As far as obscure Volkswagens go, the eight-cylinder Passat has got to be one of the coolest. It uses a W8 engine and and sends power to all four wheels via VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Some of them, including this 2004 model, even came with a six-speed manual transmission. , and has, gulp, over 250,000 miles on the clock. You should buy it.
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As cool as this spec is, the W8 Passat has a big reputation for being unreliable. The drivetrain is complex, parts are scarce, and there's little room in the engine bay for maintenance. That means you could end up spending thousands in maintenance—which this owner already has. According to the description, they spent over $15,000 installing a new engine, a new exhaust, a new clutch, and several other items about 85,000 miles ago. So, while the body may have 251,745 miles on it, the engine hasn't even hit the six-digit mark.
Of course, with so many miles, the car's not perfect. The clearcoat on the hood is flaking away, and there are numerous stone chips on the front bumper. The headlights are foggy, and the exterior plastics are faded. The inside looks to be in acceptable condition save for an ABS light, which, according to the seller, is illuminated because of a faulty wheel speed sensor. There's also an aftermarket radio and a supplemental satellite radio module installed in the dash.
This is apparently one of just 329 six-speed Passat W8s sold in the US. Not as rare as the wagon version, but still pretty special nonetheless. It's . If you're willing to risk the possible maintenance costs, you better act fast.