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.

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.

2008 Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI-DSG Comfortline 2.0 turbo diesel from Netherlands


Best business car with semi automatic built-in chauffeur (ACC)


Very good build quality, so there's not much going wrong.

The only problem was that 1 week after the first maintenance-visit to the dealer, a light came up from the catalyser-system. I went back and they found a fault in a pressure-sensor in the exhaust. This was replaced under guarantee.

The car is extremely reliable and has very long maintenance intervals (30.000 km's). It doesn't use oil, it doesn't eat bulbs, it doesn't eat fuel, and is very economic with an average of 1 liter per 18,5 km's.

General Comments:

This is my company car, and is extremely fit for the task of bringing me to work and customers, in a very economical and comfortable way.

The DSG 6-speed automatic-gearbox is a terrific invention, and works flawlessly and very fast, although I never use the Sport-mode or the flappers on the steering wheel.

The best option is the Adaptive Cruise Control; this system is radar driven and keeps a safe distance to the car in front of you (in any weather) and can brake the car is a sudden stop is needed. It has saved me 1 sure collision by stopping the car when I was distracted and only saw the truck in front of me to late. At that time, the system braked the car in time.

I use this ACC every day, even in the very busy dutch traffic it drives for me for about 70% of the time. I can't live without it any more - for business driving.

The big fuel tank gives the car a big range of 1100 to 1200 km's, the engine is very quiet, seats are fine, stereo is perfect and lots of space (Variant) when needed.

So, the Passat is not pretentious, but there are only a few cars that have a built-in chauffeur driving them most of the way. The engine has a lot of power, and combined with the DSG makes the car very fast. I only use it while accelerating, which is fun, and then it goes on ACC at 130 km/h to prevent me getting tickets and drives the rest of the way while I do phonecalls etc.

BTW, you still have to do the steering yourself, but on the highways that's little work.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2010

13th Nov 2016, 21:30

The ACC is a final line of defence... it is not a substitute for a chauffeur and you should not be relying on it 70% of the time.