If you were to pinpoint the moment VW decided to go all-out in its attempts to finally establish itself alongside BMW and Mercedes as a carmaker that offered a car for every type of buyer, it would have been around the time the Passat W8 was conceived.
Aimed squarely at the mid-range point of the Volkswagen fleet, the Passat W8 was to all intents and purposes a four-wheel drive, throaty 4.0-litre wolf in sheep’s clothing and was unsurprisingly extremely fun to drive.
It was the used market where the W8 really excelled however. Anyone willing to shell out £30k was always going to plump for a Merc or Beemer, but with a value that fell quickly after purchase, a second hand W8 gave a lot of bang-for-buck.
With a top speed of 155mph, the eight cylinders fired the W8 from 0-62 in 6.5 seconds. They were reliable too, if a little thirsty – guzzling 20 miles-per-gallon.
The Passat W8 retains a dedicated fan base today, not put off by the ever more exorbitant CO2 taxes.