And this is?
The next generation Volkswagen Passat. It’s the biggest offering yet using the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB platform (as seen on the latest Golf, Audi A3, Skoda Octavia and SEAT Leon) and it’s due on our roads from January 2015.
So what’s new?
It’d be easier to list what isn’t. It’s a brand new design on a brand new platform and while the engine range may have something of a familiar vibe to it, they’re largely new too.
Speaking of engines…
You’ll only find diesels if you go to order one because that’s all there’ll be at launch. There’s a few choices though and a tool for just about every job even without a petrol range.
Everything starts with the 1.6-litre TDI 120, offering 118hp (the 120 refers to the engine’s power in PS – German horsepower!) and between 103 and 109g/km depending on application. Above that is the 2.0 TDI 150 with 148hp, and a second 2.0 engine, the TDI 190, producing 187hp.
Top of the current engine range is a biturbo 2.0 TDI 240. This will produce 237hp and is allied to a seven-speed DSG transmission and 4MOTION four wheel drive – it sounds like a punchy replacement for the Volkswagen Group’s three-cylinder diesels, and we can’t wait to try it.
If you want to move a little bit more efficiently, a BlueMotion version of the 1.6 TDI will join the ranks in June, producing 95g/km CO2 and returning 78mpg. If even that’s not enough, there’s the GTE plug-in hybrid penned in for October 2015.
How much will it cost me?
Volkswagen will start the Passat range at £22,215 for the entry level “S” trim 1.6 TDI 120 saloon with a 6 speed manual gearbox. This trim is available only with 1.6 TDI 120 an 2.0 TDI 150 engines, with either manual or DSG automatic. “SE” trim, the next grade up, adds adaptive cruise control, a pre-crash collision mitigation system, comfort seats and front and rear parking sensors.
This is available with the same engine and gearbox combinations as the S trim and costs £1,095 more. Above SE is “SE Business”, which adds satellite navigation for another £700 – again, available only with the 1.6 TDI 120 and 2.0 TDI 150 engines and a choice of manual or automatic.
Next up is the “GT” specification, which you can select with any engine or gearbox combination. This adds heated Alcantara seats, three-zone climate control and 18-inch wheels and £1,295 to the price. There’s also the familiar R-Line trim above that, for £995 more, but the 1.6 engines are not available at this grade. In all cases, the DSG automatic costs £1,600 more than the manual and the estate body is £1,530 more than the saloon. Where available, the 2.0 TDI 150 is £1,125 more than the 1.6 and the 2.0 TDI 190 is £1,350 more than that.
The top spec bi-turbo car adds DSG and 4MOTION and is £5,130 more expensive still. This means that, without options, you can spend £37,035 on a 2.0 TDI 240 Passat Estate.
There’ll be a trickle of new features coming out during 2015. There’s a huge 12.3 inch TFT display coming, intended to replace the instrument binnacle (like the one in the new Audi TT), along with a head-up display. so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. Volkswagen also has a chunky Alltrack version of the estate pencilled in for July.
More than a couple. Firstly there’s the sibling rivalry from the Audi A4 and Skoda Superb, each perhaps catering to different markets but with some significant overlap to the Passat. The most obvious rival from elsewhere is the Ford Mondeo, which also has a new model coming soon – and where there’s a Ford, there’s a Vauxhall, so don’t discount the Insignia.
Of course the Insignia’s strength is fleet sales and the Passat SE Business is squarely aimed at that sector and it’ll end up taking on the biggest name of all there… BMW’s 3 Series.
In a line…
Tech-led family car to keep Volkswagen ahead of the curve – as usual!