The eighth generation of the Volkswagen Passat sedan and mid-sized wagon, coded as the B8 series, arrived in Australia in late 2015.
We have just spent a few weeks living with a Passat 132TSI station wagon in Comfortline format, and have been impressed with its practicality and ease of use.
The new Passat uses Volkswagen’s MQB platform that we have experienced in several others in the latest range of VW. The platform reduces weight and allows a large number of vehicles to be built at the same factory. This helped reduce costs and VW Australia was able to cut Passat prices by up to $ 4,000.
Our test car had the $ 3500 Luxury Luxury Package with a giant panoramic sunroof, LED headlights and daytime running lights, ambient interior lights and folding door mirrors.
The Volkswagen Passat has a modest, timeless look of the type that has attracted owners of VW for generations. The full three-bar grille extends all the way to the headlights. There are plenty of shiny surfaces on the grille and a large central badge that makes everyone without a doubt driving a VW.
The interior has a sporty look with instrument box and a vent that stretches across the entire width of the dash creating a true styling statement.
The code ‘TSI’ in VW-speak indicates a gasoline-turbo unit. ‘132’ means it generates 132kW of power from 1.8 liters. This is a significant upgrade version of the previous 118TSI unit. Maximum torque remains at 250Nm as in the old engine but is now 250 rpm lower than before, exploited from an impressive low of 1250 rpm.
The driver fatigue detection system is important because fewer drivers are paying attention to what they are doing these days
A Passat 140TDI turbo-diesel, with 400 Nm of torque, is also provided. This is not the EA189 unit that is the subject of emissions fraud scandal. Instead, this is the newer EA288 unit, we always ensure compliance with Euro 6 standards.
Both engines are mated to a DSG dual-clutch gearbox, seven-speed with 132TSI and six-speed with 140TDI. Driving is through the front wheels, Passat Alltrack AWD will be added to the range in February.
All Passat have App-Connect USB interface (Apple and Android); satellite navigation; and Bluetooth connection. 132TSI uses the Discover Media system and displays it on a 6.5-inch color screen, Discover Pro in Customline and Highline has additional features on the 8.0-inch screen.
The latest Passat safety features include nine airbags; enhanced ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and auto hold; ESP with traction control; rear view camera with multi-angle view; and ISOFIX child seat anchors in the outer rear seat.
Using driver fatigue detection is important because fewer drivers are paying attention to what they are doing these days.
Standard in the Comfortline and Highline models, (the $ 1800 option in the Driver’s Assistant Pack in 132TSI) is Stop / Start Adaptive Cruise Control; Front assistance with autonomous emergency braking; Lane support; Assistant assistant; and rear traffic warning.
Very good engine performance and turbo lag have been kept at a reasonable level. There is the usual slow response of the VW DSG at a very slow speed, which we think will be sorted after years.
Impressive low fuel consumption for a large petrol unit. About 5-6L / 100km in the journey on the highway. This climbs 7-10L / 100km around town.
The spacious interior with a surprising amount of rear legroom, almost puts Passat into the limo class.
You get the level of interior sound that previously asked for a $ 100,000 German car
There is 650 liters of luggage space in the wagon. This extends to 1780 liters when folding the rear seats, this can be done through the rear door or by levers near the back of the vehicle’s loading area. Some boot depths are lost due to installing full-size spare wheels, but we’ve found worse.
Passat seats are well-shaped and supportive and their height makes them easy to access. The sense of solidity that has been a tradition at ROLswagens for decades still. Indeed, the B8 Passat line has taken it one step further. You really feel isolated from everything the road is throwing into the car.
Similarly, noise reduction has been enhanced, too, and you get the sound level inside that previously required a $ 100,000 German car.
Handling is reasonably sharp, though aimed at driving more comfortably than sports car lovers. Has a neutral cornering behavior at a normal speed, turning to an unsafe state when stepping up. Our review car was fitted with reasonable 17-inch wheels, which makes more sense than the stylish large-diameter unit that could be uncomfortable for the ride.