Used 2004 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Consumer Reviews - 256 Car Reviews | Edmunds

2004 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Consumer Reviews

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Don't believe all the myths about these cars!!!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By William
on

Vehicle

2004 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GLX 4Motion AWD 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I have driven American cars my entire life, and almost bought another one after my accident in a 2006 Chevy Malibu. To the Chevy's credit, it was comfortable and had great gas mileage, but it was definitely not safe enough, and there were compromises in other areas. Some of which included build quality, performance, design, etc. After a lot of research about these car, and my son being a huge German car fan, I decided to test drive this car on the roads I'm accustomed to and in the way I drive. The performance is excellent, and the ride is very capable and tuned for comfort. After looking at about 15 different cars (foreign and domestic), this was definitely the best and safest car for the money.

For years I have heard of so many horror stories about these cars, mostly about parts and reliability and things like that. I have had no trouble so far. This car does require some knowledge and willingness to learn, and simple maintenance is easy to do and is relatively cheap (like replacing a cabin air filter in a few minutes with a $12.00 aftermarket part). Only if you go to the dealer for absolutely everything will you see the money piling up. I would recommend doing simple things like that yourself. But really, no major problems whatsoever. Just as reliable as American cars.

I was lucky to find this car, as it is a high trim car with the better engine and features. It was a one owner car, and was obviously well taken care of for the 67,000 original miles. My one big complaint about this car is the gas mileage which is about 20-24 in mixed driving. Although it says in the owners manual that you can run it on regular gas (not E85), I use the middle-grade one and my car runs perfectly. Otherwise, it's a great looking, comfortable, and fun car that I hope to enjoy for many miles to come.


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Stay away!!! Has SOOO many issues!!!
9 of 26 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By passathater
on

Vehicle

2004 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GL 1.8T Fwd 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

I bought my 2004 Passat GL in 2011 with 91k mi. on it for $7900. In just 3 years I've spent over $3600 on it not including regular maintenance. Oil sludge, both front axle boots torn, both brake rotors, leaking coolant, new thermostat housing and new thermostat, and many, many other problems!! Currently at 130k miles the timing belt broke. Could cost me $900-$3000+ to fix depending on the damage done to the engine. It's current value wasn't even worth it to fix. I sincerely advise EVERYONE to stay away from this vehicle!!! I personally will NEVER buy a Volkswagen again!! Don't make the mistake I did... DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!


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Best vehicle I ever owned
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By paulinthesouth
on

Vehicle

2004 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GLS 1.8T Fwd 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

Reading review after negative review I wonder whether I was just lucky, or whether my experience is more representative of the norm.
My Passat was totalled last summer when a tree blown over by a storm crushed my garage (of course the Passat was in the garage).

My experience?
95,000 miles with only 2 service matters.
Fuel pump failed at 88,000. Parts and labor < $300.
Replaced one CV boot at same time as a precaution. Parts and Labor also about $300.
That's it.


Outstanding performance and handling. Understated but elegant interior. Good ergonomics.
Seats were firm but wonderful for long trips.


Best Features

5 speed stick combined with rev range and torque band. Agile handling. Monsoon stereo. Consistent 31-32 mpg cross-country at 75 + mph. Confident handling extended well past 100 mph. Value. Excluding 0 - 60 times, there might have been an outer 10% highway performance envelope of what a 3 series could do that the Passat couldn't match, but that was outside of anything I would have the stones to do, anyway. Thank the stars there weren't any police around during some of the back road cross-country flights I made in my Passat.


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Best car for your money!!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jolenecb
on

Vehicle

2004 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GL 1.8T Fwd 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

I love my 04 VW Passat! It is by far the best purchase I have ever made (great price for an AWESOME car). Bought it at 58,000 miles and it is flawless. The turbo is wonderful; and even though I have a basic model it has great features like the bump shifter, seat warmers, cruise control, great sounding stereo, high quality interior and more! It's German engineering at it's finest! You can feel the quality everytime you drive it. It is NOT a cheaply made Honda or Toyota. I recommend a Passat!


Best Features

Bump Shifter, Turbo capabilities, seat warmers, smooth ride, quiet - no road noise, and everything!


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Upscale performace with horrible reliablity
8 of 14 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By roznstyle
on

Vehicle

2004 Volkswagen Passat Sedan GLS 1.8T Fwd 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

Purchased the vehicle brand new in 2/04.
Followed the recomended mantenance religiouly. In the years I've owned the vehicle I was left stranded 4 times and needed to be towed to a garrage.

Tow #1 60K miles. Water pump (make of PLASTIC) failed causing the engine to overheat.

Tow #2 75K miles. Fuel Pump failure.


Tow #3 100K miles. car would not start. Brand new spark plugs were dirty and needed to be cleaned.
Simple issue is a major problem when stranded.

Tow #4 120K miles. water pump (Aagain!) after inspection, we needed, new water pump, timing belt, tensioners, cam seal, aux fan, main fan bearing, new belts, to the tune of 2K from a reputable 3rd party VW mechanic.

Never Again VW!


Best Features

Exterior and paint still look brand new after almost 9 years. Car floats like a cloud when on the highway. Ride quality is comparible to a luxury vehicle or at least something upscale like Acura or Infinity. Solid factory sound system and great attention to detail on the interior.


Worst Features

Reliablity! Prior to owning my VW, I had a 1997 Civic that I drove for 175K miles with zero issues. Better headlight lenses. They fog up like no other vehicle I've seen on the road. Better engine compartment design. I have to remove parts of the engine to change the airfilter. Every other car on planet earth has the airbox front and center so any novice can replace it. I cannot understand how VW can have any sort of customer loyalty when your read the counless horror stories of things that go wrong with their cars and the massive amount of money to fix them.


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