It was the biggest disappointment. Had a Rabbit for 16 yrs that was great. Had the Passat for 4 years and hated it for three. Went through 4 sets of brakes, VW said it was normal wear. Hesitation issues, finally the axle was giving me trouble and I traded it in for a Mercury Milan. So far the Milan has only needed $30 oil changes, compared with the $80 oil changes of VW, not to mention premium gas. Got rid of the Passat at 33000 miles and was glad it was gone. Hey Andrews, is yours indigo blue? If so, sorry you got stuck. I don't care however reliable VW gets, I am done with them as a company.
It was pretty, and gave the impression of quality (only skin deep though). My favorite feature is that I no longer own it or have to suffer through dreadful VW service.
Don't build any more cars, and stop lying to customers.
Bought car new in 2002 and just turned 100k miles. Problems...coil packs replaced by dealer when new...no charge. Cars manufactured prior to 7/02 had defects which VW took care of under warranty. Had engine sludge problem at 82k miles which vw fixed for free although technically out of warranty...changed to synthetic oil. car has had regular maintenance by VW dealer which provides excellent service. Car has experienced some minor issues (emergency flasher replaced, headlights burned out, etc.) but overall has been very reliable....no major engine or transmission issues. Very fun to drive, excellent ride on highway, solid German engineering. Bought new 08 last year....10k miles no problems.
solid build, road handling, safety
accomplished most in redesigned passat....bigger, bigger engine, interior more refined....a solid highway touring German engineered car