2003 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Review: Love and Hate Relationship

2003 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

587 Total Reviews

GLS 1.8T Sedan (1.8L 4-cyl. Turbo 5-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Love and Hate Relationship
By tmf12192 on


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


I loved my Passat, but hated when it went in for service. I work at a VW dealer so I'm thankful for an employee discount otherwise I'd had to get rid of this car long ago. It didn't matter if it came down to something as little as an oil change there was always something wrong. I owned my car 3.5 years and through 4 PA state inspections and it didn't pass any of them on the first try. I bought the car with 70k and trading it in on Tuesday with 115k on the odometer. Currently no check engine light, but to pass emissions it needs an O2 sensor and possible vacuum pump. After 3.5 years and almost 6k spent on service I've had enough. I loved the look and feel of the car just not the upkeep.

Best Features

I loved the look and feel of the car , from the timeless grey exterior to the leather appointed heated seats. Pickup was a dream powered with a 1.8t engine, always first off the stop line. Once going it handled just like you'd expect a German sports car would. The car aged very well as far as looks, still very modern inside and out. The interior was comfortable with higher end finishes and easy to use controls. I previously owned an 02 Passat (not much difference) and was involved in a bad T-bone accident with a Dodge Ram and while the Ram driver was injured I walked away without a scratch. My side curtain airbag deployed keeping me and my passengers safe. Very thankful for such a safe car.

Worst Features

My only complaint about the car was the reliability, very expensive to keep on the road. I'm all for preventative maintenance but it's hard to stay on top of it when your spending all your money on hidden problems. CV boots are always on the list for replacing, as well as tie rods. 3.5 years owning this car and 6k in maintenance. Fun to drive when working but that's about it.....
Recommend (11) (0)

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