"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."
"I bought my Passat TDI used. I've had so many problems. The front axle, motor mounts, emission, etc... Expensive car that is to complicated for most mechanics. Pay top dollar to still not have problems totally fixed. I want to love it. It can hold a ton of stuff and people. But overall I feel ripped off. The interior vinyl is peeling away too. The main back ache is that the seats have given me Sciatica. Really. Definitely wish I had gotten a Matrix."
"Avoid the Passats that were built with the 4cyl. Turbo engine - have owned mine since 2001. Too many problems to list, and VW was forced to do multiple recalls, and then extend the warranty on the engine as a result. All now require synthetic oil and high-octane gas just to keep running. Mine just hit 118k miles, and will cost over $2000 just to have the engine repaired to the point of passing PA inspection. Dumping this wallet-vacuuming piece of junk."
"We bought our 2001 VW Passat Wagon 4 years ago right before the birth of our first child. It has ample space in the back for anything you would need to bring with you (and when you have kids, thats a lot of stuff). Ours has the 1.8 litre turbo engine. It has a lot of get up and go and corners like its on rails. A blast to drive and I frequently hear my daughter (now 4) to "go faster" as we drive to her preschool. Don't be fooled by the fact this is a wagon. I can haul anything my wife's Jeep Grand Cherokee can (and very often more). It's been great on gas as well, averaging 25 mpg.
A big downside is the premium fuel it requires. Tha maintenance costs are also starting to add up. But those are no reason to get rid of it yet!
I would recommend this vehicle for anyone."
This car is very high maintenance and very unreliable. Have had to replace a tie rod, the coil system, the head gasket, and the spark plugs to the tune of over $2000. Also had to pay $84 for an oil change. 5w40 oil is expensive, and this car (V6) takes 6.5 quarts of it. Will be doing my own oil changes from now on. My wife likes it, but I have put her on notice that one more major breakdown and it's gone.
Having to use premium unleaded. No dash light to indicate when cruise engaged. Needs a bigger gas tank. The latter two may have been taken care of with later models. Wish gas mileage were a little better, I'm getting high teens to low 20s.
On the positive side, I love how the car cruises on the interstate, and it feels very solidly built. The acceleration is top-notch with the V6. I feel safe with my kids in this car (airbags all around, ABS, traction control)
Good cargo room (I have a wagon)
The modern day Passat looks like it gets better mpg and has about as much power as this one, but there's no way a brand new one would fit in my budget.
The reliability issues are a killer, as far as I'm concerned, and the vehicle that replaces this will likely be a Japanese minivan or crossover."
"Bought it 1 year used, and it is the best car I have ever owned. It is now 7 years old, but still looks and drives like it did when I bought it. I have never owned a car this long or been so uninterested in trading it in for anything else. GET ONE!"
"I love this car! Unfortunately, we were hit by an uninsured motorist who ran a stop sign. The car was demolished, side air bags deployed but my husband I walked away without a scratch. Something to think about."