2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 2.8L V6 from North America


Performance and quality burrs that cannot be equaled by any Japanese sedan


The dashboard rattles over every road imperfection when interior is over 70 degrees F.

Vacuum leak at 5,000 miles tripped the check engine light on.

General Comments:

Our third Volkswagen. The most expensive by far - and the most troublesome.

First the Bad - The car spent (3) one week sessions at the dealer for dashboard rework for a nagging rattle from the passenger's airbag area. Presently dealing with the factory rep. because the problem is still there. I later found out that dash rattles are legion in this series Passat although they claim mine is an isolated case. The doors also had to be adjusted to line up with the adjacent panels. Initial quality problems that are not excusable in a car of this stature.

Now the good - The interior and exterior finish and choice of materials is top drawer. The dash trim, shift knob and door handles are finished in real wood. The ride is compliant, but athletic. The 30 valve V6 pulls like a black hole and charges to the redline with no let up at high RPM - and is as smooth as silk. The gear lever and manual transmission changes gears with "snik-snik" precision. Fantastic brakes. Handles any road with confidence. Regularly gets 30+ MPG at 70 MPH cruising. Very competent for a family hauler.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2002

5th Jun 2003, 22:22

My 2002 Passat 1.8T (8000 miles) also has very annoying rattle noises coming mostly from the passenger's side above the airbag and in about the same location on the driver's side. These rattles happen over even the slightest road irregularity and, curiously, when I am turning the car. The noises occur predominately (but not always) at temperatures of about 70 degrees F and higher. I find this problem unacceptable for a car that cost over $25,000. I'd like to get more information about the upgraded dashboard clip kit that helped to solve a very similar problem causing aggravation to another Passat owner. Also, all four rotors had to be replaced at about 7,000 miles. Prior to this, I felt a disturbing pulsation upon braking at low and medium speeds. I am generally very unhappy with this car, and I agree with the comments that VW customer "service" is very unhelpful and apathetic about these concerns. Luckily, I have not had to replace any ignition coils yet.