2003 Volkswagen Passat GL Wagon Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
ADVERTISEMENT

2003 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating

149 Total Reviews

2003 Passat Consumer Reviews

View reviews for a specific Passat model:
ADVERTISEMENT

Write Consumer Reviews

Write Consumer Reviews

Write a review and rate your own car.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sort Reviews by

Most Recent|
Most Recent Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating
Great Car Except... 2 Things Drive me Crazy
10 of 10 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 Wagon 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.


Favorite Features

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


Suggested Improvements

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


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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 Wagon 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.


Favorite 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!


Suggested Improvements

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.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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 Wagon 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.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Worst car I have ever owned
5 of 8 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 Wagon 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.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

OIL SLUDGE AT 120K! READ THE FORUMS
19 of 19 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 Wagon 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


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Great car, expensive to own
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By heffelz8
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat Wagon W8 4Motion AWD 4dr Wagon (4.0L 8cyl 5A)


Review

I think the title says it all. I absolutely love driving my wagon around town and killing it on the highway. It will do about 140 mph pretty quickly, although you'll still get 23-25 mpg at 65-70 mph. It is a rather expensive car to maintain...an oil change runs 120 bucks but it's good for 10,000 miles. Everything and anything that is on or near the engine is a nightmare to work on and costs lots of moola. If you don't have the money to spend on repairs, do not buy. However if you're looking for something fun in the sun, and cool in the snow, than this is the ride for you. Also, I'm 6'6" and there is plenty of room for me.


Favorite Features

All Wheel Drive The 8 cylinders Sunroof The entire interior


Suggested Improvements

Hmm, not many. Cost to own is really high but I suppose that comes with a 38k+ car.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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 Wagon 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.


Favorite 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.


Suggested Improvements

Better quality control on parts, design for easier repair.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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 Wagon 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.


Favorite Features

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


Suggested Improvements

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.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Horrible quality
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Disappointed
on

Vehicle

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


Review

German engineering and quality at some point in time was stellar. Not so with this vehicle. In the shop more than on the road and finally have had enough. 7 years of ownership and real pain all along. Great vehicle when it works, but a very expensive experience. Now changing and looking at Asian brands exclusively. How times have changed when a Kia is more appealling quality wise then a VW.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Loved it for 7 years
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By happy
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat Wagon GLX 4Motion AWD 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I bought the station wagon new. I previously owned an M3 BMW and this car has the road feel and gives me as much pleasure as the BMW. I have an antique shop and can load anything in the car; Hoosier, table and chairs, things that look impossible to fit even into an suv. The biggest problem with all VWs is the dealerships. The car is wonderful but my dealings with the dealership have been awful. The car has had no problems and I only see the dealer for routine maintenance. The men at the counter are friendly and pleasant but the job always takes twice as long as they say and seem pleased that they only charged an arm and a leg.


Favorite Features

Six foot four man fits great into the car. Best ride of any car I test drove. Even after seven years, nothing rattles and there are no odd noises and it is a station wagon!


Suggested Improvements

I feel the car is perfect--I'd like to see a dealer service area as good as Honda. My daughter has a Honda and they are prompt, give you an cost estimate that is real, and call the following day to see if you are still happy.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

ADVERTISEMENT

New Car Buying Guides

See which cars and trucks our editors recommend

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411