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2004 Volkswagen Passat

  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat GL Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      30
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      170/166
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
      $22,855
  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLS Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      30
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      170/166
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
      $24,455
  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLS Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      30
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      170/166
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
      $25,455
  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat GL Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      30
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      170/166
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
      $23,855
  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLX Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      26
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      190/206
    • ENGINE
      2.8L V6
    • MSRP
      $29,780
  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLX Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      26
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      190/206
    • ENGINE
      2.8L V6
    • MSRP
      $31,855
  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      24
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      270/273
    • ENGINE
      4.0L W8
    • MSRP
      $40,160
  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      24
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      270/273
    • ENGINE
      4.0L W8
    • MSRP
      $41,160
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  • Review

2004 Volkswagen Passat Review

Something for everyone.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2004 Volkswagen Passat is one of the most flexible sedans on the market. Depending on the model, the Passat can range from a mid-price family vehicle to a near-luxury car. With a wide array of optional features, buyers can usually find a Passat that fits their needs and their budget.

Despite the wide range of models, the Volkswagen Passat offers a solid base vehicle with many features available across the entire spectrum. The Passat offers a wide array of safety features in every model, making it a safe vehicle, even with standard options. The performance and handling proves excellent across the board, as well. The engine marks the only major performance feature that changes between models.

Overall, the Volkswagen Passat makes a flexible choice because of its large array of options and features. The higher-end models offer a slightly more dubious value. The only real issue with them concerns the near-luxury features they offer, which come at a near-luxury price. Drivers looking at that price might want to consider paying a little more and going for an entry-level luxury vehicle. Other than that, the Passat makes a strong offering for almost any budget.

The Range

Body Styles: wagon, sedan
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 2.8-liter six-cylinder, 4.0-liter eight-cylinder, 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Passat GL 1.8T, Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T, Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T 4Motion, Volkswagen Passat GLX, Volkswagen Passat GL TDI, Volkswagen Passat GLS TDI, Volkswagen Passat GLX 4Motion, Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion

What's New

Some of the engine options for the 2004 Volkswagen Passat change from the previous model. The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder ,diesel engine offers a new option for this model year. The 2.8-liter six-cylinder becomes unavailable for the Passat GLS. The all-wheel-drive, 4Motion system is not available on the Passat GLS 1.8T. Stability control provides a standard feature on the Passat GLX.

Exterior

The 2004 Volkswagen Passat offers a sedan and wagon body option on all models. The overall appearance between the two body types seems fairly similar besides the longer cabin on the wagon models. The bumpers are body colored, but the lower section of the vehicle is black, regardless of body color. However, this slightly two-toned design works for all of the offered colors, even lighter paint colors. The design has curves, but it still has a fairly blocky profile.

Interior

The interior features vary widely between the models. On the low end of the scale, the 2004 Volkswagen Passat GL 1.8T offers features typical of a mid-price vehicle. Standard features include air-conditioning, a CD player, and eight speakers. On the high end, the Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion offers standard features that rival many luxury vehicles, including power leather seats, an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, leather and wood trim, climate control, a 200-watt stereo system, and OnStar. Drivers can pick and choose features between both ends of the spectrum depending on the model selection and optional features.

Performance & Handling

The 2004 Volkswagen Passat offers an easy drive and a smooth, comfortable ride. The suspension proves better than most competitors, further enhancing the ride. Overall, the lower-end models seem even better than the higher-end models as a result. This, however, has more to do with the competition at the different price ranges than differences in how each model handles.

Overall, most of the engine options provide enough power to allow the Passat to accelerate quickly. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder marks the only weak point. It feels a little underpowered, especially after driving the 2.8-liter six-cylinder. The four-cylinder engine can get the job done, but it seems less impressive than the other options.

Safety

While many of the Volkswagen Passat’s features depend on the model, safety features do not. All 2004 Volkswagen Passats have dual front airbags, rear head airbags, side-mounted airbags, an engine immobilizer, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, and traction control as standard features. Stability control and emergency braking assist provide standard features on some of the higher-end models as well. Overall, the Passat offers impressive safety no matter which model a driver purchases.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Passat 1.8-liter four-cylinder: 19/28 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat 2.8-liter six-cylinder: 17/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel: 23/34 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat 4.0-liter eight-cylinder: 15/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Sedan and wagon options
  • Wide range of engine options
  • Lots of safety features

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy with the more powerful engine
  • Higher-end models cost nearly as much as a luxury car

Sum Up

Something for everyone.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Accord
  • Nissan Altima
  • Toyota Camry

See the New 2014 Passat.

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