Model Details

2004 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews

3.9
Average based on 31 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 31 reviews

Great car if you figure it out

by from New England on January 8, 2011

I have had a 2004 Passat Wagon since new . I have had the same problems mentioned in other reviews . Axle boot , engine lights coming on due to electrical coil issues , and other than those specifics ...
I have had a 2004 Passat Wagon since new . I have had the same problems mentioned in other reviews . Axle boot , engine lights coming on due to electrical coil issues , and other than those specifics just the usual maintenance . The coil issue was ongoing until VW finally came up with a coil that was correct in design and fixed the problem . This was not until about six-eight months ago . Until then I too was constantly having engine light come on and car run rough . Since replacing my coils with the latest design there have been no issues and the car runs great . Axle Boot can break down and need replacement but not all that expensive unless you go to shop that rips you off . It is not an entire axle replacement so if you are told that you are probably being ripped off . You do need to use synthetic oil due to turbo if you don't oil can clog and regular oil will not protect your engine or give optimum performance . So if someone used regular oil I can understand why they could have blown their engine . This car with a good set of all weather tires kicks butt in snow ! I drive in a sales job and it is very comfortable to ride in long distances . Gas mileage is very good . Multiple sets of golf clubs and luggage can be carried . Interior much better than a Honda or Camry . I have 124K on mine and since I have a great mechanic who knows VW Passat quirkiness I would not hesitate to buy another . In fact I have been shopping for 2009 -2010 Passats .
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

OIL SLUDGE

by from Indiana on September 20, 2006

I leased my VW Passat 1.8T in Feb 2004. I have kept up with the maintenance including the oil changes- more or less on schedule, though not always at the dealsership. I have a heavy commute so I am...
I leased my VW Passat 1.8T in Feb 2004. I have kept up with the maintenance including the oil changes- more or less on schedule, though not always at the dealsership. I have a heavy commute so I am at 2 years and at 56,000 miles. The oil pressure light came on telling me to turn the motor off and after I checked the service manual and the oil level, and then took it to the dealership I found out the 2004 turbo Passat's dirty little secret. I was supposed to have been sent a warning (which I did not recieve) by Volkswagon of America, issued to all Passat owners up to the 2004 models that it is ABSOLUTELY critical that ONLY synthetic oil be used, ONLY an extra large filter be used and that oil and filter be changed WITHOUT exception every 5,000 miles. And why? Because the turbo engine will create sludge, block the oil intake and then your engine will seize up completely. [ I am giving it a "2" on reliability because the possiblity that the engine might just lock up while I am driving troubles me somewhat. It may not happen often, but if it does..........] If your engine seizes up anyway, and some do, VW has extended the warranty on these models but only if you can produce written proof of every single oil change, including the type of oil used and the exact mileage. (Woe betide the do-it-yourself types.) An engine re-build is around $3,000 - replacement runs a little higher. Most dealerships will fight tooth and nail to avoid providing the work under the extended warranty. So if you like the car (and I do- overall) fork out the $75+ for the special oil and filters EVERY 5,000 miles and lock the receipts in your safety deposit box - just in case. If you buy used, get the proof of those oil changes from your seller or walk away.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great performance but poor reliability

by from Philadelphia, Pa on November 4, 2009

This is a fun car to drive with excellent fit and finish. However, it is very unreliable. Consumer Reports was dead on, the electrical system is a mess. The sunroof has leaked multiple times causing m...
This is a fun car to drive with excellent fit and finish. However, it is very unreliable. Consumer Reports was dead on, the electrical system is a mess. The sunroof has leaked multiple times causing massive electrical system failure--inoperative cruise control, door and trunk lock failure, alarm failure. Electrical failure not covered by “ultimate extended warranty” which was a $1,500 useless expenditure recommended by dealer. Also check engine light comes on seeming randomly. If this occurs randomly during state mandated emission testing, vehicle will not pass.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does not recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

an excellent reliable car.

by from on March 19, 2011

this is a well engineered car. Also it is a very reliable car, the style and options are worth every penny.
this is a well engineered car. Also it is a very reliable car, the style and options are worth every penny.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Car not reliable

by from Vermont on March 1, 2011

I have sunk thousands in repairs of my 04 since I bought it new. It was my 3rd VW and will be my last.
I have sunk thousands in repairs of my 04 since I bought it new. It was my 3rd VW and will be my last.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does not recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Be Hesitant

by from Atlanta, GA on October 20, 2010

I purchased car used 2004 -Feb 2010, now 8 mos later the engine needs to be replaced. I hav found 400 same complaints when it comes to your oil consumption-make sure to let only your dealer perform oi...
I purchased car used 2004 -Feb 2010, now 8 mos later the engine needs to be replaced. I hav found 400 same complaints when it comes to your oil consumption-make sure to let only your dealer perform oil changes or make sure to use synthetic oil only, although the manual states you can use 5w-30. After all the hassle of not being able to use the powertrain warranty, or extended warranty--this was a huge investment without any enjoyment whatsoever.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Owner

by from Boston, MA on July 25, 2006

Excellent car - we've owned one for 3 years and have had no problems whatsoever. It's fun to drive and elegant.
Excellent car - we've owned one for 3 years and have had no problems whatsoever. It's fun to drive and elegant.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

VW Passat

by from Charlottesville, VA on September 25, 2010

The 2004 Passat is a good balance between economy and performance. The car has very good road manners and always feels solid and well planted. The 1.8 turbo provides ample acceleration while deliverin...
The 2004 Passat is a good balance between economy and performance. The car has very good road manners and always feels solid and well planted. The 1.8 turbo provides ample acceleration while delivering around 31 mpg. It is coupled to a 5 speed manual transmission with near perfect gear ratios. VW did not skimp on features with the GLS trim. Sunroof, AC, power windows (one touch on driver's side for the front windows), power locks, keyless entry, Monsoon sound system and cruise. There are several hidden Easter eggs features with this car as well. Small pull down center visor for the small sliver above the rear view mirror, nook below the steering wheel for the owner's manual, pneumatic lifts for the hood, metal lift plate on the rear trunk lip, locking floor mats and many others. All and all I have been very pleased with the balance of ride quality, driving satisfaction and economy with my VW Passat.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

The Perfect Car

by from Winnetka, CA on August 17, 2006

This is my 2nd Passat (previously owned a 2001 model) after driving nothing but American made vehicles my whole life (40+ years). From an engineering perspective, I haven't seen anything that comes c...
This is my 2nd Passat (previously owned a 2001 model) after driving nothing but American made vehicles my whole life (40+ years). From an engineering perspective, I haven't seen anything that comes close, for the money. I spend many hours a day driving (part of my work) and it is comfortable, handles well (even on mountain roads), and gets decent gas mileage (with a V6 engiine). And the Tiptronic transmission is incredible, especially on those mountain roads. The rear seats, which fold forward exposing the trunk, allow for transporting outsized objects (like skis, ladders, etc.). My dog loves it too because he gets to ride at our elevation and has lots of room for stretching out on long drives. The A/C and VW sound system is also outstanding. It's the perfect car!
Comfort
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Handling
Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Well-built, safe & fun

by from Newburyport, Ma on June 3, 2006

Have owned for 27 months now and it's probably the best-built car I've owned. Handling is superb, the V6 sounds beautiful and the interior is great for a person who works in their car. Wish driver's s...
Have owned for 27 months now and it's probably the best-built car I've owned. Handling is superb, the V6 sounds beautiful and the interior is great for a person who works in their car. Wish driver's seat was wider and gas mileage was better than 21 mpg. Overall, though a very good car for me and family.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?