Volkswagen Passat – Review

Many automotive manufacturers pace themselves against the German giant, Volkswagen. In 2016, Volkswagen registered 15,411 new cars on Irish roads. Volkwagen also own Skoda, who produce the Superb. The Superb is based off the Passat. As you can tell from my review of the Superb, I love it. But have VW shot themselves in the foot by making such a good car from their competition?

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A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Volkswagen Passat Highline Business Edition
Engine: 1.6TDI Diesel, 120hp and 250Nm.
Transmission: 6-Speed manual, front-wheel drive.
Price: Prices start at €27,930 for the Passat range. Price as tested – €36,264.

Styling

frontt-minIf you are after something that will stand out of the crowd and impress the people in traffic around you, look elsewhere. As far as saloons go, the Passat is quite bland. Painted in Reflex Silver Metallic (€854) and in the Business Edition trim, as my test car was. Although, the Passat is a huge upgrade over the previous gen looking sleeker and more streamlined.

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Interior

Step inside and you are greeted with half leather, half alcantara seating. This is what the Passat is good at. The seats are comfortable and supportive, perfect for long journeys.

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The centre console features a touch screen infotainment system, a usual affair from the boys at VW. The Highline Business Edition gives you Sat Nav as standard. It is an easy to use system with some cool features. For example, when you bring your finger close to the screen, the buttons unhide themselves. Nifty! The sound is good from the standard speakers.

back-minLeg room is good in the rear although it features quite a big transmission tunnel so middle passangers will not be as happy. The Skoda Superb would be more of a comfortable choice all round.

 

On The Road

Get it onto the motorway and you’ll be doing fine. The Passat is made for long, motorway miles. It is a comfortable ride.

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The 1.6 diesel engine lacks power and feels a bit sluggish around the city. You would be better off going for the more powerful 2.0TDI 150hp engine, or even the 1.4TSI 150hp petrol if you have no need for a diesel. It is a noisy engine too. Although you will be sitting comfortably, you might want to turn up the radio to block out the excessive road noise that bombards the cabin.

Practicality/Boot Space

The Passat has a 586l boot. This is compared to the Superb’s 625l, the Opel Insignia’s 540l and the Ford Mondeo’s 429l.

Inside, there is lots of storage; cubby holes, a sizable glove box and decent sized coffee cup holders. Good job, VW!

Equipment

As standard on the Passat Highline Business Edition comes with; Sat Nav, an 8 inch touch screen infotainment system, adaptive cruise control and heated front seats. Also, a full sized spare wheel, a rarity these days.display-min

Running Costs

The 1.6TDI produces 105g/km which equates to a €190 tax bill. Throughout my week with the car, I averaged 4.6l/100km, an impressive figure all the same.

Pricing

The Passat range starts from €27,930 with my test car coming in at €36,264. This is compared to the Ford Mondeo which has a starting price of €28,845, the Opel Insignia comes in at €24,995 and the Skoda Superb at €27,500.

Competition

Opel Insignia: Opel’s offerings lately have been a bit hit and miss but the Insignia seems to be popular for the brand. What with 1,495 cars registered in 2016. With a new Insignia on the way, VW should keep an eye out for its German rivals.

Ford Mondeo: The Mondeo has been a popular choice amongst Irish buyers over the years and now with the Vignale variant, the brand is trying to be a bit more upmarket. Although, it is pricier than the Passat.

Skoda Superb: Volkswagen, you may have shot yourselves in the foot here. The Superb is such a great car! Its prettier, roomier and more affordable. The Superb is a great car and ticks many boxes.

Conclusion

Exciting, no. Inspiring, no. Comfortable, yes. Efficient, yes. These words sum up my experience of the VW Passat Business Edition. If you are looking for a frugal, diesel, motorway muncher; it will work wonders for you. But don’t expect it to blow your socks off. Right, I’ve a sales meeting at 2.30 in Cork. Until next time…

Photography – Darragh McKenna

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