2003 Volkswagen Passat GLX 2.8 V6 from Germany


Would buy another if not for the disappointing maintenance issues


Fuel Pump died on turnpike at 60,000 miles. Received recall notice 3 months later. Got reimbursed, but not for the day of work I missed.

Took 3 separate trips to dealer to replace emissions solenoid valve and correct persistent check engine light.

Brakes replaced at 45K miles.

Dealer closed service bay door onto roof and rear window (shattering window). Tried to fix vehicle without telling me about it.

Rear taillight switch and thermostat switch replaced at 85000 due to codes showing in computer.

Every major 'routine' service of this vehicle at the dealer costs at least $500. How is this possible?

General Comments:

Car is seriously smooth and drives well. Moderate pickup from a dead stop, but loves to run on the highway. Handling still feels solid after 85,000 miles.

Interior is very nice and well thought out. Everything is in the right place. It definitely has a German feel... not your parent's Volkswagen on the inside.

Mileage could be better. 23 on the highway is a little low especially with premium fuel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st August, 2006

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T from North America


Best vw I've owned


So far nothing has gone wrong with the car.

Just curious, I have wire that looks like it plugs into something hanging from the front bottom of my car near the lower grille. Haven't taken it in to the vw dealer yet. I'm sure its important, but doesn't seem to affect anything, but wondering what it could be.

Also the air conditioning makes a hissing noise. Is that normal on this car. Does anyone else have this problem?

General Comments:

I love the car.. very quick, fun to drive. 1st and 2nd gears are too short. I'm glad I didn't, but this car in automatic. Interior is very comfortable with leather and all of the nice options the passat is equipped with. Good on gas. Windshield wipers wear fast. I'm very satisfied with this car. My last car a 2002 vw jetta was a nightmare from day 1 and I swore id never buy another vw again, but this car has changed my perspective. It was worth the extra money. I guess you get what you pay for. Just keeping my fingers crossed that its not going to be a repeat of headaches like my jetta.

I think my satisfaction has a lot to do with my dealer. My vw dealer although I've heard horror stories has been great. Service dept has been fantastic. (I practically lived there with my jetta). I would recommend them if your in Florida.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2006

2003 Volkswagen Passat TDI Highline 1.9 TDI from Germany


A reliable and sturdy rep mobile - does what is says on the can!


- Door opening joints becoming loose and weak.

- At -8°C a click can be heard from the rear right, possibly handbrake seizure - not sure!

Apart from the two minor irritations, the car has performed reliably over the past 20,000 km's.

General Comments:

Driving position is not to my liking, I am 6ft3, I like to sit high - if I do, my knees are in the way of the wheel. If I sit low I feel very short and my sight is impaired (slightly)...the leather seats are very uncomfortable, the lower back region is very hard - even lumbar adjust does not correct this - a pain as I travel a lot.

The car is not quick, it only has the smaller 100ps TDI engine, but to be fair it feels well planted on the motorway at 140km/h, more so than the new 06 edition VW Passat with 150ps I recently hired.

The steering is a bit vague compared to the Mondeo I hired too, at 180km/h (vmax) it feels a bit light and and floaty - but at that speeds I would guess the suspension geometry would also need changing to accommodate.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2006