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2003 Volkswagen Passat Ratings

Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.

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Volkswagen Passat 2003
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    9/21/2004 2:44:10 PM

    2003 Volkswagen Passat - GL (M5) FWD Sedan

    Pros: Safety and Tiptronic

    Cons: squirrely lower gearing

    Advice: a very nice buy with personality other cars dont have

    i just hit 20k miles, it gets great gas mileage and is very comfortable and roomy, no problems at all. it drives tight. i've enjoyed it very much. at freeway speeds its a dream. i had a rattle at first but it went away. great vw service.

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    8/20/2004 10:22:20 AM

    2003 Volkswagen Passat - GL (M5) FWD Sedan

    Pros: Great value and classy Euro styling

    Cons: NOTHING!

    Advice: Drive it. You'll buy it.

    The 1.8t and 5 speed manual are a great combination. The engine is buttery smooth and it supplies more than ample power under any conditions. Don't know how they can sell it for the money, due to all of the standard equipment that comes with the car. The standard safety features alone, put it above anything else in its class. These include 8 airbags, pre-tensioners, 4 wheel disc brakes, ABS and traction control. Perfect combination of ride and handling provide a FUN and comfortable driving experience. High quality materials impart a feeling of luxury at less than luxury price. Love the violet and red interior illumination!

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    7/21/2004 10:23:27 PM

    2003 Volkswagen Passat - GLS (M5) FWD Sedan

    Pros: Transmission

    Cons: Climate controls.

    Advice: Pay attention to the turbo lag.

    'There's a diamond in this pudding' Everyone will need time to adjust to the single turbo. The four cylinder engine (1.8L, same as the Audi A4) gets a nice boost from the turbo. It is ULEV, pretty good on gas (*beware: it only takes premium), good to great acceleration at just about all speeds...after you get past 'the lag'. If you've owned a Japanese overhead cam, you'll have an especially difficult time. This car doesn't jump off the line. There is a non-negotiable lag of a second or two before the power kicks in and the car accelerates. You learn. Mostly, you learn how NOT to drive the car, which will be different than the way you've driven cars in the past. However, I think it's worth the trouble. This is essentially as $30K+ car in a $20K+ skin. (The skin, by the way, is pretty vanilla. It has some beautiful lines from the side and front. I think the back end is boring. A bit silly actually. Like a kid car. Chopped off and diminuitive. It makes the car look smaller than it actually is. And it gives the impression of a lighter car than it actually is. The interior is also unassuming but pleasant. Two unforunate things: there are bright surfaces that produce annoying glare for drivers; and this: the controls for air are mechanically primitive, you can't heat your feet and the windshield at the same time (go figure) and both these and the sound controls are set LOW in the cabin, forcing you to take your eyes completely off the road to adjust anything. Another 'go figure'. The fit and finish is OK. Altho I'm finding cheap materials inside the door panels that squeek when you lean on them. That is a real bummer. I'd happily give up the airconditioned glove compartment for inside door panels made of something other than cardboard. The car handles well enough on rainy roads. But snow is a different matter. This car MUST have snow tires. Sorry. For those living where there is real winter (NY here) you'll have to buy snow tires. The car is a disappointment without them. Steering is great. Turning radius is great. Sight lines are good. Braking is good (ABS). But, drumroll please, the transmission is a bit of heaven on earth. Why buy this car with all these drawbacks? Because of the price? No. Because of the transmission. You'll love it either straight up automatic or the semiauto Triptronic. That's the glory of this little buggy. It means you can drive this car as a family sedan (great mileage on the road) OR you can drive it as a sports sedan (still OK mileage). The car with the funny butt and the cheap door panels turns into a German racer. It's fun! But watch your speed. The car likes 80 that seems like 60. This is a vanilla looking gem. Don't overlook it. (also comes in a completely hot 6, but the gas is a drag, especially at these prices).

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    10/25/2003 4:27:13 PM

    2003 Volkswagen Passat - GLS (M5) FWD Sedan

    Pros: The red and violet colors on the dashboard

    Cons: Center armrest should lock in upright position better

    Advice: Don't compare to Honda

    Fun car to drive, more than adequate power with the 1.8 turbo plus we get 30 mpg! High quality, very tight and precise driving, a bargain at this price compared to everything else on the market. On board computer, heated seats, traction control, 1.8 turbo, steering wheel controls, very cool lighted dash, drives like $10,000 more than it costs, what else can I say?

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    7/8/2003 1:36:15 PM

    2003 Volkswagen Passat - GLS (M5) FWD Sedan

    Pros: the cool dashboard in night

    Cons: lots

    Advice: read my notes

    Check out the link http://money.cnn.com/2003/07/08/pf/autos/bc.autos.durability/index.htm?cnn=yes ...Iam a angry, frustrated and tired VW owner. I bought my VW 8 months ago nad I have been to the dealer 8 times. First the Monsoon sterio system failed. Then the ignition coils failed. The fog lights. Then head lights. Then AC failed. Then there was a recall saying the car can catch fire. Had a couple of flat tires. I talked to a tire expert and I came to know that the VW tires are the cheapest and the least reliable on the market.The windshield is a lousy one.Even a small stone falling from a truck can cause a crack. The wipers are not effective. Leaves a foam and marks thus clogging the view. The windshield allows the light coming in oppsite direction to spread across the windshield making it difficult to drive on those nondivided roads.

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    5/12/2003 6:16:03 AM

    2003 Volkswagen Passat - GL (M5) FWD Sedan

    Pros: Turbo Engine

    Cons: Front passenger seat defective

    Advice: Buy a Camry instead -- They're better cars.

    My wife and I have owed a Passat for less than two weeks and it has already been in the shop once. The front passenger seat is defective in that it doesn't move forward or backward. I am fairly certain that it was defective the moment we left the dealership. My Camry went nine years before anything went wrong with it. Right now I really regret buying a Passat instead of a Camry. I was under the inpression that Volkswagens were quality cars. It looks like I was mistaken.

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    5/11/2003 11:09:25 PM

    2003 Volkswagen Passat - GLS (M5) FWD Sedan

    Pros: The transmition

    Cons: Nothing

    Advice: Go ahead there is nothing but fun ahead.

    I've had my Passat GLS for 6 months now and is still a joy to drive to work (imagine that!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I've always loved VW from the days of the bug.