NEW FOR 2008:

- 3.6-litre engine comes exclusively with 4Motion all-wheel drive
– Standard 12-way power driver’s seat on all models
– Optional SIRIUS Satellite Radio
– Available bi-Xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting system
– New interior wood and metal trim accents
– Exterior colours: Mocha Brown added; Granite Green deleted

For 2008, the Volkswagen Passat receives new trim and option items; the largest change is the 3.6-litre model, which now comes exclusively with 4Motion all-wheel drive. Sedan and wagon models are offered, each with a choice of two engines across three trim lines.

The Passat Trendline and Comfortline use a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. The 3.6 4Motion model uses a 3.6-litre V6, mated only with a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode.

Features on the Trendline models include 16-inch alloy wheels, single-zone climate control, heated mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, variable intermittent wipers, anti-theft alarm, cruise control, trip computer, power locks with keyless entry, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, 12-way power driver’s seat, heated "leatherette" seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, tilt and telescopic wheel, self-draining umbrella storage in driver’s door and LED taillights. The Trendline wagon uses 16-inch steel wheels and adds black roof rails and cargo cover.

The Comfortline adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated washer nozzles, footwell lighting, door entry lights, illuminated vanity mirrors, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, cargo net and fog lamps.

The 3.6 4Motion adds dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic bi-Xenon headlights, heated mirrors with LED turn signals and puddle lamps, interior wood trim, power sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

The Passat offers a firm but pleasant ride, supportive and comfortable seats, attractive styling and numerous features, along with a wagon model that increases its practicality. The 2.0-litre turbo is a good fit to this vehicle; the 3.6-litre is a smooth-running engine and the 4Motion is a great system, but both sedan and wagon get expensive once the top-of-the-line model is selected.