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2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon vs. Its Competition

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Our expert editors build comparisons like this one to make it easy for you to understand the small handful of cars you should compare to whatever car you are already looking at. You get general thoughts on each car you should consider plus an easy way to compare basic information for yourself.
2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 4-door Auto VR6 4Motion Front Exterior View
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Compared to most compact and mid-size crossover sport-utility vehicles, the 2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon has a better ride, a quieter interior, and superior fuel economy.

And although handling isn’t a strong suit for the Passat Wagon, it’s more responsive as well.

The closest competitor to the Passat Wagon is the Subaru Outback, which comes with standard all-wheel drive, whereas VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is only included on the top VR6 model of the Passat Wagon.

The Passat Wagon does have a better ride and more spacious backseat than the Outback, and its standard 2.0T engine is more powerful than the Outback’s 2.5-liter.

Other alternatives include the Saab 9-3 Sport Combi, which also has good versatility and zippy performance, and the Volvo V50, which has responsive handling but a somewhat noisier interior.

The V50 has an attractive interior design, while the 9-3 looks quite plain next to the Passat.

Both Swedish models are pricier than the Passat Wagon, which appears to be an especially strong deal for the base four-cylinder models.

2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 4-door Auto VR6 4Motion Front Exterior View2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon2009 Saab 9-3 XWD2009 Saab 9-32009 Subaru Outback 3.0R Ltd2009 Subaru Outback2008 Volvo V50 2.4L2008 Volvo V50
Quick Specs
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TCC Rating
With its especially roomy, versatile, and quiet interior and especially powerful and refined powertrains, the 2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon is a great family alternative to an SUV.
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TCC Rating
Despite rather conservative styling, the 2009 Saab 9-3 is one of the boldest performers in its class.
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TCC Rating
The 2009 Subaru Legacy Outback boasts more toughness than most wagons and is a good, practical alternative to tall, ungainly SUVs.
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The 2008 Volvo V50 has the efficiency and compactness of a small car with the available safety features and poise of a larger sport wagon.
MSRP From   
$25,200Browse Used Listings$30,360Browse Used Listings$22,295Browse Used Listings$26,815Browse Used Listings
Gas Mileage   
16 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Turbocharged gas I4Turbocharged I4Gas 4-CylGas I5
EPA Class   
Mid-SizeCompactMid-Size Station WagonSmall Station Wagon
Style Name   
4-Door Manual Turbo FWD4-Door Sedan 2.0T Touring4-Door H4 Manual4-Door Wagon 2.4L FWD
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
Passenger Doors   
Body Style   
4 Door Wgn4 Door Sedan4 Door Wagon5 Door Wagon
Manual w/ODManualManualAutomatic,
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