Reviewers generally laud the 2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon’s plush interior appointments, its seating space, and its ride, with the only consistent criticism being a little too much road noise inside the cabin.
Nearly all the reviews that TheCarConnection.com surveyed mentions the Passat Wagon’s luxurious feel inside. Cars.com says, “Volkswagen’s attention to detail and high-quality materials give the cabin a rich feel,” and Edmunds calls the interior “beautifully screwed together and richly appointed.” Kelley Blue Book notes, “Interior trim options include wood, aluminum or composite, and standard leatherette seating gives even the base model an upscale feel.”
With the help of the telescoping steering wheel, MyRide.com has no trouble finding a comfortable driving position, and notes, “The bucket seats are well padded but firm enough to be supportive, with a lower section that’s plenty long for thigh support but a little light on bolsters (the seatback bolsters are more substantial).” The reviewer claims that the lack of side bolstering is only bothersome in enthusiastic driving.
Edmunds echoes the lack of seat support, along with “cupholders with little hold, and the misplacement of the push-button parking brake. Instead of down by the shifter where it belongs, VW put it way over left of the headlight switch.” MyRide.com focuses on the backseat, saying, “If there’s a negative, it’s the low position of the bench seat, requiring you to fall into it rather than slide on,” but Cars.com notes that the higher roofline of the wagon actually brought more headroom for backseat occupants, in contrast to the sedan.
Cars.com is happy with the feel of the interior, aside from a door-panel seam and flimsy-feeling rearview mirror, declaring, “fit and finish levels are high and panel gaps are tight.” MSN Autos notes the rear cup holders “that extend from the center armrest feel flimsy.”
Many reviewers make some mention of the road noise or rattles inside the Wagon. Edmunds says that while the ride is “well damped and appropriately cushy,” road noise is abundant, especially on L.A. freeways. Kelley Blue Book also observes that “while the Passat Wagon very accurately mimics a premium vehicle on many levels, it often isn’t quite as quiet or smooth,” and Cars.com says, “The wagon’s body structure doesn’t feel as solid as the sedan’s when driving over rough pavement, and both the sedan and wagon I tested were afflicted with a number of interior rattles.”
Car and Driver also encounters road noise, but says that the four-cylinder model is actually quieter and smoother inside. “The 16-inch Michelins telegraphed less road noise than the 17s on the V-6 sedan, and our wagon’s ride proved more compliant, too.”
Cars.com also points out that despite a high overall level of powertrain refinement, “the V-6’s idle is rougher and noisier than expected.” However, the Passat Wagon is a great long-distance cruiser, the reviewer surmises: “It’s the kind of car you can step out of after driving for half a day and not feel worn out.”
Wagons are typically noisier inside than their sedan counterparts, note TheCarConnection.com’s editors, and the Passat Wagon is no exception. TheCarConnection.com heard some road noise but was extremely impressed with the smoothness of the powertrain and the plushness of the interior materials and surfaces.