Road Tests

Handbook: VW Passat

Time 10 years ago

passat-1Re-designed and updated for its seventh incarnation, the Passat is a key model for Volkswagen. James Batchelor reports.

WHAT IS IT?

This is the new seventh-generation Passat and yes, you might have noticed, it now wears Volkswagen’s corporate face first shown on the Golf MkVI. But while the front and rear now have ‘the look’, the roof is carried over from the old model.


The new car does have new, more economical and

screen-shot-2011-05-10-at-150254efficient engines, and it is expected 10,000 saloons and 11,000 estates will be shifted in the next year.

WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET?

A host of new, more efficient BlueMotion technology engines feature in the Passat including a 1.4- litre TSI 120bhp petrol, two versions of the 2.0-litre TDI (138bhp and 168bhp) and a 1.6-litre TDI coming later in the year. Non-BlueMotion units come in the form of a 1.8-litre TSI and 2.0-litre TSI, and all come standard with six-speed transmissions. Six-speed and seven-speed DSG gearboxes are available as options.


WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE?

The Passat, unsurprisingly, features the common VW trim designations of S, SE and Sport. The £22,035 SE 2.0-litre TDI 138bhp is expected to be the best-selling model and this comes equipped with features like semi-automatic air conditioning, stop/start, battery regeneration, cruise control including fatigue detection system, DAB receiver, dazzling chrome trim, 17-inch alloy wheels and much more.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Effortless, if uninspiring. The new Passat is an extremely competent car at everything it aims for with its target buyers, but we think it just lacks a little sparkle. Customers will like the comfortable ride, which is not hard, and the new soundproofing means at motorway speeds it’s almost silent. On the whole the vast majority of buyers will be more than pleased with the new Passat. Just don’t expect them to be excited by it.

WHAT DO THE PRESS THINK OF IT?

Car Magazine found the Passat to be a fine motor saying there are ‘plenty of reasons to buy it’ and it’s ‘most definitely not as boring as you think’. Autocar said the Passat was ‘a car of few surprises’ but ‘deservedly close

to being the ideal car’. While The Daily Telegraph said the car was not a good enough reason to sell your existing Passat. On average the Passat scores four out of five in road tests.

WHAT DO WE THINK OF IT?

passat-3The new, seventh-generation Passat is highly competent and is a fine car for families and ideal for company car buyers. The angular face-lift is generally successful but the roof – which is left over from the curvy old model – sits awkwardly alongside the rest of the car. The cabin is just starting to feel its age too, but the car boasts excellent build quality. It’s just a shame the Passat doesn’t have the sparkle to match.

screen-shot-2011-05-10-at-144753


James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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