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.You'll Like This Car If...
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.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 It 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.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.
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.