The Volkswagen Passat
All you have to do is gently press the accelerator or brake as required and the Trailer Assist programme guides you and trailer into a parking space: we tried it and it works
I love getting into German cars. The reassuring ‘ker-thunk’ as the door shuts gives you confidence, matched by reassuring interior quality all round. It’s that ‘feel-good’ factor we all like to have if our own money is involved in buying something.
Whilst we are not ‘buying’, we do have the pleasure of introducing you to Volkswagen’s all-new Passat, having recently attended its UK launch.
The Passat made its debut last October at the Paris Motor Show, and went on the market here in January 2015. This eighth generation Passat is genuinely an all-new car; new design, new technology, new engines. Prices start from £22,215, with a £1,500 premium for the Estate.
Lighter and roomier
Coming in at 85 kg lighter than the previous model, this all new car has a longer wheelbase and more interior space. The new engines have a 14% improvement in fuel efficiency, and are currently offered only in diesel at launch, options being a 1.6-litre 120 PS, a 2.0-litre with 150 or 190 PS, plus a range-topping 2.0-litre bi-turbo with 240 PS, DSG and 4MOTION four-wheel drive. Enough to choose from for now and certainly suited to keenest market demand.
Later on (October 2015) we’ll see a plug-in hybrid GTE version with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and electric motor, capable of 621 miles on a full tank or 31 miles in pure electric mode, according to VW figures. A diesel BlueMotion model will be available from June 2015 returning an estimated 78 mpg on the combined cycle.
You can buy the new Passat in five trim levels from launch: S, SE, SE Business, GT and R-Line. All offer a high level of standard features with highlights including Post-Collision Braking System and mis-fuelling prevention on all models. You can say goodbye to ‘I’ve put the wrong fuel in’ breakdown calls!
The Passat feels big and spacious behind the wheel. It is very comfortable for driver and passenger alike, and the new aesthetic lines to the dash don’t detract from user friendly and intuitive switchgear. It does, and this is important, feel like an all-new Passat.
Comfort and refinement
On the road in the 2.0 litre 150 PS version we drove, ride quality is very good, the Passat proving a consummate long distance cruiser and with only subtle difference, this ride quality is replicated throughout the range. The DSG semi-automatic 6-speed gearbox (there’s also a 7 speeder) is a master of smooth gearchanges to the point you hardly notice them. Manual versions slot in with a nice balance of weight, accuracy, and feel. The Passat feels well ‘sorted’ from a handling and ride perspective when being punted between bends, inspiring driver confidence but above all feeling safe, as well as comfortable. The saloon’s boot is commodious (586 litres), so much so, that Chris my co-driver decided it was a good place to get in and have a lie-down, which was a doddle with the back seats lowered.
The equipment list is impressive as you climb the specification ladder. Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Crash prevention braking system, Driver Profile Selection, Ergo Comfort seats and front and rear parking sensors come standard on SE and above; and VW’s Discover Navigation on the SE Business model is aimed at fleet drivers, being this car’s biggest market.
You’ll be able to opt for the new “Guide and Inform”: an in-car connection system to the internet via a smartphone Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing key information such as online traffic data, news and weather to be accessed via the Passat’s colour touchscreen infotainment system.
A ‘world’s first’ we enjoyed trying out at launch is the Trailer Assist parking system. All you have to do is gently press the accelerator or brake as required and the Trailer Assist programme guides you and trailer into a parking space: we tried it and it works; this’ll be a God-send to those needing to manoeuvre trailers around all day.
The 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS with manual gearbox in SE and SE Business trims is predicted to be the UK’s best seller with over 80 per cent fleet buys. The new car’s combination of quality, reliability, sturdiness and refinement will continue to keep the Passat at the top of its game.
Model VW Passat TDI 150 PS Saloon with DSG
0-62 mph: 8.7 seconds (same for DSG and manual). Top speed: 135 mph (DSG). CO2: 116 g/km DSG MAN 106 g/km. Consumption: 70.6 mpg. Engine: 2.0 litre diesel. Insurance band: 19E.
Top Image - The Passat SE Business
Middle Image - The Passat Estate with Trailer Assist
Bottom Image - The Passat SE Business