What kind of chemistry do you have with your car? Love it? Loathe it? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

Volkswagen Passat (2001–2005)

Last updated 11 July 2019

 
3
A better drive and better equipped than the previous Passat. Comfortable and has more status than, say, a Ford Mondeo.
A Ford Mondeo outdrives it in every respect and is cheaper to buy. Not immune from leaks and reliability problems.
Updated 11 July 2019

Report of 2013 build (registered 2014) VW Passat Trendline continually blowing fuses. Moisture will be getting into part of the electrical system somewhere, maybe the locking and windows ECU inside the...

Read more

Introduction

Some refer to this 2001-2005 Passat as the Passat B5.5, still longitudinal front wheel drive.

There is no doubt that VW improved its 2001 model-year Passat over the Passat it replaced. The body structure is 10% stiffer. Equipment levels are higher. Prices are down 10-15%. But the question was how good could it be compared to the Mk III Ford Mondeo that shifted class goalposts into the next county.

Happily, for VW fans, it became a much better car than it was. On most versions much of the overlight deadness of the steering had been eliminated, the handling and roadholding was more secure, the fit and finish was of even better quality than before and the two new diesel engines knocked the old ones for six. VW believed they were the most thermally efficient car engines in the world, converting no less than 43% of the thermal energy in fuel into power. What had happened, though, was that VW's VAG parent put more distance between the 2001 Passat and the Audi A4 than between the previous versions. Whereas the new A4 was very classy, the new Passat was simply the new Passat, an improved version of the old Passat. Not the serious Mercedes Benz C Class rival the 2001 A4 was clearly intended to be.

VW Passat 2001 Road Test

Owners' reviews

4
great
5
What a Volkswagen SHOULD be.
5
The best car I have ever owned!
5
Rock solid car and the engine is superb
4
Comfortable, reliable and a quality product.
4
Smooth motorised sofa
List Price from £23,910
Buy new from £18,788
Contract hire from £221.66 per month
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car