2003 Volkswagen Passat GL 1.8 turbo from North America


Horrible!! Don't buy this VW!!!


Tooooo much to list. The car has been falling apart since around 40K miles. I have religiously adhered to service maintenance requirements/ oil changes.

The car has failed completely at 95K miles with a faulty turbo. This after I have already replaced the entire braking system, CV boots, thermostat, etc.

At around 30K my stereo stopped working and the heating element burnt through the leather seat into my leg!! 8 warranty repairs in 7 years also!! Yikes!!

General Comments:

Safe yourself some money & aggravation... NEVER BUY A VW!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd June, 2010

2003 Volkswagen Passat 4motion 1.9 TDi turbo diesel from Bulgaria


Nice family car, 4motion helps a lot when out for skiing


So far the reverse gear switch failed (common problem), engaging the rear parktronic permanently, which is not very nice when sitting in city traffic (constantly beeping).

Also a leak of fuel (diesel) from the tandem pump, lead to an antifreeze leak from the breather hose in the rear end of the engine - turned out be a common problem for this engine as well (1.9 TDI-PD, 130hp).

General Comments:

I bought that car for long journeys with my family (4 fully grown).

Lots of space inside and in luggage compartment! (Passat Variant)

Nice fuel economy for 4 wheel drive car - around 6-6.3/100km with normal speeds round 110-120km/h.

Handles substantially better than a front wheel drive Passat! Adorable handling on snow (4motion IN this car relies on Torsen diff, which in my own opinion is much better than the Haldex)

Build quality is on a high level.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2010

2003 Volkswagen Passat Comfortline 1.9 turbo diesel (130bhp) from UK and Ireland


Worth the money!


Nothing so far.

General Comments:

Seems like a good buy, cheap enough to run.

Only thing I could complain about is the lack of air con, seems nearly every modern car has it, why don't Volkswagen put it even in their lower spec cars??

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd December, 2009

2003 Volkswagen Passat GLX 2.8L V6 from North America


Very good solid car


I had to replace the valve cover gasket when I bought the car (at 80,000 miles). Other than that, nothing else other than regular maintenance.

I changed timing belt + water pump + thermostat at 95,000 miles

Flushed the ATF at 99,000 miles.

General Comments:

Excellent handling.

Acceleration outstanding.

Extremely comfortable and well designed interior.

This Passat is possibly one of the best cars I've ever owned. Absolutely no problems with it so far.

All in all... the 2003 Passat GLX V6 Wagon is an outstanding car for the money, and I'd recommend it highly to anyone considering the purchase! Even with a lot of miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2009

2003 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 1.8t from North America


Piece of crap, horrible engine design


CV joint went about 2 weeks after buying the car, dealership repaired. (which took 4 days!)

Oil sludge started @ 80K. I believe the dealership patched this problem up just enough to get it sold, as I bought it as wholesale.

Car left me stranded on the side of the road with my 2 young children at least 5 times.

Turbo went at 99K, had to have that replaced. VW charges over $1200 just for the part, I got one off Ebay for $300. Took my husband and father 4 hours to take off and replace because of the poorly placed bolts.

Sludge problem original price was $3500. Refused repair, kept driving the car and ignored the light (was not aware that this was a common problem at the time).

About 6 months later it started knocking and lost power on the interstate. Took it to another VW dealer and they said I needed a new engine... $8200 repair. Again I declined repair. Had my father and husband flush the car out and change oil, oil pump, and clean away sludge from the oil screen.

Car ran fine for a few weeks, now the oil light is back on. Cams are grinding and the light only comes on during town trips or after idling for a few minutes. Does not come on while on highway trips or at higher RPMs. Will be trading this car off, or since it is financed through VW themselves, I may just quite paying the payments and let them repo it. They can have it!!

General Comments:

Inside of the car is great, love the way it looks and drives. The car is just not reliable and was poorly made. If VW was any kind of company they would recall all the 99-04 1.8T's and replace the engines. But even people with all their oil change receipts are being denied the fix VW promised. I will definitely not buy another VW. If you have one... sell it. If you don't... don't buy it!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th July, 2009

23rd Jan 2010, 05:42

I agree with a lot of what is said. I found the VW agents completely useless. They did not even tick off the service book. The VW office here in Ireland do not have a consumer affairs dept; that says it all. It's a shame because the car is a good reliable car. I now go to a German mechanic here and keep away from VW agents etc. The next car will not be a VW, because there is no back up.