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

2003 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

Average Consumer Rating

431 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 Sedan 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 Sedan 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 Sedan 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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Would not recommend this vehicle
3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By deck3
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GL Fwd 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

My 2003 Passat had 91,000 miles when the engine sludged; a known problem with this engine. This car has been more stress than the $14,000 purchase price. The original sludged engine had to be replaced with a new engine ($3,695), installed and the engine reset ($977 + $252), as well as the cost of a replacement car ($900). Stress and towing not included. VW's CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT regarding the Sludging of its Passat vehicles has been anything but easy. VW had multiple hoops to jump through. The Oil Sludge Settlement Administrator group had told me on more than one occasion that I would be "reimbursed 100% of the above expenses", but I just received a reimbursement check barely large enough to cover the cost of the engine ($3991.98). What a shame. This engine had problems, VW was aware of these problems, and VW was taken to court and made to reimburse those who purchased these problems. This company, Volkswagen, is not a reputable company to deal with based on my dealings with them. Both their product and business handlings have been of poor caliber. I would not recommend doing business with Volkswagen.


Favorite Features

I honestly am so disgusted with the Passat vehicle and Volkswagen - the company. There was much undo strain because of these two. I would recommend you not waste your time with VW, but look into other brands instead.


Suggested Improvements

The engine had to be replaced, the radio broke, was replaced and again is broken, there have been multiple recalls, the service for this vehicle is very expensive, and the overall stress related to the unreliability of this car is not worth it.


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One of my favorites
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By wg_h66
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Purchased mine used '07. Overall a very fun and satisfying car to own. The fuel efficiency really wasn't that great and it is premium only, so it can be expensive. The only issue I had with it was due to the cabin pollen filter not being maintained properly. Two days of heavy rain and the passenger side floor was filled causing computer damage. (I had no idea going in that this was an issue). If you are reading these reviews before purchase then you will have a very dependable car.


Favorite Features

Classy look, luxurious interior, (in Michigan...the heated seats were very nice). AWD was so much fun in the winter.


Suggested Improvements

Maybe having an engine that can run on less octane?


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