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2008 Volkswagen Passat

Overview
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2008 Volkswagen Passat Review

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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 features—some unavailable on the competition—and 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.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you appreciate the typical distinctions associated with European sedans—tangible and intangible—you might consider the Passat to be one of the best values on the road.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's Significant About This Car?

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 the Passat

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 exposed—it 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.
Favorite Features

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.

Sport Package
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.

2008 Volkswagen Passat Details
2008 Volkswagen Passat photo Interior

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 resemblance—even 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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)

3.6-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (2WD, automatic), 16/24 (AWD, automatic)

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2008 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 488 Ratings for the 2006 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.0/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Looks and Drives Like New

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"2008 Volkswagen Passat Komfort 2.0L--IMMACULATE—BLACK PLEATHER INTERIOR---HEATED SEATS--POWER OPTIONS—Premium Sound System—sunroof—automatic and manual shift --Vehicle History Report—New Car Rust Protection (Ziebart)—74,000 miles --LOOKS AND DRIVES LIKE NEW--A MUST SEE TO APPRECIATE"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love this vehicle, it is very powerful.

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Price, Fun to Drive, Powerful Engine, comfor"

Cons: "Pricey to repair.. Keep up preventive maint."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This car ride is smooth and comfortable, inside as well as the outside is stylish, nice cock pit - fully loaded. The only thing I regret is the expense involved with repairs. My suggestion is buy extended warranty make sure everything is covered. The prior owner covered up a vacuum leak that cost me about $700. to repair. Other than that I am very satisfied with this purchase, In fact back in 2006, this car priced in the mid to upper 30Ks. I would not have been able to afford it. But even now in 2014 this is a beautiful looking and performing machine."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Very snappy and comfortable car.

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, has very good acceleration."

Cons: "None except burning oil which is supposedly normal"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Had a 2001 prior to this (1.8 liter turbo, manual) but the '08 with 2.0 turbo, automatic is much faster. I'm 6' 3" and there is plenty of leg and head room. Handles very well. Gas mileage could be better, especially in suburban traffic (23-25 mpg)and have never seen better than 32 mpg on highway (I do drive 10 over the limit which contributes to lower mpg). This is a typical German car requiring maintenance. Had a shreaded cam follower and needed new intake cam and high pressure pump. Thankfully, covered under warranty. Also, check oil often, it does burn about 2 quarts every 3,000 miles."

Very snappy and comfortable car.

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, has very good acceleration."

Cons: "None except burning oil which is supposedly normal"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Had a 2001 prior to this (1.8 liter turbo, manual) but the '08 with 2.0 turbo, automatic is much faster. I'm 6' 3" and there is plenty of leg and head room. Handles very well. Gas mileage could be better, especially in suburban traffic (23-25 mpg)and have never seen better than 32 mpg on highway (I do drive 10 over the limit which contributes to lower mpg). This is a typical German car requiring maintenance. Had a shreaded cam follower and needed new intake cam and high pressure pump. Thankfully, covered under warranty. Also, check oil often, it does burn about 2 quarts every 3,000 miles."

Very snappy and comfortable car.

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, has very good acceleration."

Cons: "None except burning oil which is supposedly normal"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Had a 2001 prior to this (1.8 liter turbo, manual) but the '08 with 2.0 turbo, automatic is much faster. I'm 6' 3" and there is plenty of leg and head room. Handles very well. Gas mileage could be better, especially in suburban traffic (23-25 mpg)and have never seen better than 32 mpg on highway (I do drive 10 over the limit which contributes to lower mpg). This is a typical German car requiring maintenance. Had a shreaded cam follower and needed new intake cam and high pressure pump. Thankfully, covered under warranty. Also, check oil often, it does burn about 2 quarts every 3,000 miles."

Very snappy and comfortable car.

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, has very good acceleration."

Cons: "None except burning oil which is supposedly normal"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Had a 2001 prior to this (1.8 liter turbo, manual) but the '08 with 2.0 turbo, automatic is much faster. I'm 6' 3" and there is plenty of leg and head room. Handles very well. Gas mileage could be better, especially in suburban traffic (23-25 mpg)and have never seen better than 32 mpg on highway (I do drive 10 over the limit which contributes to lower mpg). This is a typical German car requiring maintenance. Had a shreaded cam follower and needed new intake cam and high pressure pump. Thankfully, covered under warranty. Also, check oil often, it does burn about 2 quarts every 3,000 miles."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?