2001 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T from North America


Fast and fun for a reasonable monthly payment


The car was delivered to us at the dealer without a rear left turn signal bulb. They claimed to have fixed it, but when we reached the driveway home - it began flashing rapidly. Upon our follow up and detail cleaning appointment they said the signal was fixed. Two days later it malfunctioned again. With no time to go back to the dealer, I located the signal bulb and noticed the cost effective way that V.W. expected the bulb to make a secure contact to the plastic light housing was inadequate (based on a poor design) and the bulb would simply slip off the metal contact while driving. I then filed the base of the bulb and the problem is now solved.

The Check Engine or yellow engine light is on. I have run premium fuel since the day we leased the car. The dealer claims it is a loose gas cap or bad fuel. This car is treated with pride and any suggestion of how to screw on a gas cap is an insult.

General Comments:

Overall, We like the car. I added 17" wheels low profile tires, Xenon blue bulbs and two W8 logo's from an on-line auction. Friends claim it looks like an Audi. The 17" wheels make it run like one. Our GLS has a Tiptronic type transmission which helps to eliminate the turbo lag when you shift it yourself. The fit and finish is not unlike BMW. The big difference being the use of low cost materials by V.W. (not to mention the price). I have found that the use of plastic parts, like the condenser, can be expensive. It is exposed to the road and can easily be punctured by debris. If you have a New Passat like mine you may want to have a shop add a metal screen behind the lower grille. A screen similar to the type they use in race cars or true off road vehicles. The condenser has a replacement cost of $1202.00 + labor. I choose not to select VW as my next type of car to purchase because of low quality and high value of its parts. The dealer is the other reason.

As I started earlier, we love the car. The way it drives, good fuel economy, window curtain airbags and great looks. It is one of the few Volkswagen models sold in the U.S.A. that is shipped from Germany. I would highly recommend this car as a great three year lease.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th March, 2003

25th Mar 2003, 19:34

What possessed you to add W8 logos to a four cylinder car?

What possessed you to buy 17" wheels for a lease?

2nd Apr 2003, 22:49

Thanks for your questions.

I added the W8 logo's to my passat because it looks cool. 8 is a good number. As for the wheels and tires on a leased car. I live in the south and travel I-75, tires do not last long - even with 3000 mile rotations. The car came with plastic wheel caps and steel wheels. These are the same wheels and tires that VW will get when the lease ends. The 17s give the car a better look & ride. I have been enjoying the soft rubber tires in the curves and plan to sell / auction the rims upon the lease termination. The upgrade has been well worth it.

23rd Sep 2003, 00:13

Are you 16-years-old? A W8 logo does not look cool on anything other than a W8.

9th Nov 2004, 02:41

A bit off point... Nevertheless, (without knowing what exactly "W8" makes reference to) I must say, if you like the stickers, all the power to you.


PS I haven't been sixteen for quite a number of years. But I sure wish I was.

2001 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8 turbo from North America


More for your money, honey


At one year of age, the headlights blew out one after the other in less than 48 hours. My dealer said it wasn't covered. It was, actually. Luckily, I went to another dealer before paying for this repair, and didn't have to pay anything.

Ignition Coils!! You've probably seen this repeatedly, and I must say it was a frustrating experience. I think VW has gotten the message by now (3/15/03), because one month after making me pay a "diagnostic" fee before replacing the ignition coil "free of charge", I got an apology letter and a promise to reimburse me fully. I've submitted the paperwork and am waiting for a check.

As for the other three coils, several dealers gave me the runaround, but the good guys who fixed my headlights managed to sell me three more, which I installed myself (takes 5 minutes). VW of America again agreed to reimburse me for the parts, but I have to go back to the dealer to verify the installation.

The driver's seat track is getting a little sloppy, but I'm a heavy guy.

Dash rattles seem localized mainly to the radio area, but this has been the single most disappointing part of the car on a daily basis. It is worse in the cold, and almost non-existent in Summer.

General Comments:

LOVE driving this car. When I go back into my old car (Buick Riviera, which is still in my family), it seems positively primitive by comparison.

Gas Mileage-Great. Big bonus in the long run.

Brakes have NEVER given me any trouble in over 40,000 miles of mixed driving.

My advice for potential buyers: Find a dealer in a non-urban area. Here in metro NY, everyone thinks they're doing you a favor. The only good dealer I found is the one in my home town, which limits me to weekends and/or requires borrowing another car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 2003