The new Volkswagen Passat will make its way to South Africa in the next few weeks and will go up against the likes of the bmw 3 series and the Toyota Camry along with cars like the Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Expect prices to start around the R300k mark and go all the way post the R500k mark for the larger engine versions.
On the exterior front, the sloping bonnet, angular headlamps and wide grille running from end to end with prominent chrome slats give it a sense of richness. The strong waistline going all the way to the rear looks much better than the slab-sided 7th generation car. The rear is not as attractive as the rest of the car though, almost too simple in comparison to the overall design. The Passat will also come with all-LED headlights in Highline trim. It completely replaces xenon headlamps and comes with projection technology with active cornering lamps. These headlights also come with dynamic light assist that automatically controls the high beam to avoid inconvenience to oncoming vehicles.
Interior design in Volkswagens has always been about straightforward quality and ergonomics dominating outright flair in the past. Knowing this, it’s nice to see new Passat getting its artistic touches. A unique element is a seemingly end-to-end air conditioning vent running across the dashboard. The vents have actually been integrated into this design element that’s sure to stand out. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is the same unit from the new Polo but besides that, the Passat looks its premium best.
The new Volkswagen Passat comes with a range of diesel engines. The base Passat has a 1.6-litre 120PS engine under its hood. There is no likelihood of this engine making it to India with the Passat’s positioning in our market. The second one is a 2.0-litre diesel in two states of tune – 150PS and 190PS. We believe the latter should be the engine of choice for India as the former is low on power even to its predecessor on sale here. Volkswagen also has a 240PS bi-turbo 2.0-litre diesel sending power to all fours. This version could make it here at a later date if the Passat does well this time round.
Expect the new Volkswagen Passat to be priced around the same lines as its predecessor because it comes well kitted and looks expensive as well. On the face of it, the Passat feels pricey, but keep in mind that it punches above its weight. It’s larger than entry luxury executive sedans like the A4, 3-series and C-Class and comes with a lot of features and equipment as standard. It also looks quite good inside and out. The Passat will not be as involving to drive and it doesn’t have a snob-worthy badge on its nose, but it compensates with more in every other department.