Volkswagen Passat review | carsguide.com.au | Catalog-cars

Volkswagen Passat review | carsguide.com.au

24 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Volkswagen Passat review | carsguide.com.au

Volkswagen Passat

review

Upmarket styling and new technology beneath a sharp new skin is the Passat’s mission for 2011 and beyond. Photo Gallery

Fussy MP3 connectivity Rear head and leg room a little tight

The long-running VW nameplate adds a new chapter to its 15-million sales story with the B7, and Australian buyers (and dealers) will rejoice at the long-awaited addition of the Bluetooth phone link as standard.

Also on the standard features list is the fatigue detection system when it hits showrooms in the second quarter of 2011.

The Passat line-up will be unchanged for now, with the 118 TSI 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol, the 125 TDI two-litre turbodiesel and the outgoing R36#39;s 3.6-litre petrol V6 topping the pricelist, which should have largely untouched price-tags.

The pricing will be competitive, our intention will be to hold pricing at near current RRP, not run-out pricing, VW Australia#39;s Karl Gehling says.

The Passat in its home market will feature 19 new safety and assistance systems, some of which we are likely to get in Australia – fatigue detection – but Volkswagen Australia says it is looking at the other features for the options list, like front assist with city emergency braking function, the Easy Open bootlid, Park Assist mark two, lane change and lighting assistance systems, although the traffic sign detection system doesn#39;t appear to be headed for Australia.

The fatigue detection system, standard on Australia-bound Passats, monitors steering wheel angle, pedal use and transverse acceleration and decides if the driver needs a prod by comparing them to the data from early in the trip.

There#39;s no electric shock, joked one of the VW execs – it puts out visual and audible warnings and repeats them 15 minutes later of the vehicle hasn#39;t stopped.

The Passat is also the first Volkswagen ever to have a City Emergency braking function, active below 30 km/h and able to automatically brake the car to avoid or reduce the damage of a front-end impact. The active cruise control#39;s upgrade now gives Passat buyers a collision warning system that uses the radar to monitor conditions over 100m ahead and warns the driver and assists in stopping as soon as possible.

One of the clever convenience systems on offer is the Easy Open boot, part of the keyless entry and go system – a driver with arms full of gear but key in pocket can kick their foot beneath the rear bumper to automatically pop the bootlid – expect it on the options list for both sedan and eventually the wagon. The new model will also feature the upgraded Park Assist system that “sees” parallel and now perpendicular parking spaces and can automatically steer the car into them.

The nose has taken the incoming Jetta#39;s snout and the rear has more than a little inspiration (for the sedan at least) from the Phaeton flagship, meaning it is a conservative but sharp-looking vehicle, with LEDs within the new lighting design front and rear.

Interior design is familiar to those who have spent any time in the other new models from Volkswagen, with only minor changes to the fascia and buttons around the gearshifter and some minor aesthetic tweaks to the dashboard.

The wagon is also equipped with a clever loading system and a rear lever system to drop the second row of seats for larger loads. The refinement and lower noise levels within the cabin are attributed to extra sound insulation throughout the passenger cell and particularly between the dashboard and the firewall.

The Passat#39;s windscreen is made from a composite safety glass, with an integrated acoustic film, something that – in Europe at least – can be optioned up for the front side windows.

Beyond the active systems, Passat has two-stage dual front and side airbags for the front row, full-length side curtain airbags and the availability of rear side airbags and a rear seatbelt indicator.

Volkswagen says the body structure is 74 per cent high-strength steel and built using laser and spot welding in key areas for extra strength.

The updated Passat has many similarities to the outgoing B6 vehicle – in fact the facelifted and upgraded B7 is perhaps more a B6.5, but that#39;s not a bad thing. The refinement and revamping of a proven and trusted package is what#39;s gone on, albeit with a new-look exterior to keep it looking like part of the family.

The company#39;s emphasis on smooth, quiet and refined is backed up by the first few minutes, with extra soundproofing resulting in a cabin devoid of road, engine and wind noise.

On Spanish roads the adjustable suspension – which has undergone minor tuning changes only – delivers a well-controlled and comfortable ride, with minimal loss in ride quality when switched to sport mode – the Passat turbodiesel wagon impressed in the corners, rarely pushing the nose wide.

The engineering spin that boasted a strong, more rigid bodyshell is backed by the drive, with the impression of a taut and strong body; there#39;s also no booming noise from the open rear cargo area that sometimes sullies a wagon.

The turbodiesel (teamed with the six-speed DSG) is an excellent powerplant – as seen in the new Golf GTD and current Passat – and the 59 per cent share currently held by this powerplant will – if anything – increase.

The 118 TSI also driven during the short launch drive outside of Barcelona also proved to be a quiet drive, with the petrol turbo four also a flexible and useful powerplant, teamed with the newer seven-speed DSG (the torque of the turbodiesel is beyond the seven speed#39;s tolerances).

Both cars impressed with more intuitive DSG programming that reduces hesitation and the insulation from noise and unwanted road intrusions. The sedan has a good-sized boot it’s easy to see why the wagon is getting more than half of the Passat#39;s sales and rising.

A well-sorted and equipped package that feels capable of carrying the family and eating up the miles with ease, the new Passat carries the company look a little easier than the incoming Jetta and should – if appropriately equipped and priced – contribute well to Volkswagen#39;s increased volume aspirations.

84/100

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT

Price . from around $39,000 (wgn +$2000 for all models)

On sale . second quarter 2011

Engine . Two-ltr 4-cyl turbodiesel; 1.8 turbocharged direct-injection 4-cyl and 3.6-ltr V6 petrol engines

Transmission . six (118 TSI seven-speed) double-clutch automated manual, front or all-wheel drive

Power . diesel 125kW; petrol 118kW, 220kW

Torque . diesel 350Nm; petrol 250Nm, 350Nm

Performance 0-100km/h: diesel 8.6 secs; petrol 8.5-5.5 secs

Tank capacity . 70 litres

CO2 emissions . diesel 120g/km; petrol 160-215g/km

Suspension . MacPherson strut, lower A-arms (front); multi-link (rear); optional adaptive suspension

Brakes . four-wheel discs, front ventilated discs

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