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2003 Volkswagen Passat

Style:

Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
7.5
Out of 10

Based on 813 Ratings for the 2001 - 2005 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    7.9/10
  • Reliability
    7.5/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.4/10
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Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25
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Terrific car. Great in snow, bad weather

By on Saturday, November 26, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great family car-Had Outback, VW better"

Cons: "none to speak of"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Terrific car. Great in snow, bad weather. The car has some weight, feels safe to drive. Fuel milage is 24 winter, 27 summer"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Practical and Fun to drive

By on Friday, October 28, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, practical"

Cons: "Headlights weak, fake leather"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought new...no major problems but have kept the maintenance up. Blast to drive, great stereo...seats can be a bit uncomfortable on long drives."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

high cost of ownership

By on Monday, October 24, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "lots of room"

Cons: "eveything else"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"cons ============= lots of repair needed lots of recalls. faulty electrical system premium fule only uncomfortable front seats pros ====================== roomy lots of features come standard"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

More about durable quality than bells and whistles

By on Thursday, August 25, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

wonderful wagen

By on Thursday, June 30, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,825

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "quite a few recall notices but fixed promptly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had the car since day one in August 2001 and I am the only driver so I know it's performed well for me."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

MONEY PIT !!!!!!!

By on Monday, May 2, 2011

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

"Stay far away from any VW or Audi with the 1.8 turbo. Read all reviews on these cars and dont make the same mistake I did buy buying one."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

By on Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

This customer did not provide a text review.

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Ugh!

By on Saturday, February 12, 2011

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

"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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Can't wait to get rid of mine...

By on Monday, January 24, 2011

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

"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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Top Sedan in 2003

By on Thursday, October 28, 2010

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

By on Sunday, August 8, 2010

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
3/10

"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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Avoid Passats w/Turbo

By on Thursday, July 8, 2010

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

"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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Wagon and Family Car

By on Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Hold on to your wallet!

By on Tuesday, May 25, 2010

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

"Major gripes: 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. Minor gripes: 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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Keeping it till the wheels fall off

By on Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"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!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Safe!

By on Monday, April 5, 2010

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Passat GLS TDI

By on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"I love the TDI. The car has great pickup. Gas mileage hwy is 38-40. Handling is great. Have had the car for 5 years and have had no problems- just did routine service items."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Most troublesome vehicle

By on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

"The 2002 Passat has a great timeless style. I actually think it looks better than the new Passat's. This is a great road car. Plenty of power with the little 1.8 engine. The negatives on this car are first: This engine is plagued with oil sludge issues. It does not matter how well you maintain it. Volkswagen extended the warranty relating to oil sludge to eight years. In 2005, VW did modifications to my vehicle to help alleviate sludge issues. By 2007, my oil light was coming on to the point I could not drive the vehicle. Fortunately I had all my oil change records so was able to get VW to cover all the cost of cleaning the engine of all sludge. Last month which marked two years since the engine was cleaned, the problem returned. I have used nothing but synthetic oil since first learning of this sludge problem. I had been led to believe that the sludge was produced by the extreme heat of the turbo on regular motor oil. I now know that even with full synthetic it still sludges up. This time the sludge knocked out my cam tensioner. VW again covered the cost of repair as well as another complete engine cleaning process. Unfortunately my eight year warranty runs out in a few weeks. Besides the problems associated with the 1.8 four cylinder turbo, you can not buy anything for this car without feeling like you've been robbed. I always have to turn to see if maybe I drove a Bentley in instead of a VW. The quality of many of the cars components are of inferior quality. I certainly would not consider ever buying another VW. Anyone thinking of buying a VW should take the time to go on line and do a little research. My story is not unique."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

worst car i ever owned

By on Tuesday, November 17, 2009

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
1/10

"car is junk, first oil sludge problem which vw is ignoring and will lead to engine failure at some point, transmission problems slips at 100,000 miles both half shafts on front went out at 100,000 burns more oil then a chevy 350 it burns about a quart every 800 miles, looks decent seats are uncomfortable vw lost me a customer forever"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

very dissapointing quality

By on Monday, November 2, 2009

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

"I bought this Passat because it got all 5 stars in the collision test, both front and back, driver and passenger side, even though it was not as fuel efficient as Toyota or Honda. It drives smoothly. It is quiet inside but quality issues kill all. 1st I had the headlight bulb replaced once every year, until later it turned out something wrong with the socket, not the bulb. Then it had the engine leaking oil, because a very bad design. Now I have water pump, rear view mirror, control modules... I am losing track of all this. I think 2 facts caused all these big and small headaches, 1st, it is a VW, 2nd, it is a NEW model, lots of things were designed in without fully experimented/tried (actually in 2001 VW released 2 models, I am referring to the 2nd model Passat of 2001)."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

don't buy a VW Passat wagon

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2009

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

"I purchased my 2003 Passat wagon brand new. Since then it has given me nothing but trouble. The service engine light goes on at least bimonthly, costing me hundreds of dollars to fix the problem - usually electrical. The frame had a crack in it (after the warranty had expired) which caused major leakage; the car still smells of mold. Once the brake light jammed on, running the battery down until I could take it to the mechanic. It was an overpriced vehicle and I do not recommend the 2003 Passat Wagon at all. Next time I will buy a Honda or Toyota."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great, if not for maintenance

By on Monday, August 17, 2009

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

"I have an 03 Passat Wagon 4Motion, V6. Vehicle is comfortable, with all the amenities of a high end luxury vehicle (essentially an Audi for about 10K less). I get about 17mpg city and 25mpg highway (21mpg combined). Vehicle is great for road trips with the kids, with moderate storage in the back. Powerful V6 runs smoothly on the highway, with minimal road noise. Nice styling for a wagon. Unfortunately the vehicle is expensive to repair (if you go through dealer, expect $100 per hour labor). Mine has about 85,000 miles. I have had to replace the rear brakes and rotors three times (once after only 13,000 miles). The rear brakes/rotors run about $325.00. The fuel pump, fan clutch, water pump, thermostat have all had to be replaced, in addition to a problem with oil leaking into the coolant (luckily replaced under warranty). While the customer service at the dealership service shop is always great, the continual issues outside of routine maintenance (oil changes, etc) make it expensive to own and therefor I could not recommend one to a friend. My old Honda has twice as many miles, with a fraction of the mechanical issues and pennies on the dollar in comparable repair costs."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Nightmare Passat

By on Monday, July 6, 2009

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

"I bought my Passat 4 cyl turbo new in 2002 and it has been a money pit. The quality on the car is very poor, little things go wrong or break all the time and the dealer is less than helpful and charges at least double what others charge for the same service. VW ad's really push their "German" engineering but take it from me go w/ Honda or Toyota (I also own both of these) and you will be much happier and have more $$ in your pocket!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

EXPENSIVE MAINTENANCE

By on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

"IT COST TO MUCH IN MAINTENANCE AND PART REPAIR. MAKE SURE YOU BUY EXTENTED WARRANTY LABOR AND PARTS ARE EXPENSIVE"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

VW are trash. Do not buy one

By on Thursday, March 26, 2009

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
3/10

"I have had nothing but problems with my car since I bought it. The costs of the repairs keep rising, to this day. If you search the internet you will find out all the problems with this car. Save yourself some money and pain, as many people have had to replace the motor ($8,000.00) because of the sludge problem"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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