Used 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Consumer Reviews - 25 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

2003 Volkswagen Passat

Average Consumer Rating

25 Total Reviews

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Looking for something reliable? AVOID AT ALL COST
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By cliney
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

We bought our 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T wagon with a little over 70k miles on it, which I guess is high mileage for a VW. If you're a real enthusiast or VERY handy with a wrench, then by all means get one of these. Otherwise, be advised to stay the hell away from these pieces of cr*p. Every year is thousands of $$$ to keep it on the road. The car has a complicated and involved service procedure, so anything under the hood will be expensive to replace. Two shops quoted me $500 just for the valve cover gasket, and most of that was labor. German engineering = myth.


Best Features

Performance is awesome for a wagon, even with the little 1.8T. Turbo is laggy, but once it kicks in, you're off. Heated seats are nice. Interior and exterior styling hold up well, even 10 years later.


Worst Features

Make it so that routine service procedures don't require the entire front fascia to be removed (Google "service position"). Make it so that coolant can stay in the cooling system longer than one month without service. Make it so it doesn't require the MOST EXPENSIVE oil, gas and coolant. Or, skip all that, and just make an auto-self destruct feature that warns the buyer that the car will destroy itself at 80k miles...that's pretty much what happens anyway.


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Great Car Except... 2 Things Drive me Crazy
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jax20
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

I'm writing this review because I just got backed into.
And if the blasted horn were to work when the car is turned off it would not have happened.

What I want to ask you Mr. Hans Designor is why must the hatch lock everytime it is closed?
How is this a safety feature?
And how in the world is it safe to be unable to use a horn when your car is turned off?

A paranoid hypocondriac grandmother could not design a more annoying electric locking system.


Best Features

The Monsoon sound system. Good traction. Turbo makes it sporty. Nice ride. Fun to drive.


Worst Features

A horn that works when the car is off. A hatch that does not lock everytime it is closed.


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Classy Ride
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jservin4him
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

My wife and were looking for something that would be a good fit for our growing family of 3. It seems everywhere we go we needed a stroller and had to get groceries and haul a baby bag. A wagon was the best choice for us. We looked between a Subaru Outback, Mazda Protege5, Kia Spectra5, and the Passat. All of which are increasingly hard to find in good condition without having to sell the farm. We picked the Passat wagon and are very please with the good mileage and smooth power of our 1.8T and Tiptronic. Our is a GLS so it doesn't have everthing but is very comfortable with black leather. The Monsoon audio system sounds great! Great car for us so far.


Best Features

I enjoy the one touch up and down driver and front passenger windows. The adjustable moon roof is amazing. My favorite thing is the smooth power delivery of the 1.8T. There is a tiny bit of turbo lag but, with the Tiptronic, a quick little tap down and the power is right there. The storage in the back is great too!


Worst Features

It would have been great to see an audio in port but I don't think that was an option yet. A multidisk player would be nice too. Our has a missing cup holder in the back and am guessing it broke somewhere along the way. Wish that not missing.


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Worst car I have ever owned
5 of 9 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By merry8
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

Bought this car brand new off the lot, brakes squeeked from day 1, when I inquired with the dealer I was advised "all new car's brakes squeek".
I took to an independent mechanic at 8k miles, the mechanic stated my brakes were completley failed, rusted.
The mechanic told me the brakes were so bad I should stop driving asap, I had the car towed to the dealer.
The dealer b.s.'ed me and told me my brakes were fine, I believed them.
They were not, at just over 12k miles, they were gone, dealer said brake warranty over at 12k, they strung me along until the warranty ran out.
The dealer stated it was because i lived near the ocean, that is why my brakes failed!!Numerous other issues as well.


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I Love my VW but there are problems
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By KimBea
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

I love my Volkswagen but there are problems. It's fun to drive, looks good. I love having a station wagon. People often think it's a more expensive car. I did have to get my engine replaced after about 50,000 miles. Fortunately, It was under warranty and I had documents to prove that I had my oil changed properly. YOU MUST PUT SYNTHETIC OIL IN YOUR CAR AND GET IT CHANGED AT 3,000 miles. You have to baby it. I know have to make sure I check my oil and add some. I use a trusted mechanic rather than the dealer. I go to the dealer and buy the part I need (including bulbs) and have my mechanic install it. I save money and time. I'm not sure I would buy another VW, but I love my car.


Best Features

My favorite features are the dash board lighting, the look and comfort...and I feel safe.


Worst Features

The mechanical quality. I think the car should have been recalled due to the engine problems. I understand that several owners had to have their engine replaced. If I didn't have my documents in order, I would have been out of luck. A major problem like that could run loyal customers away.


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