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O.K., while I'm on a roll. Correct me if I'm wrong!

MY 04' tdi gls wagon has no upper vent lighting. I understand in 04'-05' they cut cost by not installing lights. I understand with the lit vents and harness it's plug-n-play? Also I have converted to console and shifter handle to woodgrain. I have (rarely) seen O.E. lit woodgrain vents. w8, 4motion other option? PRE-04'only?
 

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Great post ,i was wondering what model i had, B5 or B5.5, depended where you looked re what particular model you had.
Explained it all thanks
 

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Hello. I am super new to Volkswagens, so I apologize for this question in advance....how do I figure out what "platform" my 2003 Passat is? I'm not exactly sure what a platform is. From what I've read it is related to the body style perhaps?
 

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Welcome to PassatWorld.

Hello. I am super new to Volkswagens, so I apologize for this question in advance....how do I figure out what "platform" my 2003 Passat is? I'm not exactly sure what a platform is. From what I've read it is related to the body style perhaps?
The B5.5:
-Production Years: U.S. 2001(late vin)-2005; Europe 2001-2005
-Has a slightly wider stance and has a much more distinctive fender flare all around.
-Has chrome-trimmed rub-strips; in Europe this denotes a higher-line vehicle (all lower models are black rubber strips); and chrome window trim on all B5.5's.
-Has a more "stream-lined" appearance utilizing headlamps integrated in to the front of the vehicle, it also has turn signals integrated into the headlamp housings.
-Has corner markers integrated into the front and rear quarter rub-strips.
-2004(mid-year)-2005 vehicles have more rounded mirrors with integrated turn signals.

-Has tail-lamps that have more "defined" segregations between the internal functions, They have two distinct vertical circles in the center that house the primary brake lamps. There is also a white reverse lamp section horizontally through the middle.

-Has NO pop-out cup-holders in the front console, only a filler plate.

-Front center console has 2 cup-holders next to the E-Brake handle and the front armrest is rectangular with a large storage compartment beneath it.

-New style cluster with large MFA:

-Full FIS Cluster found on all W8's and as an option in Europe:


The B5.25:
-A rare beast forged from the toil of a select few lunatic minds from a B5 and B5.5; it has the front-end of a B5.5.....(pause for suspense)..... but the rest is a B5(shock and horror!!!)

The FWD:
-Has NO "4Motion" insignia on the gear-selector.
Tiptronic:

Manual:

-Has NO "4Motion" Badge on the Bootlid.
-Has a solid beam rear suspension/axle; no independent rear suspension, rear axle, drive shaft, etc...
-Is not bad in the snow.

The 4Motion:
-Has a "4Motion" insignia on the gear-selector.
Manual:

Tiptronic:

-Has a "4Motion" insignia on the Bootlid. (Note: W8 badge indicates another rare beast, all non-W8 Passat owners eventually wish they had one)

-Has an independent rear suspension, drive shaft, rear axle, etc...
-Is awesome in snow.

There are many other differences between the B5 and B5.5, but they are more difficult to distinguish; Think of this as "Passats for Dummies"
Feel free to add any necessary information that I missed, I know I have.

Photo of Tiptronic 4motion shifter courtesy of Oil Dripper.
 

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So wait a minute, I've got a B5 body and interior specs all match. It's a 2000, built in December 1999--but it's got the instrument cluster of a 5.5 (the New Style Cluster with large MFA).

Does that mean that it's a kind of B5.25, or is it just special?
 

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A month and a half ago I thought they were all the same! LOL Since then I have done a serious amount of self training and ended up with an 02 B5.5 GLX 4motion wagon. I am so digging this car. Do you think I'm crazy for wanting to change my own heater core when it eventually goes out? My B5.5 Mentor does. I just hate paying for things that I know I could figure out myself. What could possibly go wrong with a complete dash removal?!?!
 

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I do have a question that does not seem to have been asked...on the forum listing, where you click to come to the B5 section, under it is the B6 section, which says the model year for that starts in 2005...is that a mistype, or is the first B6 really a B5.5?
 

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No, VW doesn't necessarily change models exactly by the calendar. Just as a 2001 can be a B5 or B5.5, a 2005 can be a B5.5 or a B6.
 

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Some other differences -
I have a '98 B5 (110SE) and a 2005 B5.5 (100). Both manual European market cars - RHD for the UK market. The big differences for me are the lack of interior storage space in the later car - no cloth pockets on the back of the front seats, no dash slot under the radio (gone to make space for the CD) and no front centre arm-rest cubbyhole (no arm-rest in fact). Another difference is that the guys at VAG finally realised the B5 vulnerability to leaves blocking the under-battery drains, and put a grill over the battery to reduce this problem.
Another change is the steering wheel mounted radio and cruise controls. The B5 has a much louder horn. Probably not relevant to USA market cars, the B5.5 140bhp we had for a short while had headlamps with moveable dipped beam adjusters, to switch to right-hand dip for driving RHD UK cars in continental Europe. As far as I could make out all that it did was cut off the "kick-up" to the light pattern on the kerb side when driving on the left, so that it did not dazzle oncoming cars when driving on the right. It was such a fiddly, time-consuming job that I haven't even bothered to find out if my 2005 has the same feature - a brilliant idea by the way, for anyone driving around Europe, if only it was easier to switch over.
In driving, the lack of torque in the B5.5 is very noticeable, very often stalling where the older car will comfortably pull away from rest in second or third - maybe a flywheel difference? Also the power steering is lighter on the B5. All in all, the older car is a more relaxing car to drive.
Finally, the B5 has done 238,700 miles all on the original engine/transmission components, whereas the B5.5's dual mass flywheel exploded at 104,200 - not exactly the best engineering "improvement" from VAG - and don't get me started on the later electronic handbrake....
These are the third and fourth B5 or 5.5 s that we have owned, and we had two '98 models (known as Joker in Europe) before that. Every one a 1900 tdi estate; the best by far is the B5.
Misterfish
 

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In the USA all b5 and b5.5 models have armrests. It sounds like your b5.5 might be a lower trim that wasn't shipped stateside.

In the USA I think both b5 and b5.5 manuals have dual mass flywheels. Possibly different over there as the engines you mention weren't available here either. Electronic hand brakes didn't make there unfortunate appearance here until the B6.
 

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My 04 B5.5 GLS (I think) TDI does NOT unlock when ign. is shut off. That would be nice as I already see the bennifiiit to our 8 yr. old grandson who had a hard time figuring out you have to pull the door release handle 2x's to open from locked (as per owners manual). Is that related to an option? I beleive I have all options but the heated seats & steering wheel controls???
This is a VagCom Tweak ... Unlocking of doors when key is removed from ignition
 

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OK...now I assume my 2005 Passat wagon GLX 4motion is the B5.5 as it has all the features you mentioned...is this a sought after model/vehicle?
Here are pics.
View attachment 47786
View attachment 47794
View attachment 47802
View attachment 47810
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Still some confused of the B5 - B5.5 as my 05 seems to fit the options and pics as it has everything
power the markings(external) interior look of things. Can you tell (for sure) from the VIN?
tks.......Larry
 

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Looks like I have a late model 04 passat sedan 1.8t manual 4motion. I thinks it's quite rare but even more because of the signals in the mirror. Thanks for the info.
 

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Well what about my rare beast with happens to be a b5.5 wagon with the 1.8t and 4 motion with a tip shifter I've never seen another nor has anyone else on the passat pages on Facebook any info on that? I read that there were only like 1000 in the us ?
 

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Interesting post. I read thru it all even though I knew I have a B5. ;-)

I had a thought about the use of the silly glove box door "cup depressions". As a German who has lived in the US most of his life I see both points of view.

In Germany, cup holders were seen as a silly addition required for the US market because when you're driving your Passat down the Autobahn with its comparitively narrower lanes with your foot mashing the pedal down as far as it will go, you really shouldn't be taking that last swig of your Fanta with your head craned back to get that final sip (and I don't mean because it's usually mostly backwash either). No, both hands should be on the wheel and full attention should be on the road. Instead of eating & drinking in the car whilst driving, IMHO, Germans are more likely to pull off at one of the frequent rest areas and have a pic-nic with home-made snacks and sandwiches in the car. In this context, the glovebox becomes a small table on which to rest your drink, and perhaps provides some use and possibly some sense.

Whereas, here in the US, things are more relaxed in terms generally wider lanes, long straight roads, slower speeds (compared to those last remnants of the Autobahn where speed limits truly are unlimited, at least) and where our entry level models have for years had cup holders so we can have some place to store our BigGulps and MegaSippers while we drive with our knees so we can enjoy the McBurger we picked up at the drive-through in the left hand with a couple fries from the right hand. In this context both the retractable "can holders" and glove box "pic-nic table" are ludicrously undersized, too flimsy or unstable, possibly dangerous (if one tried to use the open glove box while driving), and generally miserable failures as "cup holders".

Funny enough, when I am in Germany, I find it extremely stressful to be a passenger because it seems they only ever drive and break hard. And when German family and friends visit here in the US, it is no surprise when they get totally annoyed at how long it takes to get anywhere because we drive so slow here (even when we are speeding).

Just my $0.02. ;-)


My favorite addition if it hasn't been mentioned - B5.5 GLX has the auto unlock feature for the doors when ignition key is removed. Improved cup holders a close second. Stupidest thing - cup holder recesses on the inside face of glove box door (maybe on the B5 as well).
 

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Great post I'm a newbie to passats just bought a 2002 vw Passat 1.8T ABT version; wl sound green but what power modifications if any does this model hv?
 

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Great thread, one question how do you tell an early vin from a later vin?
Quick parts search on ecstuning using your profile info (2002 v6 4motion) I find
3B-X-145 413 / 3B-XE173 715 as the split point. Check the last six of your vin and whether that "E" is there. I'm guessing one is sedan, the other is wagon

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 

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Quick parts search on ecstuning using your profile info (2002 v6 4motion) I find
3B-X-145 413 / 3B-XE173 715 as the split point. Check the last six of your vin and whether that "E" is there. I'm guessing one is sedan, the other is wagon

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
Yeah I have a wagon and the E is there so if my last 6 are e147421 would that make me an early vin or later vin? Trying to understand these vins after having been in the subaru world is a bit of a learning curve. Thanks
 
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