This is the eighth-generation Volkswagen Passat available in India only with a 174bhp, 2.0-litre turbo-diesel mill and offered in two trims – Comfortline and Highline (what you see in the pictures). This new-gen luxury sedan is underpinned by the MQB platform, which enables sharing of parts and technologies with other cars in the VW group. Some of these include the Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq, Superb and the Octavia. The Passat is now up-to-date with features and tech. But is it good enough? We find out. Get deals on Volkswagen Passat
It might come as a surprise, but the new Passat is actually smaller than the car it replaces and the wheelbase is longer. However, it still manages to offer more space for occupants. It’s a good thing though that it retains that understated elegance that has now been the trademark of all Volkswagen cars for some time. From the Volkswagen Passant images, you could see that car looks particularly handsome and futuristic on the whole. The horizontal lines dominate most of the outside surfaces that helps make the car look sharp and sleek. It’s worth noting that the car received a mid-life update in other world markets and got new headlamps, bumper etc. and Indian buyers would get the same-spec car. Other notable Volkswagen Passat features that you are bound to notice include full LED headlamps with DRLs, 17inch wheels and LED taillights. Volkswagen Passat colour choices that you can have, includes – Oryx Blue, Tungsten Blue, Deep Black, Black Oak Brown, Harvard Blue.
Even if the styling doesn’t impress you, the comfort certainly should. The cabin is comfortable with very supportive seats. The front seats get power adjust and are heated, while the driver’s seat, additionally, comes with a memory and massage function. However, the seats miss out on a cooling function that is now part of lesser cars like the Hyundai Elantra and Verna. It just shows how difficult it is for VW to re-engineer a European car for the Indian market.At the back, the seats are supportive, with the backrest at an angle that’s comfortable enough to relax and upright enough to read. While not as ample as the Superb, there’s enough space to stretch out your feet. The flip-down armrest is also nice and at a natural height to rest your elbow on. With the sloping roofline, I expected headroom to be tight, but space was sufficient enough for my 5ft 8in frame, with a three-finger gap to spare. Shoulder room is also adequate for three, though the middle passenger will have a narrow seat and a large central tunnel to contend with.There’s enough space in the Passat for your possessions too, with storage areas around the cabin and a large 586-litre boot that can be opened via a button on the remote or a simple wave of your foot below the bumper. We tried this out and it did work quite easily, though it did need a few extra waves of the foot at times. Should, for some reason, you need more space, the 60:40 split rear seats can be tipped forward from the boot itself.
The Passat is being offered with Volkswagen’s tried and tested 2.0-litre diesel engine only, that makes 177PS and 350Nm here. It feels as refined as ever, and with peak torque available from just 1500rpm, acceleration is quick and linear. The strong surge continues almost all the way to the 5400rpm redline and as revs go up the engine even manages to sound sporty despite being a diesel. The Passat is quick to build speeds, also thanks to the 6-speed DSG the engine is mated to. You get paddle shifters that are engaging to use and offer quick responses, but what truly makes the Passat engaging to drive is the torquey feel from the engine, irrespective of the revs.The gearbox is extremely quick to respond to throttle inputs and shifts gear accordingly. It worked flawlessly even at crawling speeds in city traffic, gauging my right foot movements well to downshift or upshift. The DSG gearbox thus contributes to the Passat’s efficient manners as well, and claimed efficiency stands at 17.42kmpl, which is commendable given the strong engine performance. I was in fact surprised to see the onboard trip computer display a range of over 800km on a tankful!
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
You get a Dynamic Chassis Control system too, which depending on your mood, lets you switch between eco, normal, comfort, sport and individual. While normal mode offers the best balance, sport mode really liven things up. The shifts are quicker and throttle response gets into hyper mode. Belting it out on the open highways, the power is there, but you can’t help feeling the need for a few horses and a few Nm more. Frankly had it not been for the brilliant DSG gearbox, the Passat would have felt a tad underpowered. For normal commutes and the occasional highways however, the Passat has more than enough and there is nothing to complain. It’s efficient too, with VW claiming upwards of 17 kmpl.Sport mode also firms up the suspension quite a bit and the difference is very apparent. Suspension travel is minimised and the Passat turns super stiff with the steering gaining weight too. In comfort mode, the Passat’s ride quality gets way better and it absorbs most bumps well, but even then there is no denying the underlying stiffness. The Passat like most VW’s is set up stiff and sharp bumps upset the cars composure and are felt inside the cabin too. The steering though has very good feel and the Passat is a joy to flick around.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
Talking about the features, the Passat comes fully loaded. We’re talking, panoramic sun-roof, automatic parking, electric sunshade, tyre pressure monitoring system and a three-zone climate control system.The infotainment system gets all the tech too including mirror-link apple car play and android connectivity. It’s also got a CD player and can read off SD-cards as well, VW has offered it all. It’s safe too, with nine airbags, ABS, ESC and the works.
The 8th generation Volkswagen Passat comes across as a very practical offering in a no-nonsense package. The sedan does most things well and that includes its driving dynamics, comfort, features and functionality. But what it lacks is the WOW! factor which is somehow missed on this car and neither does it feel exclusive or special. It is a car which does what it is meant to, it is bloody good at what it does and while it appeals a lot to the mind, those who love listening to their heart might have to look at better options because the Passat does’t really offer anything unique over its rivals.