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2008 Volkswagen Passat 3.6 4Motion Variant

When it comes to sporty wagons in the mid 2000s, your only options were really Audis and BMWs, right? Well, wrong – because Volkswagen dropped one pretty hot sleeper on our shores before elimination of the Passat wagon from the lineup. Granted, Volkswagen’s hottest entrant into the sport wagon market – the R36 – wouldn’t come here, but the normal 3.6 4Motion was darn close. With 280 horsepower on tap from the enlarged narrow-angle VR6 channeled through all four wheels, the unassuming Passat was the second most powerful wagon offered on these shores from VAG. Unless you spent another 50% to opt for the Audi S4 V8, this was as quick as U.S. bound German wagons got. Unlike the B5/5.5, the B6 chassis returned to the Golf-based platform, which was both a blessing and a curse. From a performance standpoint the change was a good one, as many of the items intended for the R32 model worked on the Passat now. However, the change to transverse engine placement from the inline Audi setup in the B5/5.5 meant that the “true” quattro drivetrain in the earlier 4Motions was replaced by the Haldex setup found in the R32 and Audi TT. Is this the end of the world? No, not really, and in fact because of this change you can opt to alter the power distribution with aftermarket control units. These 3.6 models were expensive and fully loaded, so they’re somewhat infrequently seen and generally unknown and unappreciated even in the German-specific realm:


Year: 2008
Model: Passat 3.6 4Motion Variant
Engine: 3.6 liter narrow-angle V6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 95,022 mi
Price: $11,999 Buy It Now

*2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
*Clean Carfax report
*Clear Blue Texas Title
*3.6L 280HP VR6 Engine
*4 Motion All Wheel Drive
*Dynaudio Premium sound
*Steering Wheel Controls
*Bluetooth Calling
*Xenon Headlamps W/fog lights
*Adaptive Cruise Control
*Just performed a Synthetic Oil Change
*New Pollen/Air Filters
*Heated Seats
*Dual Zone Climate Control
*2 Master Keys
*Power Lift gate
*New Front/Rear Brakes
*Tinted Windows

Please watch my Youtube video for more information–>

This Passat Wagon is rare due to the 3.6L VR6 engine and 4 motion all wheel drive system. This car has every option available at the time and had a $40K+ window sticker. This wagon has the same front and rear brakes as the high performance R32 model. This car drives AWESOME on the freeway. 80+mph cruising speeds are effortless. The car currently needs NOTHING all the maintenance has been performed. I just replaced both of the Xenon headlamps with factory parts ($950) due to the known problem of the swivel motors wearing out. The car has been fully inspected and is ready to go. These are extremely hard to find with these options.

The optional “Interlagos” wheels are some of my favorite on this generation Passat. Generally speaking, I don’t think that the style of the B6 is quite as good looking as the B5.5, but it’s certainly more grown up and sophisticated looking. I think the front works better than the rear angles, which often look a bit haphazardly designed. Color pallet on the 3.6s seems to be limited to gray, silver and black – pretty much what you see with the Audi A4 and BMW 328xi, so no surprise there either. The heavily bolstered seats look good and sitting in the B6 is a much more modern feel than the 90s dash setup of the B5/5.5. Maintenance wise, while there are some documented early maintenance issues from the VR6 and sourcing some parts can be a bit more time consuming, it seems that the BLV FSi motor has generally a better reputation than its Audi cousins and shares no major components with the V6 motors in contemporary VAG products, amazingly. Pricing on this particular example is slightly higher than other asking prices I’ve seen, but it also looks to be in above average condition. For about the same price as some of the high mile Titanium A4 Avants, this is arguably a much better package. Is it more desirable? No, probably not for most – which means it’s currently a great deal on the used car market.



  1. Maxwell Rich
    Maxwell Rich March 2, 2016

    Gorgeous car, this one’s price is right on the line where you ask yourself whether saving a few hundred dollars is worth forgoing an A4 3.2 or A6 3.2 Avant, on the plus side you get more power here, on the minus side you are likely to pay just as much in maintenance without having as premium an interior or true quattro.

    Take $1000-2000 off the price and this seems like a great deal.

  2. Matt Polhamus
    Matt Polhamus March 2, 2016

    Our 3.6 4mo passat wagon has been great in the three years we’ve had it (bought it CPO at 70k miles). Only issues we have had was a faulty steering rack which mysteriously started emitting a terrible scraping noise and was replaced under warrantee, and the high pressure fuel pump (also replaced under warrantee) which was causing an occasional CEL. Compared to the A4 /S4 wagon, the passat is MUCH larger, especially in the rear seat and trunk. We actually replaced our S4 with the passat because the S4 was too small in the back for 2 car seats. We considered the A6 wagon, but it’s down on power and was much more expensive at the time, with basically all the same features interior and tech wise. Great car, really love the power and handles surprisingly well for a bigger car. The sport package includes lowered suspension, the sport seats pictured above and sport steering wheel with paddle shifters. I swapped in a flat bottomed steering wheel from a gti, easy mod. I think the one pictured might be a little over priced for the mileage, but these cars in this configuration are pretty rare and if somebody is searching for one it might be worth it.

  3. Early8q
    Early8q March 2, 2016

    When this car was originally offered I dismissed it because it was a stretch and because it was a transverse arrangement with Haldex. Today that would be different given the options out there. Now I look somewhat longingly at these, when I rarely see them. I also agree that the styling wasn’t easy to digest, but somehow VAG products seem to age quite gracefully to my eye. I like this car. Make it a three pedal and I might be in the market…

  4. Carter
    Carter March 3, 2016

    @ early8q – 6-speed automatic only on these, but I’d be interested to hear what @Matt thinks of the transmission.

  5. Matt Polhamus
    Matt Polhamus March 3, 2016

    It’s definitely not as slick or quick as a DSG / S-tronic, but it’s actually not bad at all. Manual mode works really well (especially with paddles) and I’ve found that shifting a bit before you actually want to alleviates the lag. It’s especially nice to be able to drop a couple gears and get on it on the highway, where this car really shines. The automatic ‘sport’ mode is fairly aggressive, so much so that I rarely use it really. Driving in automatic around town is fine, though 6th gear at 40-45 mph can get annoying- but it’s quick and easy enough to downshift when needed, or pop it into manual to hold a gear, so it’s not really a huge issue. Automatic mode will hold the gear up to redline under hard acceleration, and if you floor it in a high gear there’s a little switch on the floor that causes an automatic downshift. All in all I’m happy with it even after coming from an S-tronic in my S4 (which was great)- hopefully if the trans ever needs repair it wouldn’t be as pricey as a DSG/S-tronic anyway.

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