Volkswagen Passat

Expected Launch
Feb 2011
Expected Price
Rs. 19 Lacs (Est.)
Upcoming Car.
Volkswagen Passat Upcoming Car

Volkswagen Passat

NEW VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT The Passat is a practical carefully thought out and well engineered full-sized front-wheel-drive saloon. Here, the cold logic of value engineering takes precedence over outright luxury and performance. And it’s always been that way for the Passat, now in its seventh generation, with 15 million cars sold to date. The passat, after all, does 90 percent of what full-fat luxury cars do, but at approximately half the price. No need to change the basic formula then. Volkswagen, however, has made some subtle but important changes to the recipe this time around, changes which are sure to make this car more appealing for Indian car buyers too. “We want our large saloon to bridge the gap to the luxury segment more effectively, and want it to be more refined, innovative and upmarket,” say the company. The Passat has never been a car that blows you away at first glance, and this one isn’t either. But VW has tried hard, and has added plenty of flash and strong lines to the car. The nose, with its wide grille, resembles VW’s luxury car, the Phaeton and the chrome is beautifully executed. The new Passat is now also the last VW car to fall in line with the ‘family’ look. The large ‘eye socket’ headlamps of the earlier car have been replaced by rectangular units that are beautifully detaild. Circular headlamps sit inside angular brackets that cradle them, and they get a string of Leds surrounding them too. The flanks of the car, however aren’t new. The door and roof are carried over from the earlier car, as many of you will be able to identify, and these curvier lines don’t gel perfectly with VW’s otherwise more modern bold lines from some angles. The passat is familiar on the inside too. It’s very similar to the current car, with the wide horizontally split dash and inset instruments dials. However, the interiors feel even better built and more upmarket. Materials quality certainly feels a step up on the current car. VW has included plenty of chrome rings around things like the elbow rest, vents, instruments and almost very knob and button. And the steering gets flashes of chrome as well, all of which together give the cabin a nice lift. True to its promise of bumping up the luxury quotient, the new Passat gets an upgraded stereo from high-brow brand Dynaudio, which boasts simply amazing clarity and detailing. And there are also new gizmos on offer like Park Assist that steer the car into a parking slot while the drive only brakes and accelerates (see ‘Passat gets smarter’ box), there’s radar-based cruise control that can bring the car to a full stop and Lane Assist that gently puts you back into a lane if you drift out. Which features will be included on the Indian cars, however, is anyone’s guess. And don’t try the radar-based cruise control in Mumbai’s Kalbadevi or in old Delhi. The large ribbed seats feel even more comfortable to sit in as they have been further improved, and you even get the option on massaging seats. Space at the rear is sufficient too, especially shoulder and headroom. Of course, this car can’t compare with the Skoda Superb or the Accord for rear legroom, and remains slightly deficient in this area in comparison. While the Passat initially feels very similar from behind the wheel too, the differences in the new car manifest themselves soon enough. Even after a brief drive, it’s pretty clear that this car is clearly more refined. VW has made a huge effort to improve acoustic sealing on this car and the damping of the suspension has been improved too. So there’s less road noise from the floor and the wheel arches, even over coarse tarmac, and the suspension is impressively silent every time it goes through a hole. This is quite a change from the earlier car in India that had a constant drumming sound emanating from the boot. VW has also included adjustable dampers on this car and they make a huge difference. In ‘Comfort’, the car is very pliant and swallows all types of rough patches. This mode is ideal for city streets and urban low speed running. However out on the highway, where speeds and loads are much higher, the new Passat feels too soft and wallowy in comfort. The electric steering is accurate but does not provide enough feel, and the car isn’t as nice to drive. However, all you have to do is hit the button that stiffens up the dampers. Now body control is much better, the car rolls less and it feels much nicer to drive, the accuracy of the steering helping to some extent. This is no driver’s car for sure, but the light controls and vice-free handling allow you to exploit a winding road without too much effort. The German carmaker is likely to get the 2.0 TDI and 1.8 TSI to the Indian market when it launches this car early next years, so it was these motors that we chose to sample. While both are familiar engines, the 2.0 TDI that was earlier on sale in India put out 138bhp. This one, however, puts out a considerably healthier 170bhp, and that instantly translates into a much stronger surge of power from the motor. Using the torque in the middle of the powerband is quite pleasing and the motor syncs very nicely with the six speed DSG gearbox. VW’s common-rail engine is smooth and responsive, and performance is pretty satisfying. The car maker would do well to re-introduce this motor in India. Also very impressive is the new Passat powered by the 1.8 TSI, a motor we are again very familiar with; it already powers the Passat, Skoda Laura and Superb here. It gels really well with the new Passat and feels even smoother than on the current car. On the face of it, there isn’t too much on the new Passat that’ really new. The engines, gearboxes and suspension system are almost identical, the interior is similar and performance and handling are very close as well. What VW has done is to improve the Passat a little bit in all areas. It is, as it says on the tin, more refined, more luxurious, better equipped and slightly more capable. The Passat now looks more attractive and sophisticated and you can specify it with toys you otherwise only get on more expensive luxury cars. How do you improve something that’s already fine-tuned? Ask VW, which has just taken its already near-pitch-perfect car and improved it even more. Now all we need in India is a longer wheelbase version.

Volkswagen New Passat Reviews By Car Experts

Volkswagen New Passat

Volkswagen New Passat

Expert rating : 7/10
Volkswagen is out with the seventh generation of its much appraised and loved sedan, the Volkswagen Passat. The car is not radically different but is still a lot better than the older variants. The car is powered with a 2 liter diesel engine which is mated to a six speed automatic transmission, w....Read More

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