Ok, a German piece that is hard to beat – the 2008 Volkswagen Passat? Does it get the best gas mileage in its class? No! Does it have the lowest repair history in its class? No! Has your San Francisco National Automotive Examiner gone off his rocker? No! So, what does the Passat have to offer? Let’s connect some of the automotive dots!
As I see it, the 2008 VW Passat is a diamond in the rough. This mid-sized refined car is well-built and it will appeal to driving enthusiasts. But I can hear you asking. Aren’t driver cars from Germany expensive? Yes, but …
The 08 Passat was somewhat expensive as a new car. However, compared to Mercedes, BMW or Audi, this Volkswagen was more affordable at about $28,000.
Over the years, the Passat’s repair history has been somewhat soft. In other words, its Japanese competitors such as Accord and Camry have been more dependable. Furthermore, the Passat has been redesigned for 2011. Combine these two factors (somewhat soft repair history and a new model) and the result is major depreciation of about one-half the price of when the car was new.
So if gas prices are up, another way to skin the cat is to buy a car that gets reasonable fuel economy but save some real money on the car’s used purchase price. And since the 08 Passat is about three years old, it will have factory warranty remaining (basic 4 year 50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper and 5 year 60,000 mile powertrain – engine /transmission).
Another positive for the Passat is that the engine is very much the same as the one in my 86 VW Jetta (less the Passat’s turbo). My Jetta recently achieved over 510,000 miles without an engine rebuild. Therefore, the Passat will run for many miles!
So what are the details of the Passat? It is a mid-size near luxury 4-door sedan that that has sporty handling. The car is solid weighing in at about 3,200 lbs. The doors close with a German thud.
Inside the car is finished in expensive materials and such are crafted with attention to detail. The seats are comfortable and provide reasonable support. The front and rear legroom is adequate for four adults and even a child in the middle at the rear. The rear seats are 40/60 split-folding units. The cargo space is 35.8 cubic feet with the rear seats down and 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space with the seats up.
Interior features include cruise control, cup holders front and rear, front and rear door pockets, front seatback storage, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 12 volt outlets and more.
The 08 Passat is equipped with many other standard features that include interior filtration, air conditioning, a beverage cooler, trunk light, reading lights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, external temperature display, AM/FM in dash CD player with MP3 playback stereo, speed sensitive volume control, and auxiliary MP3 audio input.
The engine is a 2.0-liter double overhead cam four-cylinder turbo providing 200 hp and 207 ft lb. of torque. The transmission is a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic with shift buttons on the steering wheel. The car’s 0-60 time is in 6.9 seconds.
The suspension is MacPherson strut with stabilized bar up front and multilink with stabilizer bar at the rear.
The brakes are four-wheel discs (13.5 inch in the front and 12.0 inch at the rear) with anti lock (ABS). The car’s 60-0 stopping is in 127 feet. The tires are 215 55R 16 inch. Larger tire sizes were optional.
The safety and security features include front and rear head air bags, dual front and side air bags, child seat anchors, emergency braking assist, rear door child safety locks, stability and traction control, electronic brake force distribution, brake drying, tire pressure monitoring and more.
The 08 Passat is rated at 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
Why not just buy a new 2011 VW Jetta for about $17,500? Well, it has a low power 8 valve four-cylinder engine, the rear suspension is a torsion beam set up, and the rear brakes are drums. Thus, for driving pleasure, the 08 Passat will outgun the new Jetta. However, you might want to drive both the 08 Passat and new Jetta to determine which car turns you on the most!
The 2008 Volkswagen Passat. A diamond in the rough as long as you get one in good condition and pay about $12,000 – $14,000. A pre-purchase inspection and test drive by a qualified VW mechanic is recommended before your purchase.
Visit the slideshow to see the 2008 Volkswagen Passat inside and out!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: www.DriveTheBestBook.com. Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.