Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Could You Go $7,200 For This Rare 2003 VW Passat W8?

Illustration for article titled Could You Go $7,200 For This Rare 2003 VW Passat W8?
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

At one point in time the weight of VW's brand aspirations fell upon the Passat. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe W8 wagon is an example of that one-time up-market push, but does this unique car come with a price you will H8?

Advertisement

Do you recall when Volkswagen tried to get all fancy with its product line, despite the obvious conflict with their existing premium brand, Audi? That was all the idea of then VW chairman, Ferdinand Piëch, who felt the answer to Mercedes moving down-market with the A and B class was for Volkswagen to go upscale and hit the Swabians where it hurt, in the high-margin luxo arena. The two cars that were VW's initial attack on the fancy pants market were the W8 Passat and the brand's uber-car, the Phaeton. These two made for a Piëch of a pair.

The aspirations of Piëch and hence Volkswagen never really panned out as it's hard to erase the low-rent stigma of 21-million Beetles, nor the marque's appalling drop in reliability at the same time they were trying to attract rich people's money.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Could You Go $7,200 For This Rare 2003 VW Passat W8?

You don't have to be a blue blood to be attracted to this 2003 VW Passat wagon, but you'll likely be a red-blooded Jalop if you are drawn to it. That's because this B5.5 hits almost all the right keys.

First off, it's a wagon, and I think we can all agree that this generation was one of the best-looking of VW's mid-sized longroofs. Next up, it's a W8 - which is VW-speak for what's essentially a pair of VR-4 engines sharing a common crank. It's remarkably compact fore to aft, but like Kanye's wife, it's pretty damn wide. The DOHC eight, as found in the Passat, pushed out 270-bhp at 6,000 rpm, and a healthy 273 lb-ft of torque at only 2,750.

Illustration for article titled Could You Go $7,200 For This Rare 2003 VW Passat W8?
Advertisement

Following up on the hit list is a 6-speed stick. Yep, this W8 let's you row your own. Boom!

When you do exercise your right arm and left leg you'll be confident to know that your actions will be affecting all four tires, as the car is a 4motion AWD.

Advertisement

Holy crap! This is an eight-cylinder, manual equipped awd wagon of Germanic origins. You can't get anything like that outside of… well, Audi. Mercedes and BMW also offered AWD wagons that rolled eights, but I don't know how easy it would be to find one of those with a stick. As it is, the ad claims this VW to be only one of about 100 to arrive in the U.S. so equipped.

Illustration for article titled Could You Go $7,200 For This Rare 2003 VW Passat W8?
Advertisement

The ad also says that the car comes with 101,000 miles on the clock and a straight, accident-free body. By the pics, it looks like the interior is in nice shape as well, and the plastic covers on the headlights seem appreciatively clear, something not all that common on these Passats as the lenses tend to yellow over time like an excited kindergardener's Underoos.

That's pretty much it for the description/visual evidence, and hopefully it will be enough to allow you to decide if the car's $7,200 price tag is a fair deal or not. This was once VW's quixotic attempt to go up-market, but now you'll have to vote whether it's now price for what the market can bear.

Advertisement

You decide!

Advertisement

Milwaukee's Finest, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to DANTHEMAN68 for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Heinrich sat quietly in his Teutonic garage. He was feeling spry today. Fresh Mobil 1 coursed through his veins, and he had a full tank of premium fuel. He flexed his brake pistons, turned his wheels, felt the tiny bit of play creeping into his balljoints. "Eh," he thought. "Old age. Won't be the first thing to go, or the last."

He knew this day would come. He'd talked about it with his friends at the country club. It was time for a New Owner. He had been hoping for a dealer trade at the VW/Porsche/Audi dealership, the one where the detail shop has sheepskin buffers, mmmm... Or maybe an ad in the back of the Du Pont Registry. But ... Craigslist? Really? Eleven years of dutiful service, and now ... relegated to the domain of Faux-Rarris and Ran When Parked and ALL CAPS EXCITED GUY? Heinrich sighed. He knew that he would be ferrying a lot of potential buyers soon. It was going to be a long day.