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.
If its driving dynamics or design distinctions don't make an impression on you, there's little reason to choose the Passat over benchmarks like the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, which both feature base models priced below $20,000.
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 Betsy (NJ) on Monday, June 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, performance, brakes don't get wet"
Cons: "tires wear out faster than they should"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my 2010 Passat. The turbo performs so well.The heated leather seats, the Blue Tooth -I couldn't do without The gas mileage is much better than the larger newer model. Brakes stay dry after going through deep puddles.I decided to buy the 2010 instead of getting a new one because of its performance."
By Interloper (WI) on Monday, May 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 182,900overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good price, avg mpg of 28. Sport mode is fun"
Cons: "Electronics issues, vinyl radio finsih flaking off"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Bought the 2006 Passt 2.0T new and at first was very happy with it. Two things I noticed after owning it for a couple years. Has a very firm suspension which was not good for comfort on long road trips. I averaged 40,000 miles a year for the first 4 years I owned it. The electronics issues that VW is notorius for continue to plague the brand. Had problems with car not starting or stalling. VW reimbursed a year after $1,600 repair. Looked at the new Passat and the designers took away my favorite button, "Auto Brake," so I don't have to keep my foot on the brake during stop lights. The lines on the new one are too horizontal and the car looks placid instead of reserved aggressiveness. The clock in the center console looks cheap. No cool tech upgrades for the dials. Just put Momo wheels on mine and it looks very stylish for a 7 year old car. Now I just need VW to pay for replacing the radio with the stupid vinyl finish. Will continue to drive the Passat, but when the salesman's response to the laundry list of problems was, "yeah, that's the adventure in owning a VW," doesn't give me a lot of confidence to buy another one."
By Art (FL) on Friday, May 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Enjoyable car is very sporty to drive"
Cons: "DSG transmission requires fluid change every 40000"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought for extra capacity of a wagon --- has fulfilled most needs. Easy on gas 25mi per gal average. The turbo four is very adequate both in town and highway driving. Unfortunately this Passat wagon was discontinued."
By momchick (PA) on Thursday, March 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my car! Sharp, smart and great value! Need better sound, MP3 but otherwise no better car for the value. We are a tall family and all four of us fit comfortably. Colonial VW takes excellent care of us! Highly recommend this- my daughter will inherit my car."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By viper202 (OH) on Monday, December 24, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,754overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Have hd this car since it had 75890 miles on it and it has never failed to peform this car is great runs strong has plen of power even wen i had a blo out at 75 mph car handle like it was still runin on all 4 tires this car is amazing would love to see them make this car again thanks vw"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By vwblue (CA) on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We just finished our Certified Pre-Owned time period and the transfer case is broken -- $4K repair!! The car only has 60K miles on it. VW will not cover it. Absurd."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful