2003 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Review: A great car, but needs TLC

2003 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Review

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A great car, but needs TLC
By Passat 1.8T wagon on


2003 Volkswagen Passat GL Fwd 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


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.

Best 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.

Worst Features

Better quality control on parts, design for easier repair.
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