2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T from North America


Fun, good looks, costly, reliability issues


Head lights replaced 3 times before 10K

Radio replaced electric problems

Rear brakes/rotors replaced before 30k

Parking brake handle falling apart.

General Comments:

The car is very fun to drive in typical VW fashion.

However the reliability issues concern me.

The car dealership told me I had a monsoon stereo (which I paid extra for) After a few thousand miles I learned that it wasn't and went back to dealership to get the correct radio.

The radio then proceeded to go haywire and required replacement.

The dealership charges way too much for such underhanded, poor service.

In general the car has been a joy to drive.

The design of the car is excellent, it's too bad it wasn't implemented better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th September, 2005

2002 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Not as good as expected


The Turbo has blown twice.

The Alternator failed at 90,000 miles.

The interior around the gear stick looks shabby.

General Comments:

Generally the car runs well for the amount of miles it has covered, and is very comfortable on a long journey.

I don't think that the pick up is as good as I would expect from a 130 BHP Turbo Diesel. A Mondeo or Vectra seem to leave it trailing behind.

Another gripe I have is that of reliability. I chose a Passat specifically because of the amount of miles I cover, and assumed that reliability would be excellent. Two Turbos and One Alternator leave me a little skeptical about purchasing another VW.

I think the car would benefit from the 150 BHP Diesel engine found in the Mark 4 Golf.

I cannot find fault with the dealer. Excellent service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2005

13th Sep 2005, 13:51

The 150bhp engine found in the golf is the same engine as yours, but with a slightly different turbo. The turbo on the 130 engine provides more low down punch than the 150 turbo. People who performance tune these PD TDi engines will always go for a 130bhp engine over the 150bhp as the power gains are greater on the 130.

The vast majority of Passat and Golf PD TDIs have had no turbo problems whatsoever. Are you allowing sufficient time for the turbo to warm up before using full throttle and again allowing time for oil to circulate and cool the turbo down after each journey?

I have seen plenty of these cars covering over 200000 miles and they still drive like they were 20000 mile vehicles. The Passat is synonymous with Quality and Reliability.

14th Sep 2005, 07:33

Mine isn't. 50,000 miles, just a year out of warranty and it's cost me £1,200 in repairs. Juddering clutch (common fault), water leak around pollen filter (common fault) and one of the turbo pipes split (common fault).

Great for the first three years and 40,000 miles, but now seems to be falling apart around me just as the warranty has run out. To be told by dealer technicians that the fault they're charging you to repair is "common", adds salt into the wounds. The clutch parts alone cost over £700 with VAT! Ferrari wouldn't even charge that much.

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 2.8 V6 from North America


Good car let down by basic design flaws and poor service


Battery went dead - insider at dealer acknowledged problem to be due to excessive drain from alarm system. Required replacement which was not covered under warranty.

Velor on seats attracts any lint and is nearly impossible to keep clean.

Corrosion on rear truck lid near plate light - trunk replaced under warranty.

All Wood veneers and wood shifter knob split due to coating failure - all replaced under warranty.

Matt black finish on arm rests starts to peel off after 2 years - even with replaced parts.

Dealer service leaves a lot to be desired and all calls are directed back to dealer - Volkswagen doesn't want to deal with consumers directly.

Had under-engine panel drop while traveling on highway nearly creating major accident - no real apology from dealer for mechanic not reattaching bolt to secure or offer to replace damaged panel.

Questioned use of higher viscosity oil in cold climate despite manual suggesting otherwise (resulted in longer cold cranking in winter) - only satisfactory resolution was to provide own oil.

V6 engine is a bit sluggish.

General Comments:

Car handles extremely well and engine is very smooth.

Comfortable car and some nice touches.

Overall warranty issues and service experience do not encourage me to return to Volkswagen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th December, 2004