Used 2003 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews - 588 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

2003 Volkswagen Passat

Average Consumer Rating

588 Total Reviews

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Good Solid Car
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
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Fun To Drive
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By Hawk
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I brought my passat in 2003 new. We are know in 2010 and I have not had any problems that I am surprised about. I drive my car on a daily basis. I currently have 97,500 miles on my car, and plan on changing the timing belt at 105,000 to drive the car another 100,000 miles. I plan on replacing the shocks and springs with Eibach brands and I plan on finding some factory 17 inch vw wheels to place on my car. I don't plan on buying a car anytime soon. This car has treated me very well.


Best Features

I enjoy the v6 engine. The solid feel of the car makes me feel safe.


Worst Features

The ride height of the car should have been lower with more of a sporty feel of suspension and shocks, but since the car is paid for, I will take care of that myself.


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seriously fun and reliable
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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By KH
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion AWD 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)


Review

4 Motion, All wheel drive, W8: Overall, it was a great purchase for the price. It is by all means a luxury car. Our only complaint is that the check engine light has been on since the purchase (8 months) and two dealerships and three visits have yet to be able to find the issue, it there even is one. Please note that this car takes synthetic oil so you will pay more for regular changes. Also, it takes a person with higher than average mechanical skills to work on the car personally. So, even minor issues will usually have to be taken car of professionally (the engine is enclosed).


Best Features

The engine power, handling, and interior luxury.


Worst Features

Have the backs seats fold down for trunk access (although our manual says our model does this, it actually does not.) CD changer in trunk is not too practical.


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

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat 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.


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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I Love my VW but there are problems
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
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Build Quality
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By KimBea
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat 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.


Best Features

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


Worst Features

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.


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Horrible quality
Performance
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By Disappointed
on

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen Passat 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.


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