The 2002 Volkswagen Passat is a well built and engineered car available as a sedan or wagon. One of the best choices for this segment, it offers a surprising amount of luxury, comfortable ride, solid handling, engine choices from mild to tough, great safety with an extensive list of gear as well as Volkswagen’s improved warranty. Buyers should always check out the competition to find what’s right for them as an individual, but buyers in this class would be making a mistake by not looking into the Passat.
Body Styles: sedan, wagon
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 2.8-liter V-6, 4.0-liter W-8
Transmissions: five-speed-manual, five-speed automatic
Models: sedan- Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T, Volkswagen Passat GLS V6, Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 4Motion, Volkswagen Passat GLX, Volkswagen Passat GLX 4Motion, Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion; wagon- Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T, Volkswagen Passat GLS V6, Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 4Motion, Volkswagen Passat GLX, Volkswagen Passat GLX 4Motion, Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion
For 2002 the Passat line-up gets a riled-up sibling: the 270-horsepower, all-wheel-drive W8 sedan and wagon. Standard features in the W8 cars start with the GLX equipment list, and then add Electronic Stabilization Program with BrakeAssist, vented disc brakes all around xenon headlights with washers, wider 215/55R16 tires, an upgraded trip computer and extra chrome throughout the cabin. All other trims of the Passat receive minor alterations for this model year, including a cruise control indicator light, an on/off switch for the electrochromic mirror and a trunk escape release for the sedan. Every new car in the Volkswagen stable comes standard with a new four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, increased from two years/24,000 miles. Volkswagen now offers a fully transferable limited powertrain warranty that covers five years or 60,000 miles.
The 2002 Volkswagen Passat comes in two body styles, sedan and wagon, and each body style is available in six trims: GLS 1.8T, GLS V6, GLS V6 4Motion, GLX, GLX 4Motion and W8 4Motion. Standard exterior gear changes per trim and ranges from 15-inch wheels to 16-inch alloys, heated door mirrors, power door mirrors, four-wheel independent suspension and a spoiler.
The Passat is well-equipped in the cabin with a surprising amount of standard features that increase with the different trims. Most every luxury can be added one way or another including power everything, leather everywhere, premium audio and all the cabin gadgets a buyer may want.
Performance & Handling
The Passat offers two engines and two transmissions: Volkswagen’s turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder, a power plant that produces 170 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque, goes into the GLS 1.8T. The GLS V6 and GLX make use of a 190 horsepower, 2.8-liter V-6 that develops 206 lb-ft of torque and features variable valve intake timing. Both engines require premium fuel. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard, and the optional five-speed automatic is equipped with Tiptronic for manual gear changes. A 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is available for models with the V-6 engine only. Two-wheel drive models are front-wheel drive. Acceleration has some zip with manual transmission equipped models, but a bit lethargic in models with the automatic gearbox. Zero-60 mph times run from 8.6 seconds with the four-cylinder down to under seven seconds for the W8.
Handling is responsive and stable while the ride is truly impressive an uncomfortable. Noise levels are subdued.
For standard safety equipment the Passat is stuffed with six airbags that are all for front-occupant protection: two standard airbags, two for side-impact protection and two curtain-type airbags. Other standard gear includes all-disc antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, daytime running lights, rear door child safety locks, rear center three-point belt, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners and child-seat tether anchorage points for rear seating positions. Traction control is standard with front-drive models. In NHTSA testing the Passat earned five out of five stars for driver and passenger safety as well as four stars for all side impacts. In IIHS tests the Passat received the highest rating of ?Good? for frontal offset crash safety but it also ended up with the lowest rating of ?Poor? for rear crash/head restraint safety. Aside from this one flaw, the Passat seems to be very safe.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T sedan: 19/28 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 sedan: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 4Motion sedan: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat GLX sedan: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat GLX 4Motion sedan: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion sedan: N/A
Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T wagon: 19/28 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 wagon: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 4Motion wagon: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat GLX wagon: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat GLX 4Motion wagon: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion wagon: N/A
- Driving fun
- Comfortable interior
- Spacious interior
- Build quality
- All-wheel drive option
- W8 engine
You Won't Like
- Options get pricey
- Interior controls can be confusing
Great midsize family car with little downside.
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