2004 Volkswagen Passat Overview

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2004 Volkswagen Passat Overview

Volkswagen expanded its Passat lineup for 2004 and added a turbocharged diesel to the engine options. The four trim packages available to drivers in 2004 included the entry-level GL (available with either a standard 1.8-liter, 170-hp 4-cylinder gas engine or the new 2.0-liter, 134-hp 4-cylinder diesel); the GLS (also available with either the 4-cylinder gas or the 4-cylinder diesel engine); the GLX, which came with a 2.8-liter, 190-hp V6 engine; and the top-of-the-line W8, which was powered by Volkswagen's impressive 4.0-liter, 270-hp 8-cylinder engine. What's more, the Passat was available in both four-door sedan and wagon versions.

Three transmissions were also available. A five-speed manual was standard in the GL and GLS gas engine Passats as well as in the GLX, while a five-speed automatic was matched with the GL and GLS diesels as well as with the W8. Rounding out the list was a six-speed manual transmission, available as an option with the W8.

As you might expect, with all those trim packages, drivers had a lot of standard and optional features to sort through. The basic GL package came with such standard features as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, anti-lock brakes, traction control, front and side airbags, and an audio system with cassette and CD players. The GLS added a sunroof and alloy wheels. The GLX and W8 added leather seats, which were heated in the front, among other features. The W8 was also available in a sport package with a tighter suspension, and VW's 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system was available on certain models.

Many of the quality-control problems that seemed to plaque Passats in previous years seemed to have been fixed by the time the 2004 models rolled off the assembly lines, at least according to drivers. Instead of complaining about frequent trips to the repair shop, drivers found favor with the Passat's styling, handling, comfort, and safety features, and even commented on its affordability.

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