Used 2003 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Reviews

2003 Volkswagen Passat

Average Consumer Rating

580 Total Reviews

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Avoid this car like the plague
6 of 11 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By nakie
on

Vehicle

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


Review

This is the most unreliable I've ever owned. This model is total rubbish and should have had recalls on the engine and all the hoses attached. It is the ultimate in cheap manufacturing. I have replaced the transmission all hoses and connections below the engine(plastic fittings that all cracked) the dip stick holder(plastic) that came out in multiple pieces when checking the oil the engine that froze and died when the oil strainer became clogged with sludge( the red light came on telling me to stop but by the time I could get off the road the engine was starved of oil and had to be replaced


Favorite Features

Zero


Suggested Improvements

Recall the entire year and offer an apology to all those deluded people that thought German engineering meant something other than cheap defective manufacture.


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Good Car but doesn't leave room for upgrades
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kekoa1
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLX Fwd 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 5A)


Review

The interior is very nice and comfortable. I love the quality of leather. I inherited the Passat at 70,000 miles. I really wish it were turbo. I am going to put in a K&N CAI to give it more spunk. It does not accelerate quick enough for me. I wish I could do a turbo conversion on it but it would not be worth the cost. It is a difficult car to work on because you would have to remove so much of the front end to get to work. I am not looking forward to the 100,000 timing belt change. It will be very costly. No one likes working on these for fun. I like the tight handling. It needs more power. If I could find a good chip maker I would add one. Turbo is the way to go because you can modify.


Favorite Features

Suspension is great! Again the leather is very luxurious. The sound system is good. The wagon gives much needed space. I am more of a BMW person but I will have to wait and get an 09 model. It is very roomy for head and legs. It is very solid.


Suggested Improvements

Gas millage is terrible! It is built so you have to take it to the dealers for service. My car friends refuse to work on it because nothing is accessible. You have to take the body apart to do any real work on the car. It lacks power and hesitates on acceleration. The timing belt replacement is a nightmare and very expensive compared to most cars. My next car will be an Acura so I can get help from my friends to work on it.


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People need to understand their cars better
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By vw2003b5
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 Fwd 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 5M)


Review

This is my second VW i got this one very used it had 160K and one thing i can say for sure is you have to make sure all your maintenance is done up to date. These cars are very sensitive to that. I do my repairs my self Synthetic oil MANN filter Premium Gas and good K&N air filter I'm getting close to 30mpg on High way and 25.5 mpg in the city. Dealer is the last place i would go they are rip off specially Valley Motors in Hunt valley MD Changing oil and never touche filter or charging for service they don't do. Help your self and find a good small shop tech that knows VW and go to him he will keep you rolling for my repairs other than oil change I go to Izzy auto service in Reisterstown


Favorite Features

Blue dash lights mixed with red accent light


Suggested Improvements

Bigger fuel tank


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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.


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.


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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.


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.


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