2002 Volkswagen Passat GLX from North America


Great performance and ride that compensates for repair aggravations caused by dealer


Daytime running lights have both gone out at one point - a common problem I see on lots of Passat's driving around - this is an obvious problem that VW should admit and fix or offer discounted replacements.

Thermo-coupler went bad - was replaced under warranty. Then a few months later, started having problems with the transmission slipping into low gear, but revving really high rpm's, especially from stops - took to dealer four times and got a new part each time having to do with electronic controls (transmission & electronic control units, etc) only to question mechanic enough to have him go back to thermo repair - wound up being a loose wire!! Fortunately, VW U.S. allowed dealer to extend warranty as it all started at 49,500 and was fixed by 52,000 and they covered it until fixed - lucky it happened before 50k.

- just took in for the 65k check (at a local shop) and one of the axle boots had broken open - wound up replacing one of the independent wheel axles. As with some other minor repairs, I got the standard response that hurts your wallet..."for most other cars, this wouldn't be so bad, but VW costs $xx more for this.." because I guess the parts are hand-made in Munich or something.

- VW dealer repair costs too high - I take it to a trusted local shop (CarX) who keeps it running fine, since then maybe coincidental, but need for repairs has been minimal.

General Comments:

I've had a testy relationship with this car, but we're still together. I think the good has outweighed the bad.

- has had mechanical issues that overall haven't been big deals, but incompetent local dealer resulted in several xtra trips and aggravation.

- since staying away from dealer it has run much better, only one odd repair so relationship has improved as it has aged.

- I'm very pleased with the fit and finish, haven't had any radio problems like I see elsewhere, no coil problems - but mechanic said that happens a lot more on the GLS models than the GLX's.

+ It gives superb performance with great pickup at all speeds, nice stable ride even at 73,000 miles, just glides on the Xpressway, and comfort of seats (got a bad back) + heated are great. Co-workers still impressed by inside looks, has leather etc. So altogether make it worthwhile overall. I'm crossing my fingers - plan to keep it till it dies or comes back to kill me in the wallet. But I bought it off Ebay for a great deal so I feel like I'm getting solid value right now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2006

2002 Volkswagen Passat 1.8turbo from North America


Nice looking - will NEVER buy a VW again!!!


Engine failure due to oil pump failure. Car had oil pump replaced around 57,000 miles. There was no sludge problem like other 1.8 turbos. My mechanic says he has encountered many of these and there is a major problem with the screen or the pumps which leads to engine failure. I maintained the car by changing the oil every 3-5,000 miles and had all service performed at the dealer except the occasional oil change. VW of America will do nothing for me due to the mileage. Do all the research on this car before buying!!! Many other people have had the same problem!!! Buyer BEWARE!!!

General Comments:

Car is great to drive, awful to maintain. I bought this car to drive for its useful life, but didn't envision it would be only 2 1/2 years!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st December, 2005

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T from North America


Won't buy another one, but it was fun while it lasted


Turbo waste gate bypass valve went out at 40000

Left Front wheel bearing at 45000

Right front axle boot at 45000

Several fuses - various mileage

Vacuum hose failure - 92000

Gross fogging of windows - 97000.

General Comments:

This car is a blast to drive, but a nightmare to maintain.

I am currently troubleshooting why the heck all the windows fog up from the inside. I think it is either a leaking heater core or failure of Pollen Filter Gasket.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th December, 2005

11th Dec 2005, 07:54

My money is on the heater core leaking, but you will notice a strong smell of coolant.

12th Dec 2005, 08:52

Might be the recirc/fresh door in the HVAC unit. These always went bad on the older Audis (VWs).

13th Jan 2007, 20:26

I just purchased a used 2002 VW Passat GLS and it was fogging up like a dense morning fog in the inside! To my surprise and with a little patience, I guess it's not really a major problem. The key is to have the air circulation button (to send air circulation through out the car) on with a "just right" temp and it will eliminate all the foggy hassles within the Passat. It took me a week to figure out.

14th Jan 2007, 09:18

Doesn't Rain-X or one of those companies make a product that eliminates any fogging? I know there is stuff for your home bathroom, although that's for mirrors. Maybe a better solution than being "forced" to always have your car on a certain setting.

2nd Feb 2010, 00:54

I just purchased a used 20022 Passat and I have the same problem. My windows did not fog up yet, but nine times out of ten it is the heater core. I know that I have a problem with mine now, and am waiting on a repair.