THERE is little doubt that Volkswagen could do with some good news right about now and while the launch of their new Passat may not exactly clear the decks, it does bring with it some interest in the brand for all the right reasons.
The Passat is of course Volkswagen's best-selling car worldwide with more than 22 million units finding favour and the latest edition builds on the promise of those that came before adding the latest technology to design and engineering innovation.
Offered in either a sedan or wagon in three equipment lines, the Passat will sport either a 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine paired with a seven-speed DSG in the 132TSI (from $34,990) and 132TSI Comfortline or a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with a six-speed DSG transmission in the top of the range 140TDI Highline.
Based on the MQB platform that found acclaim in the new Golf, the Passat is more spacious, stylish and economical than the model it replaces. Both engines are also new to the range with the TSI petrol offering an impressive 132kW and 250Nm of torque and the TDI producing a powerful 140kW and 400Nm.
Sporty proportions and a longer wheelbase give the car a more distinctive look with a lower, wider stance, shorter body overhangs and larger headlights and grille adding to the visual appeal. The interior has also benefitted from a redesign with an innovative integrated air vent design and a driver-oriented dash providing the canvas for a number of standard features including three-zone climate control, an upgraded infotainment system with 8-inch colour touchscreen and multiple Bluetooth phone connections, sat-nav, reverse camera and parking sensors.
Head and legroom has improved as has the cargo capacity with the wagon increasing from 603 litres to 650 litres with the 60:40 seats in place and the sedan improving by 21 litres to 586 litres.
The Passat is also equipped with many of the latest technological advances in passenger safety. Aside from nine airbags all grades get a Multi-Collision Braking system that can help mitigate accidents and a driver Fatigue Detection system. The 132TSI Comfortline and 140TDI Highline also get blind-spot monitoring, lane assist, rear traffic alert and city brake - all of which can be optioned in the entry-level 132TSI.
The 132TSI Comfortline and 140TDI Highline can also be fitted with the R-Line package (from $2500) should you prefer a sportier ride and boasts inclusions like Nappa leather, sports seats, progressive steering, 19-inch wheels, lowered sports suspension and R-Line exterior styling.
The New Passat
Passat 132TSI 7 speed DSG $34,990
Passat 132TSI Comfortline 7 speed DSG $39,990
Passat 140TDI Highline 6 speed DSG $45,990
Passat Wagon 132TSI 7 Speed DSG $36,990
Passat Wagon 132TSI Comfortline 7 Speed DSG $41,990
Passat Wagon 140TDI Highline 6 Speed DSG $47,990
Metallic / Pearl Effect Paint $700
Driver Assistance Package - 132TSI $1,800
Luxury Package - Comfortline and Highline $3,500
R-Line Package - 132TSI Comfortline $3,000
R-Line Package - 140TDI Highline $2,500
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