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Volkswagen Passat

PASS MASTER (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

This improved version of the MK8 Volkswagen Passat dials up the finesse still further and looks to build on its predecessor's phenomenal success. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 88

We tend to think of cars in either 'premium' or 'volume' terms. Here though, is one that could comfortably fit within either definition, the revised version of the eighth generation Volkswagen Passat. Though targeted at the medium range Mondeo sector, it's long had an appeal stretching beyond, up towards the premium mid-sized executive saloon segment. Global buyers like that and the result is a worldwide favourite the Wolfsburg maker simply can't afford to get wrong. Hence the smarter looks, extra technology and efficient returns of this classy contender.

Backgroundword count: 152

As much as we like to think that the automotive world revolves around this sceptred isle, the truth is somewhat different. Here, we hold up the BMW 3 Series as the paragon of success in building sales volumes on the back of premium build quality, but in global terms the 3 Series is a bit-part player compared to Volkswagen's Passat. How successful is the Passat? You might want to sit down for this one. It sells more than the entire product line-ups of BMW or Audi; fully 1.1 million cars a year, with China and the US the biggest recipients. It's a car that plays a very deft hand, bridging the gap between the mainstream and premium marques while delivering comfort and value that's often market-leading. It's why the Passat is now Volkswagen's most successful nameplate and the reason why Wolfsburg can't afford to get generation eight wrong. Hence this revised version.

Driving Experienceword count: 256

Under the bonnet, the key news for Passat buyers is the introduction of an extensively re-worked version of this model's volume 150PS diesel engine, now badged the 2.0 TDI EVO 150PS. As before, it can be had either with 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed DSG auto 'box, but now features Active Cylinder Shutdown for greater efficiency, the first time that this feature has been fitted to a Volkswagen diesel engine. Three other diesels also make the team sheet and all have to be had with DSG auto transmission; a base 1.6 TDI with 120PS, a 2.0 TDI with 190PS (which can optionally be had with 4MOTION 4WD) and a 240PS BiTDI flagship unit (only offered with 4MOTION). Diesel and 4MOTION feature as usual in the 'Alltrack' estate variant which gains a higher ride height for limited off road ability. In the petrol range, things kick off with the VW Group's familiar 150PS 1.5-litre TSI EVO unit, then there's a 2.0 TSI powerplant which has to be had with a DSG auto 'box. It's offered in front-driven form with 190PS or with 4MOTION in 272PS form. Up to a quarter of Passat sales are expected to be taken by the Plug-in hybrid petrol/electric GTE version, which mates a 1.4 TSI petrol engine with an electric motor. This derivative now uses an upgraded lithium-ion battery which now enables a longer 34-mile WLTP-rated driving range. Across the line-up, there's a new 'Travel Assist' feature which allows the car to be driven at highway speeds in partly automated mode.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-60 mph (s):

6.1

10.8

Combined mpg:

51.4

76.3

Extra urban mpg:

57.6

85.6

Height (mm):

1456

Length (mm):

4767

Max Speed (mph):

128

149

... and 6 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Spacious Family Cars

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
90%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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