Although the 2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon hasn’t been tested for side impact by either the IIHS or NHTSA programs, the Passat sedan has been rated "good" for side impact by the IIHS and earned four- and five-star ratings from NHTSA.
“Most wagons are bought as family vehicles, so buyers pay particular attention to safety items,” MSN Autos notes. “The Passat wagon has standard front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags, along with anti-lock brakes.”
“Standard safety features include antilock brakes with automatic disc wiping to keep brake discs dry and clean in wet conditions, an electronic stability system, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags, and LATCH child-safety seat anchors for each outboard seat,” says Cars.com. “Though the center rear seat — the best place for a child-safety seat — lacked anchors, it was easy to use an anchor from each outboard seat to tightly secure a child-safety seat."
Several reviewers note the optional torso-protecting rear-seat side-impact airbags—a feature that’s not widely available, even on luxury wagons costing much more. “What’s more, the Volkswagen Passat Wagon offers eight airbags, along with active head restraints to help reduce whiplash injuries,” ForbesAutos clarifies.