The Volkswagen Passat is a stylish estate with plenty of space, an upmarket interior and a range of efficient engines.
The Passat comes with a choice of one petrol engine and two diesel options with four varying power outputs. The petrol is a 1.4TSI with 150bhp mated to a 6-speed manual or optional 7-speed DSG auto. Diesel options start with a 1.6TDI with 120bhp with the option of similar transmissions. With the 2.0TDI, you get a choice of 150, 190 or 240bhp with option of 4Motion technology. These engine variants also come with the 6-speed manual or the option a DSG automatic transmission. The 1.6TDI is probably the most economical option but the 2.0TDI 150bhp offers the best balance or power and economy.
The Volkswagen Passat has always been a popular choice, but it currently has some stiff competition in the shape of the new Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6. The latest Passat now sits on Volkswagen’s excellent MQB platform meaning its lighter and better to drive. The steering gives good feedback and good grip is provided in the corners. Despite being larger, body roll is barely evident in the new Passat while the overall ride is comfortable and wind noise kept to a minimum. The standard 6-speed manual is silky smooth as usual, but the 7-speed DSG is so fluid, it’s not to add it on the options list.
The Passat is available in three trim levels. These are Trendline, Comfortline and Highline. The entry level Trendline comes with a decent amount of spec with items like 16 inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, leather multi-function steering wheel and gear knob, and cruise control. Move further up to Comfortine and you gain tinted windows, park assist and keyless access while Highline adds larger 18 inch wheels and a heated steering wheel. The options list is extensive with an option of adding an R-Line exterior kit to the Passat.
This is where the new Passat reigns the current market. The latest interior to feature in the Passat is second to none. It’s classy and stylish with a solid build quality to back it up. The cabin feels as close to a premium marque without stepping into one. The streamlined dash features a slick chrome tipped air vent design that stretches from one side of the dash to the other. Sitting in the middle of the centre console is a 7.5 inch LCD touch screen with infotainment system. The most elegant touch is the Bentley style analogue clock face that is inserted at top entre of the dash finishing off the interior perfectly. The cabin is fitted with high quality soft-touch materials throughout that look and feel expensive.
The Passat scored an impressive five star rating in Euro NCAP crash testing making it a very safe car. It gets a good level of standard safety technology too that includes electronic stability control, autonomous braking, emergency brake assist, ISO-FIX and a full set of airbags. There is also a host of optional safety tech too.
While it may not be bigger on the outside than the old model Passat, this latest model is actually bigger inside. This is mainly due to the MQB platform that enables stretching of the wheelbase to create more interior room. There is good leg and headroom for rear passengers while boot space has also been improved. The rear seats also fold forward for storage of longer items.