2008 Volkswagen Passat vs. Its Competition

2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 4-door Auto VR6 4Motion Front Exterior View
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

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
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2009 Subaru Outback 3.0R Ltd2009 Subaru Outback
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2008 Volvo V50 2.4L2008 Volvo V50
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Quick Specs
7.8
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.
7.2
The 2009 Subaru Legacy Outback boasts more toughness than most wagons and is a good, practical alternative to tall, ungainly SUVs.
8.2
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  
$23,990$22,295$26,815
Gas Mileage  
16 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Engine  
Turbocharged gas I4Gas 4-CylGas I5
EPA Class  
Mid-SizeMid-Size Station WagonSmall Station Wagon
Style Name  
4-Door Manual Turbo FWD4-Door H4 Manual4-Door Wagon 2.4L FWD
Drivetrain  
Front Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity  
555
Passenger Doors  
N/AN/AN/A
Body Style  
4 Door Wgn4 Door Wagon5 Door Wagon
Transmission  
Manual w/ODManualAutomatic,
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2008 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2009 Subaru Outback2008 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2008 Volvo V50