Improved in most key areas, the new Volkswagen Passat has the compact executive elite in its sights
The VW Passat has always bridged the gap between the mainstream family cars such as the Ford Mondeo and more premium models such as the Mercedes C-Class and this new one blurs the lines even more.
That’s because VW have given the Passat a more up market feel, which has separated it from more traditional rivals and now threatens that of more expensive models. With ergonomic seats it is a very nice car to sit in. They fit your body perfectly, they are really comfortable and the driving position is spot-on. The controls are weighted perfectly and the material quality is soft to touch. All cars get a colour touch screen, DAB radio and Bluetooth and the SE versions get front and rear parking sensors, auto headlights and wipers while the Business Edition gets satellite navigation. All cubbies are lined with material or have a rubberised finish, which eliminated rattles. Wide opening rear doors make access really easy.
Although not a hatchback, the boot is hugely practical, being square with a wide opening. Thoughtful touches abound with hooks and compartments, a ski hatch and the rear seats fold down. There is a host of safety equipment, ESP, an optional electronic differential, which improves cornering grip, and all but the entry level model gets adaptive cruise control with emergency city braking and nine airbags.
The Passat saloon is only available with diesel engines, and the pick of the range is the 2.0-litre TDi with 150bhp. Volkswagen says it will average 68.9 mpg, but in the real world high 40’s would be more realistic. In terms of the actual driving experience I have to say that the Passat is supremely comfortable. Whether cruising on the motorway or around town it is quiet and is amazingly agile and unflappable. The New Passat is larger, yet lighter, with significant fuel efficiency over its predecessor.
Now in it’s eighth-generation the Passat is sleeker and offers a more grown-up proposition that before. The car is now fractionally shorter, but the wheelbase has been extended. Consequently interior space has increased by 33mm with plenty of leg and headroom for two passengers to travel in real comfort.
Overall the Passat is extremely comfortable, and is more refined than ever.
Sharp looks, polished dynamics hi-tech power options