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2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed

Unicorns. They’re what automotive enthusiasts refer to as the cars that just can’t be found easily; they’re out there, people know they exist, but they just don’t come up for sale very often. Such is the case with today’s 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed; a car which very infrequently turns up for sale because of how devoted the owners of similar models are and how few were imported. While we see W8 6-speed sedans on an infrequent but semi-regular basis the wagons are just very hard to come by. How rare are they? W8s are pretty rare to see in any event, with only around 5,000 imported to the U.S.; but in the case of the 6-speed Variant, less that 100 were imported here – a reported 56 in 2003, and 42 in 2004. A decade on, figure a few of those have disappeared in crashes or other untimely deaths and you have yourself a very rare car, indeed:

Year: 2003
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 95,000 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed on eBay





275 HP -275 FT LBS







Spark plugs

Valve Cover Gaskets and spark plug hole seals

Front and rear temperature sending units and seals

Front vent hose valve cover to valve cover (front of motor)

Double Serpentine belt

Lower radiator hose

External balancer cogged belt and tensioner and all bolts

Water pump (metal impeller)

Front bumper/ motor mount



Both Front Axels

O2 sensors

How rare is this car? According to the handy-dandy Passat configuration spreadsheet this car is one of one in this particular configuration sold in the U.S.. Pacific Blue isn’t the most popular color on these W8s, nor was it when new, but as stated in the case of the W8 6-speed Variant, it’s not as if you have a lot of options to pick from at this time. The car sports the original BBS Madras wheels, though from the looks of the wheels it appears they have been refinished. That’s not hugely surprising given how these wheels often suffer from neglect but the rest of the car seems to be in great shape. There is some recent maintenance outlined for the car which is a plus, and miles are lower for a Passat wagon at 95,000.

Paul recently asked me the question, “Would you buy one of these?”. I have to say, despite the negative press I think I would if the price was right, and for me, the price would have to fall below $8,000 – which isn’t likely for this car. The most recent W8 6-speed with similar miles that sold traded hands for around $12,000, though that was in a more popular silver color. With two days to go on the auction, bidding for this car is in the low $6,000 range with reserve still on. I’d expect that reserve is probably set over $8,000 and likely closer to $10,000 or perhaps above. That may sound like a lot for this car but it really is a pretty reasonable alternative to the S4 Avant which usually brings similar or stronger money. It’s a highly specialized market, but then this is a highly specialized car.



  1. peter
    peter November 28, 2013

    hey, this is a really cool car. i am considering trading in my e63 wagon (i love it but it’s sort of too much money for me…) and getting something a bit more (a lot more) sedate and frugal. i like the idea of a hot wagon a lot. v70r, this an s6 wagon…i don’t know but something that has some power. i would also like to go back to a manual. anybody have any suggestions??

  2. Carter
    Carter November 28, 2013

    You’re probably best off looking at either S4 Avants or perhaps 540i wagons if you want to stay with the Germans, though I personally think the V70R is a pretty good option too. Option two, if you really want cheap and frugal, is to get a TDi wagon and chip it; you can make them pretty quick and still get around 40 mpg for under $15,000 if you look.

  3. cdnpaul
    cdnpaul November 29, 2013

    I’d say V50 T5 AWD w/ 6 speed. Do the Polestar upgrade and you’re in business. Now if I could just find one of these up here.

  4. Larry
    Larry November 29, 2013

    Nice rides, Peter. This W8 wagon would provide reasonable speed, utility and fun, but would be MUCH more sedate than your E63. In real world driving, its not going to be super economical like the TDI wagon Carter mentioned.

    Either the C5 S6 Avant or E39 540iT mentioned would be both comfortable and quick, but perhaps not as much fun (personally, I’m biased toward the Audi interior materials/quality, but upkeep won’t be cheap for either one, and they’re auto only).

    So if you can find a V70R manual, check it out. It won’t feel German, of course, but it gives you a decent combination of speed, fun to drive and semi-reasonable economy.

    BTW, just out of curiosity, how many miles on your E63, and how much are you looking to get for it?

  5. peter
    peter November 29, 2013

    isn’t the internet great? we can talk to anyone, anywhere, any time!
    thanks, guys,
    i went to my office today (not a ton of traffic) and stopped on the way home at a vw dealer to see if there were any passat tdi cars. nope. lots of jetta sport wagons. great mileage and they have a wicked cool panorama roof, too. but, oh, my gosh, the seats SUCK! would need recaros (well maybe the konig seats from the r32 would do) and some serious suspension to even be remotely amusing. i look at the e63 and it’s the car i have wanted since it came out (the only realistic (and it’s not that realistic) that i ever wanted like that was the rs4 avant)…it’s almost like i should get something that has no pretensions of being anything like the e63 just so i won’t be unhappy and saying that this is nowhere near the amg…you’re right about the w8. although it’s cool, it’s just not enough…i think the v70r manuals that i find won’t be either and they all have over 100k miles meaning new suspension requirements and other weird stuff happening.

    what i’d really like to do is get rid of my race car and keep the amg.

    but, if i have to, the e63 is black on black with the dark green wood (i forgot what it’s called) with the third row (my son loves waving bye bye to “fast” cars). it’s got 60k (almost, not quite) and i don’t know what it’s worth. i am not at all eager to get rid of it. i also like that it’s NA and not turbo…


  6. Carter
    Carter November 29, 2013

    You know, I know you mentioned you’d prefer NA cars; BUT…. the solution to most of your problems (desires?) might be a late production Audi Allroad 2.7T 6-speed. They’re hard to come by but can be had for around $10,000 or less in good condition. There are suspension upgrades if you want to keep the height adjustable suspension from the factory, or you can swap in S6 bits and have a steel street fighter. In stock form they’re plenty quick but return mid-20s if you go easy on the highway. You can also tune them to produce pretty insane power levels. As Larry mentioned, they’re not cheap to keep or maintain, but they’re solid cars. Another option for a bit more money would be the A4 3.2 6-speed Avant; I recently wrote one up and they offer great performance, a solid platform and lots of fun with a great NA motor. Just a few more suggestions!

  7. peter
    peter November 29, 2013

    i certainly shall check out that! the allroad. i like the size of it compared to the a4. i do like a4s but i also like going to home depot and piling in 10ft long 4″ pvc pipe (which just barely fits into the e63). i doubt the a6 is that big, either but, hey, maybe i shall have to eat it, huh? i did a quick check and didn’t find any allroads with that motor and manual. i’ll keep looking.

    hey, thanks a lot you guys!

  8. peter
    peter November 29, 2013

    i posted (or attempted to!) an edit to my above comment. i found one in weymouth (not at all far from me) with 137k miles. it looks nice.

    what goes wrong with these things?? i imagine with those miles, it needs a clutch at least. and for that money, i could put a wicked suspension in it and some real wheels (i don’t need the airlift bit, although it could be useful in winter…ah, i’ll take the train!) and then worry about the motor. i read that the turbos are underfed with oil and are a common failure point…also the h20 pump. anything else?

    BTW, how are the brakes? (also, i like NA cars; but my race car is ALL boost and my previous cars three cars were subie STIs and a wrx so i am not a forced induction hater or anything!) the AMG was great brakes (it has great everything, except mileage) this may be the car…i could beat on it and not care and when i actually have some money…well, i can dream again, yeah??

  9. Carter
    Carter November 30, 2013

    Peter, my parents owned a 2001 Allroad 2.7T 6-speed for many years and I got to track one when new at Watkins Glen International. The brakes are great for normal use; they’re basically the same as the S4. At Watkins Glen, the car started to run out of brake after 6 or 7 hot laps, but then so do the S4s, so no surprise there. There are also many Porsche brake upgrades available for the Audis fairly inexpensively, and are a popular option.

  10. peter
    peter December 1, 2013

    yes, i am. thanks, this is great!

  11. peter
    peter December 1, 2013

    Carter, thanks! I just wrote the guy. In your experience, where’s the best place to sell a car, anyway? I wonder if ebay’s so good. autotrader? forums?

    thanks for searching for me. his buy it now price is low, is it not??


  12. Cars for sale
    Cars for sale December 2, 2013

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool.

  13. Carter
    Carter December 2, 2013

    Peter, as my wife and I like to joke, “It isn’t what it isn’t”. You can’t see the cars so you’re beholden to the description and photos. The car I sent certainly looks good but the description says there was an accident at 94K, which doesn’t makes sense since the mileage is reported to be 90K. Unless they can tell the future….It’s one of the cleaner Allroads I’ve seen recently and I think if you’re serious about them, you’ll want the lowest mile example that is the best maintained that you can get. We have seen several folks on Ebay purchase cars by reaching out to the enthusiast community to do a pre-purchase inspection; if you’re interested, engage the and A6/allroad fora to see if someone is local to the car and can go check it out. Big dollar items on the Allroad are really the suspension pieces; between the compressor and airbags, it’s several thousand dollars worth of repairs if it’s non-functional. The car is shown in medium-height setting, indicating it probably works, but again, you’ll probably want to price out Arnot suspension replacement (lifetime warranty) and calculate that into your early ownership unless the car sports recent replacements. The transmission is pretty bullet-proof, the clutch should be fine until/if you turn up the boost, the turbos are usually good until much higher mileage. The car has some trick features which can malfunction such as self-leveling Xenon lights, so make sure that’s all in order, too. Otherwise….

  14. Carter
    Carter December 2, 2013

    Sorry, one more thing – there are private sellers that offer Allroads or are Allroad specialists; there is one in particular on named “Bruce M.” who generally sells only very high quality examples that are sorted; however, there you’re stuck with whatever he finds and fixes, and he usually commands a premium for the service.

    Here’s a link to one of his MB sales.

    He deals with Mercedes-Benz models often too, so you could probably engage him on valuation on the E63 – or if the timing is right, you might be able to arrange a trade (plus, obviously, a lot of cash on his end!)

    Hope this helps,

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