2008 Volkswagen Passat Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Volkswagen Passat

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Volkswagen Passat Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Volkswagen Passat

  • With their European road manners and beautifully furnished cabins, the 2008 Volkswagen Passat sedan and wagon rank among our editors' favorites. However, budget-minded shoppers will find the midsize VW tough to justify over less expensive Japanese-brand rivals.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Ample power with either engine, balanced ride and handling, spacious seating for all, elegant cabin with exemplary fit and finish, available all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Prohibitively expensive with the V6 engine, options-laden four-cylinder models are pricey, too, excessive road noise with 17- or 18-inch wheels, poor fuel economy on 4Motion models.

  • What's New for 2008

    Volkswagen shuffles equipment around, creating Turbo, Komfort (Ja, that's with a "K"), Lux and VR6 trim levels for the 2008 Volkswagen Passat line. Rear side sunshades are now standard on all Passats, as is a power driver seat. Formerly known as the 3.6L, the Passat VR6 gains adaptive bi-xenon headlights as standard equipment. In addition, the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is now standard on VR6 wagons.

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Nice sedan but burns too

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Passat Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I've owned my passat for over 2 years know and use it daily for my commute to and from work. Overall I am happy with the car. it's a four cylinder with a manual tranny. The car has had no real issues except that it burns too much oil between oil changes. Approximately 1 quart for every 1,500 miles depending on driving habits. If you drive over 70mph expect to burn even more oil. Don't forget this car runs on synthetic oil where an avg. oil change costs about $85.00 or $8:00 per quart. Adding all this up, an oil change with the additional oil needed to add between oil changes can cost more than $100.00. There is probably something wrong with the design of this turbo charger on this engine.

2008 vw passat turbo sedan

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Passat Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Its been 18 months that I purchased this beauty and I am still as excited about it when I bought it. I was a bit skeptical about VW's reliability so it took me a while to post this review. I am extremely glad I made a great choice. Was tempted to buy Acura TSX but the looks, standard features (luxury options in other cars), roominess sold me completely. I couldn't believe that I have the base trim that comes with most of the luxury features you would like in your car. Not to mention the compliments you get.. You should definitely put Passat on top of your list if you want to have spirited and fun driving and euro handling.

Camry? why?

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Passat Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I've always loved Passats, and owned 2 1993 VR6/GLX, a wagon for my wife and a sedan for me. I went to my dealer to check out the GTI 5-door (I've been saying for years they needed one), but ended up driving off in this black beauty. Same engine/trans as the GTI make it nearly as fun to drive, but I got a proper grown-up car with a huge back seat for $5K less! I used to sell Toyotas, and there is no contest between this and a Camry (except, perhaps, in the long-term cost of ownership -- but with a 3 yr lease, who cares?) Hands down, the Passat hammers the stuffing out of the Camry! This car is simply WAY more: comfortable, feature-rich, fun to drive, fuel efficient and attractive.

Awesome turbo ride

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Passat Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I moved up from a Jetta, which I loved, to a Passat. My initial reason was for comfort; the Passat seats are by far the most comfortable I have tried. But beyond the comfort I also discovered an incredible driving experience. The 4 cylinder turbo is so smooth and when you need the power, it is definitely there! You would never know it was only 4 cylinders. As I noted with my Jetta, the basics that come with a VW far surpass most other vehicles. It is definitely worth the money. I have the 6 speed manual which makes the ride even more fun and the mpg is good too! We have been getting up to 34 mpg highway and average 25-27 in the city. I have over 3,000 miles - not one glitch. Love it!

What a deal.

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Passat Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Wonderfully performing car for the size. Took car for a day trip on winding state highways and the car was excellent, power and handling are superb. After driving many higher priced, less optioned cars, the VW was a no-brainer, just hope past reliability issues are non-existent. It is too bad VW is discontinuing the manual tranny after the '08 model, this might be the best manual tranny VW has produced. Gas mileage has been great so far, between 28-30 mpg for combined driving.

An enthusiast is hooked

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen Passat Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Traded my '06 Touareg V8 for an '08 Passat Turbo 6-speed...and I couldn't be happier. I have never seen such a well-executed car at this price point (~25k). Standard feature level, build quality, interior materials, driving dynamics and character all add up to one fantastic machine. Yes, even the V- Tex upholstery feels like real leather. I'm averaging 29mpg, mostly highway, with less than 100 miles on the car. The engine pulls willingly in any gear with little to no turbo lag. The car features an electronic parking brake, push-button start and disc brake wiping- all normally found on much more expensive vehicles. I would challenge anyone to find a better car out there for the money.


Full 2008 Volkswagen Passat Review

What's New for 2008

Volkswagen shuffles equipment around, creating Turbo, Komfort (Ja, that's with a "K"), Lux and VR6 trim levels for the 2008 Volkswagen Passat line. Rear side sunshades are now standard on all Passats, as is a power driver seat. Formerly known as the 3.6L, the Passat VR6 gains adaptive bi-xenon headlights as standard equipment. In addition, the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is now standard on VR6 wagons.


Our editors' love affair with the Volkswagen Passat dates back a decade. Following a seminal redesign in 1998, this midsize sedan and wagon duo became the ones to beat in the family car class -- if not in annual sales, then in out-and-out desirability. It wasn't just that the Passat looked different from mainstream Japanese- and domestic-brand competitors, or that its cabin was trimmed to luxury-car standards. It was the way this VW drove. Its crisp steering and solid road manners gave it a level of character rarely seen in this practicality-driven vehicle class. If the Passat had a weakness, it was its slightly too snug interior, and Volkswagen addressed this in a 2006 makeover during which the car grew 3 inches wider. Although today's VW Passat lacks the tidy geometric proportions of the late '90s car, it has as much real-world passenger room as most rivals and retains a unique personality.

Prices have edged up steadily with the midsize VW's rise in popularity, though, and many shoppers will be surprised to find that a V6-equipped 2008 Volkswagen Passat starts out around $36,000. Fortunately, the base four-cylinder engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter good for 200 horsepower, provides perfectly acceptable performance and much better gas mileage. Although Volkswagen has reformulated the trim levels for 2008 (adding cute identifiers like "Komfort" and "Lux"), the base model (now called "Turbo") remains the best value and offers all the equipment most families will need. In addition, enthusiast types should note that only the base-trim VW Passat is eligible for a manual gearbox. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system remains an option for buyers needing winter-weather capability, but given the near-$40K price of admission, you'd be wise to investigate the alternatives, including the VW group's own Audi A4 Quattro, along with any number of crossover SUVs, before committing.

As much as we like the current Volkswagen Passat, from its meticulously crafted cabin to its engaging dynamics, this car is the high-end option in a vehicle class patronized by consumers who worry about mortgage payments and preschool tuition. For those running on tighter budgets, the Honda Accord (redesigned for 2008), Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry will undoubtedly seem like better values. You can equip all of them with powerful and relatively fuel-efficient V6 engines for about what you'd spend on a comparably equipped four-cylinder Passat sedan. The competition isn't as heated among wagons, but the Dodge Magnum, Subaru Outback and redesigned Volvo XC70 are all worth checking out as lower-cost alternatives. All that said, we have no doubt that many consumers will determine that the 2008 Volkswagen Passat, thanks to its elegant and smart design, continues to be a very desirable choice for a family sedan or wagon.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize car available as a sedan or wagon. Both body styles come in Turbo, Komfort, Lux and VR6 trim levels. Passat VR6 sedans can be purchased in front-wheel-drive or 4Motion all-wheel-drive configuration; 4Motion is standard on the VR6 wagon.

The base Turbo model starts you out with 16-inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, a power driver seat, a telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, a CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, cruise control, full power accessories, heated outside mirrors, a trip computer and rear-seat sunshades. Step up to the Passat Komfort and you'll get 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, an in-dash CD changer, satellite radio, upgraded interior lighting and double-blade front sun visors. The Lux adds automatic headlights, leather upholstery, a power front-passenger seat, driver-seat memory, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and front and rear parking sensors. The high-line Passat VR6 adds 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, sport seats and an upgraded Dynaudio sound system.

Base Turbo models are very limited in terms of options, but you can get heated front seats and iPod integration. A navigation system and an underbody kit are available on other Passats. The Dynaudio system is optional on Komfort and Lux versions, while adaptive cruise control is an exclusive extra on the VR6.

Powertrains and Performance

All Turbo, Komfort and Lux models come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine rated for 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. Base Turbo models can be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. The automatic is standard on the Komfort and Lux. All 2008 Volkswagen Passat VR6 models are fitted with a 3.6-liter V6 good for 280 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque that's also coupled to a six-speed automatic. Even the 2.0-liter turbo with the automatic is a quick combination: We clocked a Passat sedan at 7.7 seconds to 60 mph. Front-wheel-drive VR6 models better that time by about a second.

Fuel economy ranges from very good with the turbo four-cylinder (21 mpg city/29 mpg highway with a manual, 19/29 with an automatic) to dismal on the Passat VR6 4Motion (16 city/24 highway). Rated at 17/26, the front-drive VR6 model ranks about average for a V6-equipped sedan.


All Passats come very well equipped with safety features. Antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, anti-whiplash front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags are all standard. Optional for all trims are rear-seat side airbags. In National Highway Transportation Safety Administration crash tests, the 2008 Volkswagen Passat earned four (out of five) stars for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions. Side-impact tests resulted in five stars for front passengers and four for those in the rear. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety scores the Passat as "Good" (the best rating possible) in its frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Every Passat presents a comfortable and upscale cabin. Fit and finish is superb and there's a feeling of precision to all the controls. Starting the car is a bit unusual but easier than the normal stick-the-key-in-and-twist drill. One simply inserts the "key" into an easily seen/accessed slot on the dash and pushes it to start the car. Trunk capacity stands at 14.2 cubic feet, which is about average for this class. The wagon has 35.8 cubic feet of cargo room with the second-row seats up.

Driving Impressions

An impressively rigid structure provides sportier handling than previous Passat generations. Although the chassis is still tuned more for comfort than attacking apexes, body roll is kept in check and the steering is responsive yet light, without feeling overboosted. Factor in the powerful engines and the Passat makes for one of the most entertaining rides in the midsize segment. The only significant negative we've found in road tests is excessive road noise on models with the larger wheels and tires.


Talk About The 2008 Passat

2008 Volkswagen Passat Discussions See all Started By

I need a trailer hitch on my 2008 Passat 4 motion wagon, but it appears none are available in the US. There are Canadian vendors and then European ones. Ordering from either one brings custom issues. ...


can somebody tell me what is a fair price for a new passat 2008 turbo(cheapest model).i would like to buy one and im not familiar with usa prices..im european by the way .i live in sarasota.thank you ...

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