2003 Volkswagen Passat Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 26 Total Reviews
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Good, practical car
By Jay on 07/10/08 20:26 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Overall Passat is a very good and practical car, did not have any major problems, pleasure to drive, excellent trunk space (as a wagon). Interior is nice, quality of radio sound is good.
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Get it fixed right
By Robert in Alhambra on 06/27/08 16:36 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

First, I can not understand why there are so many parts within the wheel bearing. That aside, my car has been a very reliable car. After 120k miles, I have replaced all of the ignition coils, spark plugs, struts, and a few other items. The importance of a reliable mechanic can not be made enough. The dealership's work - all of it ever made - had to be redone. No kidding. After I started going to an honest mechanic, someone who told me about certain gas stations, rather than replacing something that didn't need fixing, life was better.
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Do not buy a VW!
By Sorry I bought on 04/04/08 18:10 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Two words...oil sludge. All VWs of this engine type (and the V6 I've heard) have several fundamental problems that VW is unwilling to address. Poorly engineered product. Go with a Japanese competitor.
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1.8T 5MT GLS Wagon is a wonderful car!
By ovi on 08/28/07 12:10 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Just came back from a 2,400 mi trip (Ontario to NC and back). The car is absolutely fantastic: excellent performance in heavy traffic and on highway, low fuel consumption (average 33.11mpg with AC on, 65-70MPH) and very comfortable seats. Great torque @ 2000rpm, very stable/quiet car. I only miss the 6-speed manual transmission. This car will serve you well if the driving habits are reasonable and maintenance is properly done (5W40 syn oil every 5,000mi, good oil and air filters). Yes, some repairs are expensive at the dealer but if you find a good repair shop you'll see a huge drop in ownership costs.
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Love it! But expensive to repair
By Story man on 06/26/07 18:52 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This is my second Passat; bought it used in 2006. It is a joy to drive, and is one of the few 5-speed wagons available in this class. Both Passats had reliability problems ('98: cam followers bad at 120k; window regulator at 60K) ('03: turbo out at 70K, water leaks from roof drains). But in spite of these and many other problems, I bought a second one because it is so much fun to drive and looks great. I will put up with the costs because I love it.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T
By VW OWNER on 08/02/06 11:17 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This car is exceptionally fun to drive, considering its engine is only 1.8 liters. It is fast and averages an all around 26 mpg. Mine has a 5-speed standard transmission. This is a premium automobile at a big discount!
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Confused
By Confused on 02/23/06 08:59 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought my Passat in Italy through a company that sells US spec models directly to US civilian and military personnel. I drove it through the Alps, through Croatia, from Naples to Belgium and back at sustained speeds of 100 mph for a couple of hours at a time. Nothing broke, nothing fell off, nothing went wrong. It never needed a tow until the fuel pump went out at 55,000 miles, which the dealer in Aosta Italy replaced under warranty. I am not sure what people in the US do to their cars so they don't work right or if their expectations are totally misplaced. I've had Jettas and Passats almost exclusively since 1984 and have never had major problems, and at 62K mi., no oil use!
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Why can't VW get it right ??
By Fool me twice ?? on 12/02/05 20:36 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

My husband owned an '86 GTI that had electrical probs from day one. He swore he'd never have another VW but I begged. While we have not had any major electrical probs, the car has been to the dealership too many times. The trim is continuously discoloring or falling off, the wiring harness went bad in the first 10,000 miles, the fuel pump went out at 44,000 miles and we had to replace the brakes AND rotors at 44,000. When the car was stalling for no apparent reason, the dealership asked me if I had driven through any puddles recently. Enlighten me, can a VW not go through puddles without stalling? Now the interior light only occasionally comes on when you open the door. The gas mileage is dissappointing. I've learned my lesson.
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Good car, but too many annoying problems
By Tam on 07/13/05 19:32 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I leased this car a couple of years ago - it goes back in December. I love the styling, the interior room, and the comfort. (We call it our "van" because it's so accomodating.) But there are a lot of little things I hate about it. I hate that to make the seats recline, you have to use a stiff knob rather than the usual lever. I hate that the windshield wipers are special ones you have to get at the dealership, which cost tons to replace, and are not nearly as good as I had in my Honda Civic. And the radio reception is poor. We haven't had any mechanical problems with it, and it's been a fine car to own. Just do some comparison shopping first!
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
VOLKSWAGEN: No longer for the "VOLKS"
By mcVT on 02/26/05 17:16 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

After about five weeks, the transmission in my 2003 Volkswagen Passat failed (fortunately the warranty covered it, at no cost to us). Throughout the time that we have owned this car, we have had it in the shop for warranty issues more often than we like. There is always for some molding or other annoying piece that really has no business failing off. Despite the legendary quality of German engineering, little problems with this car have been getting to us, like the windows freeze shut at the slightest hint of ice and you can't open the rear hatch without unlocking it. It has been difficult as a family vehicle, particularly with two young kids and a dog. It is just too small for our family. Other than that, it has been a great car.
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