2008 Volkswagen Passat Highline 2.0 TDI turbo diesel from South Africa


Use to love VW, but not any more


Turbo needed to be replaced at 160 000 km as it started to make a whining sound and at around a speed of 100 Km/hr the car went into limp mode.

The intercooler got flooded with oil and it took a few days for the workshop to get it cleaned, including the replacement of the turbo.

The fuel pump started making a noticeable sound at around 161 000 km and the car could no longer start as it completely failed.

The air conditioning does not cool that well (since the time of purchase), but the workshop says all is in order.

General Comments:


Excellent for both front and rear passengers

Heated leather seats (front).

Dual climate control.

Sun roof.

6x disc CD changer.

Rear window blind.

Power steering.

Auto lights and widescreen wipers.

Fuel consumption is very good with a range of approximately 1000 km on a full tank of diesel.

Good safety features: 8 airbags, ESP, ABS, fog lights, x2 isofix points rear seats, full size spare wheel, auto locking doors.

Cargo space is very generous.

Manual gearbox is best.

The car has good torque and cruises comfortably up hills in 6th gear.

Maintenance or repair is very costly.

With age it appears that reliability issues are more frequent.

In general the vehicle is a bargain to purchase and the entire package is often overlooked by many car buyers. Perhaps the car is good from new up till 6 years of age, after which problems will start to appear.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th November, 2016

13th Nov 2016, 21:45

"With age it appears that reliability issues are more frequent."

You could say that about any car.

Other than that, fair review, I agree with you on the most part, VW were good back in the day, maybe not so good now, but 6 years plus old is when most cars start to have some wear and tear.

6th Dec 2016, 23:42

I agree, most cars these days just don't seem to last that long. As soon as the motor-plan/guarantee is over, all sort of niggles appear.

23rd Apr 2017, 08:54

It has been around 1700 km since I replaced the turbo at the VW workshop and the turbo has blown again. I dislike VW big time. Not again VW and especially turbo diesel. Now got to get it fixed again and get rid of this car.

2008 Volkswagen Passat R36 V6 Naturally Aspirated from Australia and New Zealand


Love the power and sound!


DSG Mechatronic unit.

General Comments:

I wanted a performance sedan that was exciting to drive, could fit the kids, didn't look too lairy, and would not be too expensive to maintain.

I was considering a BMW E39 M5, Audi S4 or the VW R36. Although the R36 is the least powerful and slowest of the three, 300hp and 0-100km in 5.6 seconds is still respectable. I went for the R36 as I use the car for work, and drive it everyday.

I love driving the car, the raw power, acceleration and the exhaust note, wunderbar!

My only criticism is the ride is very firm, and you feel the bumps on rough roads.

When I first bought the car, I Was not happy with the way the DSG gearbox worked when the car was stationary with foot on the brake and then accelerated away. I took it to the dealer, and they tried reprogramming the mechatronic unit, which did not work. They replaced it 2 weeks later; lucky it was covered by new car warranty. The dealer was quite good to deal with.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2010

25th Jan 2012, 14:33

I was reading the other Passat comments, many saying poor quality; I can't believe it. My car has been faultless since the DSG was fixed, I am more inclined to say very good quality.

19th Sep 2013, 07:48

The R36 is still going exceptionally well, no problems. Had to replace the discs all around; quite costly.