By KBB.com Editors
The 2008 Volkswagen Passat competes with the top-of-the-line Accord and Camry models, along with such sporty sedans as Nissan's Maxima. Loaded with featuressome unavailable on the competitionand offered in both sedan and wagon forms, the Passat continues to be an affordable way to enjoy true German engineering without breaking the bank. A smooth and powerful turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers excellent fuel economy and V6-like acceleration powers the base model. Those seeking a bit more power can opt for a potent, but pricy, V6. Toss in an interior fit for an Audi, and you have a compelling reason to go VW.
If you appreciate the typical distinctions associated with European sedanstangible and intangibleyou might consider the Passat to be one of the best values on the road.
New trim names are Turbo, Komfort, Lux and VR6. New standard features include a 12-way power driver's seat, manual side sunshades and a leather steering wheel and shift knob. Adaptive bi-xenon headlamps are made standard on the VR6.
Driving Impressions If above all else you're seeking insulation from the realities of the open road, the 2008 Volkswagen Passat might leave you feeling a bit exposedit is neither the smoothest-riding nor...the quietest car in the category. Still, we remained comfortable after hours on the road. We liked the 280-horsepower V6, but were especially impressed by the 200-horsepower 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder that's more responsive than traditional turbocharged engines. We haven't had a chance to drive the six-speed manual, but the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission was very good and especially reactive in its sport mode. As is characteristic of European sedans in general, the Passat behaves with stability and predictability from low to high speeds. Perhaps most significantly, the all-new Passat is wholly successful in being exactly the car it wants to be.
Dynaudio Sound System
The optional 10-speaker sound system by Dynaudio (a well-regarded Danish speaker outfit) is one of the best we've heard.
Offering a stiffer suspension, lower ride height and deep sport seats, the optional sport package makes the Passat even more of a driver's car.
Inside the Passat you'll find a combination of style and refinement unmatched by any of its non-premium competitors. Quality materials and dynamic design combine in a passenger cabin that's at once both relaxing and energetic. Leatherette seating gives even the base model an upscale feel that cloth rarely delivers. Interior trim options include wood, aluminum or composite materials. Neat features include an electronic key and electronic push-button parking brake, plus a cleverly placed umbrella holder and two cooled storage compartments. The optional Dynaudio sound system is excellent. Rear-seats offer generous legroom, and a 60/40 split seatback functionally extends the Passat's already deep but narrow trunk.Exterior
With similarities extending from their tall, V-shaped chrome grilles all the way back to their nearly identical taillights, never before have the Passat and Jetta shared such a strong family resemblanceeven though the larger Passat effectively projects itself as the more sophisticated older brother. The Passat is also bigger than the last-generation car, measuring three inches longer and three inches wider. Wheel options range from 16-inch to 18-inch alloys. The big VW badge placed prominently on the rear doubles as the trunk release.
Even base 2008 Volkswagen Passats feature an impressive list of standard equipment that includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, six-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, single-zone climate control, AM/FM/CD-MP3 sound system, V-Tex (simulated leather) seats, power locks/mirrors/windows (one-touch up/down in front), cruise control, comprehensive trip computer, umbrella holder, 12-way power driver's seat, keyless entry, cooled storage, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, electronic push-button parking brake, tire pressure monitoring system, 16-inch alloy wheels and a hill-hold function that prevents roll-back during hill starts. Standard passive safety equipment includes front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags, plus crash-active headrests and seatbelt pretensioners. Active safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), plus stability and traction controls.
The Passat's list of optional features is almost as impressive (or daunting) as its standard equipment list. Powertrain options include a 3.6-liter V6, six-speed automatic transmission and 4MOTION all-wheel drive. Other trim-level, package and stand-alone options include rear-side airbags, navigation system, power glass sunroof, six-CD changer, Dynaudio sound system, burled-walnut or brushed-aluminum trim, leather seating, multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, foglights, heated wiper nozzles and self-dimming rearview mirror.
We really liked the 2008 Volkswagen Passat's powerful V6 engine, but came away even more impressed by the new four-cylinder turbo that provides plenty of power along with highway fuel economy close to 30 miles per gallon. The 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system operates as a front-wheel-drive unit until extra traction is needed, thereby reducing fuel consumption. The 4MOTION system is available only in combination with the V6, while the manual transmission is available only with the 2.0 turbocharged engine. Zero-to-60 miles per hour times range from 6.2 seconds to 7.4 seconds, according to Volkswagen.
2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100-6000 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (manual), 19/28 (automatic)
280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (2WD, automatic), 16/24 (AWD, automatic)
By Kyle on Saturday, September 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price, power, comfort, build quality"
Cons: "A bit higher cost to maintain."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car has been nothing but joy since I bought it used in 2012. Ive had the car for a little over 2 years and have only had one issue. The Check engine light came on one day but no worries! Took it to the dealer and they fixed it for free under a recall VW had sent out. Nothing else popped up. Compared to my wifes 2011 camry se, this thing takes it on every level. Power, comfort, road noise, even fuel economy. I highly recommend to anyone looking for a great intro luxury car. You will not be disappointed."
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By SeniorFuego on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliability, Build Quality-Deutche..."
Cons: "You wont' ever want to sell it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"With every option but the AWD/4-Motion & Dynaudio I have found this car to be the best VW I've ever owned and I doubt I'll ever let it go. The interior of the car is that of a cc with remarkable quality stittching and amazing comfort and control. This is the first DSG car I've owned and its exteemly responsive when shifted into Sport Mode. Paddle Shifting...WHAAAATT? VR6 Power and often up to 30 MPG when I'm not "DRIVING" it like Andretti. Reliability has been AMAZING...no issues but I do maintain the car well. VW really stood behind everything on the CPO "World Auto" cerrtified program... Most of these were made in the 2.0 Turbo variant but this is the VR6...virtually indestructable and FarvegnuQuick!"
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Dot on Saturday, September 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Very low quality interior. Plastic parts were blistering and headliner fell apart within 2 years despite being parked in a garage. No dealer or factory warranty compensation Have test driven other VWs and I see no change in quality in past 8 years. New car's interiors are falling apart while on the lot. Never again I grew up with VW including buying a 78 bus in 1986 and putting 150k miles in 9 nines before selling it for move than I paid for it."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Bob on Monday, May 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives great, lots of power"
Cons: "goes through tires, value loss"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"It has been a good car, put over 60000 miles on it. We put tires on it every 20000 miles, it wears the tires fast. We have had to have some of the injectors replaced before 90,000 miles. The interior is comfortable but has rattled since 30000 miles and the dealerships couldn't ever replicate the issue. The car did not hold value like we were told that VW's do. This is disappointing."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Big T on Sunday, May 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, hugs road nicely."
Cons: "Expensive to repair"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This car has had several recalls which when fixed by the dealer caused car to burn oil. We add about two quarts of oil every 3000 miles. The interior door panels, especially the grab bars, electric switches, remote mirrors, and door handles are manufactured poorly. The sliding sun-roof drain clogs frequently filling the car with water in the driver's side foot area. The fold-down divider between rear seats - latch is inferior. It's a fun car to drive. Holds the road well. Feels solid and safe. Gas mileage could be better."
7 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Bill on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great to drive, excellent MPG"
Cons: "Repairs are too many/too expensive."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I bought this as a certified used car and it did very well for 2 years. Then the repairs began to pile up."
7 people out of 9 found this review helpful