2004 Volkswagen Passat GLX 4Motion Wagon 2.8 from North America


Great car, but expensive to own and maintain


At 778 miles - Brake rotors replaced due to warping, faulty brake light switch replaced (Under Warranty)

At 3,028 miles - Right rear turn signal socket replaced, I also complained of car jerking when coming to a stop or going slow below 5 mph. Was told of a firmware update to transmission to fix it, but they were not trained on how to do it so I had to wait. (Under Warranty)

At 28,730 miles - Updated firmware on transmission- <b>One year later!!!</b> It did fix the problem. (Under Warranty)

At 43,675 miles - Brake switch replace again. Replaced Ignition switch (sticking and would not turn). (Under Warranty)

At 71,805 miles - Fuel pump failed, towed to dealership, total costs $740 dollars.

General Comments:

Window sticker on my car was $33,495. I paid $29,700 dollars for it new with very little negotiations.

The window sticker on my GLX 4motion Passat rated the MPG at 22 City and 27 Highway. I never did better than 23 mpg on trips. (Some involved 600 miles in one day). I averaged 21 mpg back and forth to work which involved 44 miles round trip with 4 stops each way for traffic signals.

Great handling car. Seats very supportive. High luxury for a car in this price range.

Acceleration was OK... 0-60 times between 8.5 and 9 seconds.

Maintenance was expensive and hard for the "do it yourself" type. Engine and oil pan covers and shrouds made it very difficult to just change the oil. In my 3 years of ownership I spent $3,700 dollars on repairs and maintenance. (includes tires at 45k)

I am 6'5" and 240 lbs. I fit in it (and it had a sunroof). I could have used an extra inch in headroom, but I like the sunroof better.

The 2004 had the Torsen center differential to send power from front to back for the AWD system. It worked well with little wheel spin. (In fact, I had to floor it with the "ESC" (Electronic Stability Control) turned off to get it to spin in the snow, then all 4 wheels would spin)

Would I buy another Passat, NO. Another VW, maybe. But I would have to really inspect it for ease of maintenance.

I did like the car, but its costs of care and repair in both time and money drove me away.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th July, 2007

2004 Volkswagen Passat Highline 1.9 TDi 100 from UK and Ireland


Perfect reliability and build quality


Nothing wrong in 3 years/76,000 miles.

General Comments:

This is not my car, but a car in the fleet that I manage. It stood out as the most reliable car we have, requiring nothing other than standard servicing.

The car is a pleasure to drive, quiet and comfortable with a very high spec. The build quality is very high, and the fit and finish is pretty much perfect.

The only let down with the car is the TDi 100 engine is underpowered for a large heavy car like this. The TDi 130 would be a better choice, but the 100 was cheaper for a company to run, and provided the driver with a lower tax burden. Also, second gear seems trickier to engage then other gears.

MPG is good at 43-47, but considerably lower than the lighter Golfs that achieve 49-54 on our fleet.

The only other problem with the brand is that the local main dealer is absolutly SHOCKINGLY bad customer service. I would continue to purchase VW's for the fleet, but we will use independent VW specialists in the future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2006

6th Mar 2007, 06:22

The car is now being returned with a mileage of near 90,000.

NOTHING has ever gone wrong with the car, the build quality is solid and the car drives as new with 90,000 on the clock. There is not even the slightest amount of smoke from the exhaust, even when cold. Simply incredible!

If our budget covered it, I would replace all our fleet cars with these as they are so hassle free to run (as long as you find a good independent dealer, like we have, as our 2 local VW garages are SHOCKING in service)

6th Mar 2007, 14:22

This is great to hear! :)