2004 Volkswagen Passat
1-10 of 46 reviews
Test drive review

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
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Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Does not recommend this car

26 out of 26 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

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
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does not recommend this car

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

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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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Does recommend this car!!

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

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
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car!!

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

Praise for Passats

by from Richmond, VA on April 28, 2012

I bought a one owner '04 Passat with 47K miles in 2010 as a replacement for my 2000 Passat with 233K miles. Both of my passats have had the V6 engine with 5 spd manual. The car is sporty (sunroof, lea...
I bought a one owner '04 Passat with 47K miles in 2010 as a replacement for my 2000 Passat with 233K miles. Both of my passats have had the V6 engine with 5 spd manual. The car is sporty (sunroof, leather, alloys) and fun to drive, afterall how many midsize sedans have manual trannys. The passat is kind of an affordable Audi and is sized between the A4 and the A6 Audis. To be fair, the Audi's have fully independent suspension, whereas the pre 2006 passats don't. Buy one if you can find one.
Comfort
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

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
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Fun to begin with but a let down now.

by from Tualatin, OR on November 3, 2011

Spent way too much money on this car in repairs. This year alone $4k for various things. I bought this car new and I have taken care of it. The way its behaving at just 70k miles I am not impressed. W...
Spent way too much money on this car in repairs. This year alone $4k for various things. I bought this car new and I have taken care of it. The way its behaving at just 70k miles I am not impressed. Will not buy VW again.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does not recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Reliable car

by from Appleton, WI on November 12, 2011

I bought this car new and have not been disappointed. I purchased it after selling my 2000 Beetle. Both cars were a delight to drive and I can't recall any major repairs to either vehicle. I highly re...
I bought this car new and have not been disappointed. I purchased it after selling my 2000 Beetle. Both cars were a delight to drive and I can't recall any major repairs to either vehicle. I highly recommend Volkswagon
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

do not buy volkswagen

by from Wharton, NJ on February 16, 2010

I spent $13,000 on service, maintenance and repairs over 5 and a half years of ownership. Once warranty was over (after 4 and half years) my Passat started to fall apart. The fact that I kept up with ...
I spent $13,000 on service, maintenance and repairs over 5 and a half years of ownership. Once warranty was over (after 4 and half years) my Passat started to fall apart. The fact that I kept up with scheduled maintenance did very little to performance. When I called VW all I heard was "warranty is over, there's nothing we can do for you". Stay away from Passat (unless you want to lease/buy for 3 years or less)
Comfort
Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Does not recommend this car

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

very good car

by from kc mo on July 1, 2014

great car to drive love it plus it holds its value. If I had the chance to buy another one I would in a heart beat
great car to drive love it plus it holds its value. If I had the chance to buy another one I would in a heart beat
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
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?
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Our Expert Review: 2004 Volkswagen Passat