Double take: Two 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8s

The Volkswagen Passat W8 is revered and reviled for its unique power plant, but I think everyone can agree that it was a neat and unique idea if nothing else. Smooth, powerful enough, comfortable and roomy, these cars are often passed over but make a great alternative to a used Audi Allroad, for example. Volkswagen put some nicer features in the W8 than were found in the normal Passats, but for most buyers it wasn’t enough to set them apart and VW sold many more 1.8T and 2.8s than the 4.0 W8. While future maintenance on higher mileage examples is enough to scare away most owners, today there are two lower-mile cars from the same seller on Ebay. I’ll start with the lower mile Reflex Silver Metallic model, which shows in near-perfect condition:

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Year: 2004
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W-8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 67,509 mi
Price: $11,750 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant on Ebay

Condition: Used: A vehicle is considered used if it has been registered and issued a title. Used vehicles have had at … Read moreabout the condition
VIN: WVWZK63BX4E018631 | See the full History Report

Year: 2004 Vehicle Title: Clear
Make: Volkswagen For Sale By: Dealer
Model: Passat Disability Equipped: No
Trim: W8 Wagon 4-Door Doors: 4
Engine: 4.0L 3998CC 244Cu. In. W8 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated Cab Type: Other
Drive Type: AWD Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
Mileage: 67,509 Body Type: Wagon
Exterior Color: Silver Number of Cylinders: 8
Interior Color: Black Fuel Type: GAS
Transmission: Automatic

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The second W8 on offer from this seller is a Silverstone Grey Metallic edition with grey leather, with more miles and wear showing.

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Year: 2004
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W-8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 98,141 mi
Price: $9,750 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant on Ebay

Condition: Used: A vehicle is considered used if it has been registered and issued a title. Used vehicles have had at … Read moreabout the condition
VIN: WVWZK63B34E118005 | See the full History Report

Year: 2004 Transmission: Automatic
Make: Volkswagen Vehicle Title: Clear
Model: Passat For Sale By: Dealer
Trim: W8 Wagon 4-Door Disability Equipped: No
Engine: 4.0L 3998CC 244Cu. In. W8 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated Doors: 4
Drive Type: AWD Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
Mileage: 98,141 Body Type: Wagon
Sub Model: W8 Number of Cylinders: 8
Exterior Color: Gray Fuel Type: GAS
Interior Color: Gray

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As others have noted with Ebay dealers, it bothers me when dealers ask top dollar for cars but fail to fix pretty simple details. Case in point, the Silverstone car is missing a $11 center cap from one of the wheels. This is something I’d expect from a private owner, but from a dealer asking top dollar it’s a tad bit annoying. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find good condition W8s for sale, but both of these cars appear to be in good shape overall. Many of the cars sporting the BBS made “Madras” wheels have serious lip damage or corrosion, but both cars seem to have clean wheels – and they’re the more desirable of the two stock wheels. I wish you could combine these two cars; I appreciate the condition of the Reflex car (I’ve spent at least 15 hours trying to get my headlights to look like this car) but prefer the lighter leather in the Silverstone car.

Having driven a Passat 1.8T Variant past 200,000 miles myself, I can say that they’re solid cars that are fun to drive and capable machines – so much so, that I bought another when I got the chance. The 4Motion system adds some all-weather stability for those who need it. Granted, the W8 engine and all wheel drive will add to repair costs down the road, but if you’re seriously in the Allroad market, the repair costs on these cars will if anything be lower than the Audi but you would get a machine of very similar capability that few others would own. While not for everyone, these W8s are a bit of a hidden gem. Considering that 2.8 4Motions in good condition trade at or above $8,000 still, the asking price on these cars isn’t too far out of line, although I think both are high – to be expected from a dealer. Offer $10,500 on the Reflex Silver lower mile one, and enjoy a unique, fun and capable family hauler for years to come!

-Carter

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7 Comments

  1. Despite being very cool, the main reason the Passat W8 didn’t sell well was that you could buy an A4 V6 quattro for nearly the same price. As noted, the Passat VR6 4motion already offered most of what the W8 did at a much lower price point, and the performance gap wasn’t enough to justify the additional cost. And then there was the future repair and maintenance cost concerns…

    Regarding these two listings – this dealer offers a lot of cars with (typically undisclosed) backstories and various little (and big) details unattended to (such as the missing center cap). At least this time they state in the ad that the lower mile car was a fleet vehicle and had previous accident damage (all of which would have been readily discovered in the CarFax report anyway). Yet they consistently expect a significant price premium, in addition to a lofty $395 “dealer prep and handling fee. What exactly are they “prepping” and “handling” if they can’t even replace a center cap? All that, and the opportunity to go to Paterson, NJ.

  2. “Year: 2004
    Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
    Engine: 4.0 liter W-5
    Transmission: 4-speed manual
    Mileage: 98,141 mi
    Price: $9,750 Buy It Now”

    W-5? 4 speed manual?

    Larry, the poor sales had nothing to do with the V6 A4. That same engine and drivetrain was also available in the Passat, but in both cases it had 77 fewer horsepower. As such the W8 was more like a bridge-the-gap between the standard Passats and the Phaeton but with more of a luxury focus vs. the S4. Also, the Passat VR6 4Motion did not already offer anything. It was available only in the replacement model with transverse engines AFTER the Passat W8 and its longitudinal brethren were discontinued. Besides, the 3.6 VR6 didn’t offer “most of what the W8 did,” it offered MORE! It had 10 more horsepower than the W8 and better fuel consumption, but unfortunately it was only available with an automatic, at least in the US. The W8 was available with a 6 speed manual.

  3. markiteight, thanks for catching the mistake, I updated the post with the correct information. Larry, the V6 in the B5 and B5.5 was not the VR6, but the 2.8 12V, then 30V – same as the A4 and A6. markiteight is correct that the VR6 became available in the B6 Passat when it moved to transverse layout. The W8 is actually rated 81 horsepower over the V6 model, same chassis. One thing that the Passat did offer versus the B5 chassis A4 (and to some extent, the B6 chassis as well) was a bit more space and headroom in the back, along with more “square” hauling space. It’s amazing what you can fit in these cars.

  4. Carter: email me and I’ll point you to the tricks I’ve been using on polycarbonate headlights. It seems to be working pretty well.

  5. Thanks for the corrections on the VR6/V6, 4motion, etc. I was clearly too busy to double-check my facts this time.

    The pricing proximity of the W8 to the A4 was definitely an issue though. As much as I liked my Passat, I wouldn’t pay A4 money for one. While the A4 didn’t have extra 2 cylinders (you had to step up to a far more expensive S4 in 2004 to get that), the A4 is, in my opinion at least, a much nicer (albeit slightly smaller) car.

  6. Great comments by all. The W8 is an interesting car for sure. I love the idea of a 6 speed as an understated alternative to the B6 S4 wagon. As Jeff said last time he wrote one up, I hope that a few of these get squirreled away and we get to see them 10-20 years in the future at some shows!

  7. Pingback: Double Take: A Duo of Audi S6 quattros | German Cars For Sale Blog

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