"We droes a 2002 Passat GLS (100% German) with the Leather upgrade package for four years until it was wrecked in 2006. It performed flawlessly in all conditions and even in the frontend collision that caused its demise. It folded so smothly that the airbags didn't needlessly deploy and my wife walked away. I would recommend one in this 2002-2005 generation to anyone. We replaced it with a Subaru Forester since we were in the prosses of moving into the Central, NY snow-belt region and live on a hill. The 2006 Four-motion was not out yet when we needed a car. We love the Subary but it is a bit small and not our Passat. The Passat was nick-named by me as my "Mercedes 300 with out the pricetag".
Good Luck Shopping,
"I bought my 2001.5 VW Passat GLS V6 in October 2001. I ventured to the VW dealer after the cavalier salesman at BMW made me second thing getting a 325i. My experience has been pretty good with this car. Most of my issues have been some of the same that others have reported. I get water inside the car during heavy rains. I have been told that it was loose door hoses to clogged sunroof drains. There are several VW owners who have reported this concern. The car seems to burn oil. The manufacter suggest changes the oil every 5,000 miles. I have had the oil pressure light jump on in hard turns between the 4 to 5,000 mark and when I check the oil is a quart or so low. A sensor for my thermostat have to be changed last winter along with a new expensive heater core (thank goodness for that extended warranty that I almost forgot about). I have had a consistent wind noise with the driver's side door where there is a whistling. I was informed by VW that you should expect some noise. I have had other craftsmanship type issues that VW seemed to not be interested in. The car is fun to dry, but I expected more quality than received (window switch failure, interior painted plastic peeling, water leaks just to name a few. The car drives and handles well. I have heard from other VW owners who have not been satisfied with their local VW Service Departments. The Jury is still out if I would buy another VW and although I have had issues with my Passat, I still love to drive it."
"I've owned my 2001.5a GLX passat V6 for 3 years now and love the car. The car has great looks, a luxurious ride and plenty of Horse Power with the V6. the tiptronic trans works beautifully.
All the performance of the Audi less the $$$!"
"This is a great car, handles very well, good MPG and basically alot of fun to drive. However for a car with less than 50K on the clock i have had ALOT of things that have needed the attention (at alot of cost) of the dealer.
Fun to drive but get ready to empty your pockets for repairs!"
Pros: "Classic european style and snappy for a diesel"
Cons: "Need high octane diesel in winter"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought car in 2007 so I am the second owner. No problems at all and car mileage is outstanding averaging 36MPG in winter and near 40MPG in summer. Just had it repainted in December. VW has the most cars in service over 100K and 200K miles many at 300K and more."
Cons: "Sun Visors to short to use on side windows."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Quiet, comfortable, over 30mpg highway, good performance when turbo kicks in entering freeway. Never any problems on the road. Fit and finish excellent - looks same as new except for normal dings and scratches. Never any leaks or unusual noises. Styling similar to 2012 Passat, people do not believe me when I tell them it is a 2002 model.
A few minor recalls, dealer fixed no charge. Used the extended warranty for 2 flat tires, axle boots changed once. Replaced motor mounts last year - fluid was seeping out the tops. A few other minor repairs made in recent years.
I was considering a new car but after looking at medium size sedans no suitable replacement was found. I fully expect this car will last longer than I will.
My wife refuses to give up her low mileage 95 Nissan 240sx; people walk up to our house and in parking lots asking if she would like to sell. Looks like my car buying days are about over."
"the 1.8L turbo engine is superb. it may require synthetic oil due to its high performance, but I love it; its sound; its low-end torque. the car handles very well for a wagon: a great utility vehicle and still handles great."
"Best handling, most comfy car I ever owned. Love it but it hates me. Over 50K miles, started to fall apart. Alternator, exhaust system, catalytic converters, brakes, recalls. I can go on and on. I will only get another German car on a 3 year lease so I can dump when it starts to fall apart."
"I have had my 2004 VW Passat for exactly two years now and have had nothing but problems with it! I was just crusin' down the highway the day I purchased the car when all of the sudden -BAM- the freakin axle broke!! WTF?? I have never heard of that happening before. Being a VW the repairs were unbelievably expensive( all 12 times it was in the shop in the 2 years i drove it) I also had to replace the lugs and lug locks cause i am dumb didnt get the key from the previous owner...
some of the parts that i had to replace on my passat:
~heater coil, radiater, starter, trunk latch broke, glove box broke, seat belt in back never worked, multiple sensors, and many more.
But it sure is a nice looking ride!!"
"I love the car itself, it has been great.. but once it hit 100,000 miles it has been repair after repair. In the past 6 months i have put over $3000 in repairs on it. Repairs are not cheap. Get rid of it before it gets to 100,000 miles."
"I have only good things to say about this car. I've owned it for seven years and it has been extremely reliable and fun to drive. The maneuverability is awesome and quality of construction outstanding. I love driving this car."
Pros: "Low price for the quality, hearty construction"
Cons: "needs premium gas"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this vehicle brand new and planned on keeping it for at least 10 years. It is now 7 years old and I still love it! I have a feeling I'll be keeping it past my original 10 year plan. When I first got it, I commuted over 70 miles a day. Lots of freeway driving. I had it serviced regularly and to my amazement the brakes did not need ANY service at all for the first 5 years; not even pads. The only problems I had were electrical in the rear lighting which was covered by a recall and the fuel pump went out at just over 100,000 miles. I figure at 100,000 miles to never have any grave issues is fine with me. I am also impressed with the durability of the interior paneling and surfaces. They are still in great shape. I got the leather seats and they look just as good today as they did 7 years ago. The turbocharger is nice once it spools up, but it is not the same as having the instant power of a big engine. I can kinda feel the disappointing effect of fuel efficiency when I stomp on the accelerator. The TipTronic really helps over come that problem. Because of the turbo charger, the manual recommends premium gas. I tried running low grade 89 octane and the turbo stopped working propertly. I switched back and it worked great after half a tank. I am absolutely going to get Passat again...maybe in another 5 years."
"Hard to know where to start, but with only 65K miles the car already needed cv joint boots replaced. One joint was already bad as well from loss of grease.
The glovebox latch is junk (broken hinge point). Can't buy just a latch, the whole door must be purchased for over $300.
Then there is the plastic dipstick tube / dipstick handle that breaks off, and the plastic coolant housing on back of the cylinder head. Have replaced it twice already.
The ignition coils had to be replaced, covered under a service bulletin. I keep a spare one in the car just in case. Bad feeling when one goes bad as you are merging on the interstate.
In between maintenance problems, the car runs and drives good, that was what sold me on the car. The 1.8T engine really is a good performer, just some of the engineering makes me wonder."
"This car has been nothing but problematic for me. one problem after another. i was so stupid to buy another VW after my leased VW Jetta was also a disaster (had to have engine rebuilt on VW's dime - took them forever to admit it was their fault, the engine ate oil non-stop). so now that i've had 2 and they were both awful, i say do NOT by a VW."
"I have had very good fortune with my 2003 Passat GLX which I bought new. The car has been dependable. There have been a few recalls over the years, but nothing, except a dead battery, ever prevented the car from starting when I wanted to use it. The materials were excellent. My V-6 had very good power. Perhaps it was weak on mpgs, as a result. I always used premium gas per the manufacturer's specifications. I was never in an accident so I don't know how I would have faired. But my model was a solid vehicle with lots of safety features. If you are buying a 7 or 8 year old car from an original owner, the chances of getting a good product are improved."