2008 Volkswagen Passat

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2008 Volkswagen Passat Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Volkswagen Passat was new.

The 2008 VW Passat delivers excellent safety features, sporty performance and an upscale interior for its class, but spotty reliability history is a concern, as is its high pricetag.

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.9
Safety: 8.6
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • A fun sedan to drive within its class
  • Comfortable, user-friendly interior
  • Excellent safety features paired with stellar scores in crash tests
  • A high price among competitors
  • Disruptive noise levels from suspension system

2008 Volkswagen Passat Overview

Most describe the 2008 Volkswagen Passat as a competent road performer with excellent safety features, a streamlined exterior and upscale interior styling. But although reviewers say this combination is good, the Passat falls short of the mark set by the likes of Honda, Toyota or Nissan. Several writers say the car's low points include a less-than-refined highway experience, and lofty pricing, especially among the higher trims. Still, reviewers uphold the Passat is a nice alternative to the traditional segment leaders -- "maybe not better in every way than the competition," Newsday writes, "but better than before and worth a look."

The Volkswagen Passat has four main trims, given new names for 2008: The base Turbo model, the Komfort trim, followed by the Lux and the VR6. The Passat also comes in a four-wheel drive model, the VR6 Motion ®. If you're interested in an affordable family sedan, consider the Honda Accord.

  • "This is a mature, fully textured driver's car, appealing on every level." -- Motor Trend
  • "The Volkswagen Passat is a sophisticated car with a high-quality cabin. It's roomy and comfortable. … The ride is smooth and comfortable and the chassis is well controlled at high speed." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Powered by the base 2.0-liter turbo four, the Passat is a fine family sedan, offering a sophisticated interior and European road feel. … The Passat 3.6 offers personality not found in the Camry and Accord, but considering the price point, a value-per-dollar assessment does it no favors." -- Car and Driver
  • "Back when the American automakers focused mainly on muscle, and Japanese cars were proficient but boring, VW found a great niche as the maker of affordable European funmobiles. But Japanese cars like the Nissan Altima and the Honda Accord aren't so boring anymore, and domestics like the Ford Fusion are a lot crisper than their bloated predecessor. VW's niche is getting tighter." -- U.S. News
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