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Volkswagen Passat R36 review

2008 - 2010 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 54.0

At a glance

Price new £34,354 - £35,626
Used prices £4,713 - £10,653
Road tax cost £675
Insurance group 36
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Fuel economy Not tested to latest standards
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Pros & cons


Sleek understated looks, very quick, excellent build quality, comfortable ride


Thirsty engine, not particularly exciting to drive, engine strangely muted

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019


Volkswagen is well known for its hot hatch Golf GTI, but when it comes to the Passat, practicality and reliability tend to be the attractions rather than performance. That’s not the case with the R36 version. Available in both saloon and estate bodystyles it’s powered by a 300bhp 3.6-litre V6 engine and uses a four-wheel drive system (called 4MOTION) to provide excellent traction.

There’s no manual gearbox however – only a six-speed automatic DSG transmission which uses two clutches to deliver super fast gearshifts – and it certainly works, with the R36 able to accelerate from 0-62mph in less than six seconds. Thanks to a different suspension set-up it handles better than the standard Passat with sharp steering and strong brakes.

But while it’s undoubtedly quick it’s found wanting in terms of driver enjoyment.