This generation of the Passat is defined by its solid and luxurious feel; along with a quiet and comfortable ride, capable handling and quality interior furnishings. Further, it's advanced standard safety gear was remarkable for the time. Those strengths helped the Passat remain among the top choices in this segment. But its controls and cargo space didn't score quite as well as those in some competing models.
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"It's very smooth and steady and balanced, quiet and powerful."

John R., AZ (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"It has a v-6 engine and the acceleration is really very good. The car handles very well and feels very solid and tight in the turns and curves. The only problem is with the engine in the sense that there is a small lag before the acceleration kicks in."

Kim L., MO (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Very responsive. Great turning radius"

Anonymous, WA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Plenty of power in this diesel engine. Handles well at all speeds, especially considering the age of this vehicle. Body, paint and interior in perfect condition, no rust, no chips, no worn areas in interior. An excellent vehicle for the money."

Antonetta W., CO (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Despite its age it still carries quite a bit of punch in acceleration and handling. No problems on hills. Turbo lag is annoying when coming out of a stop into a busy road."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Fun to drive on mountain roads."

Karen S., ID (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Handling, acceleration and cornering are superb. This is a really fun car to drive!"

Anonymous, PA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Easy to handle and has very peppy acceleration with the turbo."

David Y., CT (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"plenty of pull when I need it, and handles a volkswagen."

Anonymous, MI (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Considering it is a 1.8L engine, with the turbo it accelerates as well as 6 cylinder engines in my previous cars. It also handles very well including wet can snow covered roads. However, I do have tires designed for these conditions."

Anonymous, CT (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Turbo boost has worked very well."

Allen P., OR (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"The 2004 acceleration and handling is excellent and was the primary reason for our purchasing the 2013 Passat."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Absolutely love this Made in Germany car - don't want to buy a North American Passat as the handling and feel are very different"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Purchased used and the driving (transmission package) has never failed and is fun to drive."

Anonymous, CT (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"wonderful smooth ride. Corners well. Auto transmission shifts abruptly though."

Anonymous, MI (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"car little small for my height and weight"

Anonymous, HI (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"All wheel drive + manual transmission + snow tires in the winter = FUN!"

Anonymous, IA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"really goes when i accelerate and has a tight turning radius. responsive."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"The Volkswagen performs well particularly in snow and winter conditions. The fuel economy is disappointing."

C S., PA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Great acceleration"

ROBERT G., MA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"We don't drive the Passat much. At 14 years old it's still rides well."

Linda P., NH (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Very quiet & good audio sound makes for a good listening experience, while the heated seats make all the difference in Idaho weather. The ride is very good making you feel safe on curvy high pass roads."

Karen S., ID (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"The leather seats are very comfortable and cradle the body well. The seat warmers (both sides) are a big plus in the winter."

Kim L., MO (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Excellent for long distance driving- especially when you have to be on the road for many hours."

Anonymous, WA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Very comfortable seats. The seat heater burned through the seat on the drivers side. Fixing it is cost prohibitive."

Anonymous, MN (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Seat is supportive and plush. Ride is smooth--great suspension. Very quiet."

Thomas B., OR (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"The front seat side bolsters make the seats feel too narrow for my comfort."

Anonymous, TN (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"The ride is solid, and the car is very responsive. The seats are firm, which I like. The car has gotten noisier as it has aged, however."

Anonymous, MI (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"It fit my frame just nice"

ANNETTE K., WI (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"The heated seats stopped working. Three actually burned a hole in the upholstery."

CHRIS M., MN (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Seats are really comfortable even on long trip. Leather on seats still looks new and luxurious. We just love this car!"

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Volkswagen Passat)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Bought this car new and it was an expensive car at the time. I expected the vehicle to not to have the number of problems that I have experienced. Issues with the emissions system constantly occurring resulting in many trips to the dealer, most attributed to the gas cap not fitted properly. The seals around the front passenger door failed shortly after warranty period. Radiator failed again shortly after warranty. OEM parts ridiculously expensive. The quality of workmanship was not what I exp"

DOUG Q., BC (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"Excellent reliability and great mileage (diesel). A great all around car!"

MICHAEL S., VT (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"I've put about 120,000 miles on the Passat in 12 years of ownership. Until the last two years it gave me few problems. While the past two years have been more problematic the overall value of the car has been very good over the 12 year period."

Anonymous, MI (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

"It was a great car for approximately 9-10 years, then the crap hit the fan. Our check engine light never goes out; we've replaced the coil 5-6 times with 2 or 3 times being very scary with flashing warnings to "STOP!"; fuses started blowing and windows, door locks, etc. wouldn't work til the whole module was replaced; window motor/tracking system failed; one seat heater hasn't worked for 4 years or so and I'm not going to pay to get it fixed; one speaker in the rear doesn't work and also not goi"

LAURA T., CA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"I like that I can put the rear seats fold all the way flat to haul more items in the back of the station wagon."

Anonymous, VA (2004 Volkswagen Passat)

Would you buy this car again?

2004 vehicles
Acura TL
Chevrolet Malibu
Chrysler Sebring
Honda Accord
Lexus ES
Mazda 6
Toyota Camry
Volkswagen Passat
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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