I own a 2003 Passat Wagon
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I agree with the other 2003 Passat owner review here. Bought it because it was a nice car. Leather interior, sunroof, premium sound, TipTronic Transmission, good looks, Heated seats, Everything, Etc.....
In the initial years I owned it, first 40-80,000 miles, an engine mount broke (which has since broken again), Transmission seal/gasket broke/ leaked, Water pump, CV boots replaced 1 & 1/2 times along with one axle.
Fortunatly these were all under warranty. This is what I can think of off the top of my head. Its been years now and I should have written reviews on every discussion forum I could find then. I didn't.
Since then: I'm at 160,000 miles. Brakes have never worked well, I believe contributing to an accident I was in, the car just didn't stop when I had to jump on them. Heater no longer works, Driver door mechanisim electronics no longer work, meaning no more warning buzzer that the door is open or the lights are left on, no seat belt warning (which is kind of an improvement, Etc.... $525.00 or so to repair.
Car locks itself whenever it feels like it, not all the time, just whenever.
Both catalytic converters are gone. $1500.00 +
Transmission is leaking again $225.00.
Electonic key no longer works, I was told not a battery issue. $120.00 + to replace eletronic key.
I'm sure there's more but I will end it here.
I've taken very good care of my VW and it still looks great, No dents, no dings, a couple of scraches, one from my bike and one shopping cart scratch, that's it. Still a good, cool looking piece of junk.
If you have any smarts you will stick with Toyota or Honda....My opinion.
Certainly better cars if not the best. I'm not a Toyota or Honda sales person, and actually wasn't very pleased with my Toyota T100 either, They were just a bad model for them. But if I was to buy a new car it would not be a VW.