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  • Baji

    If it were my money, I’d prefer the Skoda Superb wagon. roughly the same pricing, pretty much the same hardware, but i think the skoda looks nicer and has more room.

    • zahmad

      Yes, roughly the same, and a much newer vehicle…

    • Matt

      When is the wagon even coming? On Skoda’s website it says they’re taking orders, but I have no idea when it will arrive or how much it’ll be.

    • Rob

      Give me a Mazda 6 wagon anyday …. better dynamics and better looks.

      The Passat is actually quite expensive when you consider the various options that were included which pushes the price close to $50K. The Mazda 6 is a much better car in all respects and cheaper.

      • Reckless1

        Err – no, it’s not a much better car in all respects, but it’s certainly cheaper. Mazda 6 is a good car, but has no class.

        • David

          It may be cheaper to buy at the offset, but the cost of parts for a Mazda will make you see red the first time you take it in for a service.. The VW on the other hand has extremely well priced parts, and I know this from a direct comparison I did when I bought my VW (and compared it to the Mazda 6)..
          I love my Passat wagon (albeit with the larger diesel torque producer).

          • jojo

            VW charge a bull thats seen red at service time…mazda would be a cheaper car to buy, run and maintain over it’s life (Stronger resale too) and more reliable.!!

        • Radster

          The Mazda6 is not just a good car – it’s a very good car. As for the subjective and biased comment from Reckless1 that the Mazda6 “has no class” – methinks badge snobbery is alive and well!

          • The Oracle’s Master!

            I have to agree. Mazda deserve alot more credit than can be seen on these pages. They probably only lack in steering and chassis tune compared to the Germans and most punters wouldn’t give a damn about the difference. They would more than likely be more reliable also. Mazda rate very high for reliability.

            I like some of the German product but I have heard too many horror stories with regards to breakdowns to place the so-called “prestige” above common sense. “IF” I was in the market for a German wagon at a “reasonable” price I’d go the new Golf Wagon. I saw one in the flesh the other day and they look a lot better than I thought in the photos on here.

  • sammo

    What a classy, well finished and refined vehicle.
    Give me one over a Commodore Sportwagon any day!

    • daan

      Apart from being wagons they have little in common.

  • davo

    heading “family motoring has never looked so good”
    then in your car + & – you have a minus “looks starting to date” (which i agree with)

    VW should start to include bluetooth as standard I know they make heaps of $$$ having it as an extra but they bang on about how safe their cars are, a fully intergrated bluetooth is IMHO a very important safety feature that most new cars above $25,000 have as standard now

    • Kieran

      Bluetooth is standard in a 1.6L Getz, so I don’t see why it’s not standard on EVERYTHING! Reminds me of that Beach Boys song… “wouldn’t it be nice…”

  • Deco

    The premium fuel required to run this car will be a major turn-off for consumers.

    • No way

      Most Euro models require premium fuel. It’s the norm. Even gutless BMW 320i requires it but that didn’t stop it from being a big seller for the brand.

      In Europe our premium fuel is their regular stuff.

      • ABMPSV

        With better fuel there is more power and better fuel economy. Because our fuel is still not up to Euro standard that is why VW need 95. In Europe you can not buy 91 octane fuel. Everywhere is 95 or 100 (Aral, BP) In US many cars running on 88!! With premium fuel if 91 cost $1.30 and 95 $1.34 than if your car use 10L and VW 9.7 than all equal.

        • timmy201

          USA uses a different unit for octane rating.

          We use Research Octane Nmuber

          US use AKI, which is an average of RON and MON (Motor Octane Number)

          US AKI of 87-88 is a RON 91-92 like we get here in Australia

          • ABMPSV

            Yes I forgot that US use AKI my mistake. I wont be turned of with using 95 or 98 octane fuel if fuel economy is lower. If you check BP website what it does to your valve a 91 Oct fuel and how clean is with 98 you will be surprised.

      • Simon

        While all true, Deco has a point. Many fleets/businesses that provide fuel cards are limited to 91 RON ULP. This counts out all VWAG cars from a potentially huge market. This is why the likes of Toyota, Ford and Holden stitch up so much of fleet sales.
        It would be nice if we could move to a minimum 95 Ron country but I fear it’s likely to go the other way with E10.

      • Ross

        It’s because standard Australian fuels and diesels are of a lower grade than European (and Jap). The reason for the low number of diesel cars available in Aust is that we were so slow bringing in the good oil so that it didn’t turn to glug in the engines of most eco friendly euro cars!
        So far behind hte times! Look forwards to the diesel hybrids that will have half the consumption of the current jap ones!

      • Peter

        No car actually REQUIRES premium fuel. My car (Honda Euro) says it needs 98 in the book but 95 inbside the fuel cap. When I queried the service deprt as to which was correct they advised 91 would run just fine as the computer adjustrs. Indeed they said unless you drive at freeway speeds for long distances anything over 91 is a waste as it is not fully burnt. They also pointed to the label that says it is E10 suitable and then pointed out that all E10 is made with 91 octane fuel, meaning it can clearly run on 91.
        Following their advice I downladed the brochures for both Bentley and Rolls Royce and both recommend 98+ but both also say will run on 91 without harm.
        I did the test myself. Ran several tanks on 98 and then several tanks on 91. Mileage around town was identical with no noitceable power difference. Country driving was another story. For THAT the 98 made a huge difference.

  • AB

    Displaying the ‘as tested’ price would be usefull info also.
    Including options I calculated you are looking at a $50,000 + wagon here.

    I share same thoughts re DSG, found it annoying in slow, stop start traffic and as you mentioned accellerating after coasting.

    Overall good wagon though I think a bit too expensive

  • No way

    I think the 125TDI is better value. It costs $5,000 more than 118TSI however you get standard leather (higher quality Napa leather) as well as Highline specification. Leather option alone in 118TSI is $3,000 and it’s not even Napa.

  • Kris

    “DSG unrefined at low speeds” – got to love uninformed motoring “journalists”. The DSG is one of the most advanced gearboxes in the world. It’s even used in Porsches. As a result, it takes time to learn the driver’s driving style. So a demo is not going to feel “refined” to ANY driver.

    • Adam

      My dad owns a Passat R36 and the DSG *is* unrefined at low speeds.

      It’s a consequence of the transmission’s design.

    • AB

      It maybe advanced, but a typical ZF 6 Speed auto has better driveability around town.

    • Mythfrances

      Gotta love uninformed motoring Journal reader aka Kris.
      My dad owns a 2009 passat 125 TDI 6 speed DSG, he drove for almost an year now . I as a student dont have that much money, have a humble second hand Honda 2004 Jazz VTI. Yet when he test drove my car he totally loves the smoothness of the CVT engine (though lacks quite some torge/power).
      Passat is still a great car, DSG is very advanced. It is just not so refined at low speeds.
      You mentioned Porche too. Have you driven one before at all? Dont just read what others say and assume its all true.

    • Simon

      “….to circumvent its personality traits”. (RE:DSG)
      Shame that it is a consideration at all. This is meant to be an advanced system, they need to sort it. I’ve read that BMWs version is far superior despite being a newcomer to the game.

    • John of Perth

      my few drives of a std 1.9tdi & GTI Golf suggest that the DSG is impeccable when moving but that the ‘shift’ from standstill to either first or reverse can be quite aggresive and abrupt.

      I know why Australian suppliers drop the manual gearbox option or leave it on the base spec models only but it’s such a shame that the ‘drivers’ out there are denied smarter optioned vehicles without having to go auto or dsg.

      The Passat is a very well sorted vehicle.

  • Matt

    For the Cruise Control, is it on the wheel or still on a separate stalk?

    • Matt Brogan

      It’s on a separate stalk, located on the lower LH side of the column (beneath and aft of the indicator stalk).

      • Matt

        Thanks :)

        Was it intrusive or difficult to use? My dad is looking at the Passat and this was one of the issues that came up (hasn’t been on a test drive yet)

        • Matt Brogan

          Hi Matt,

          I didn’t find it intrusive, and it’s certainly easy to use. Perhaps the only criticism, if you can call it that, is that you can easily switch the system off when cancelling the cruise control. Pushing forward on the stalk too hard will position the switch to ‘off’, bypassing ‘cancel’. You soon learn to be a little more gentle.

          Hope this helps.

          • Simon

            It’s a brilliant system because it allows for increments/decrements in either 1Km/H or 10Km/H. This is perfect when changing speed zones e.g. 100 to an 80 zone. Two taps on the stalk and it’s sorted.

  • Mk

    The VW 1.8 Turbo is my favourite engine and I would recommend everybody to go and have a drive in one of these VW/Skoda models.

  • Able

    the first Superb wagons arrive at the end of this month and will be probs $3k more (but I’m hoping Skoda Aus gives them a spec change too – Superbs aren’t well-equipped enough for the price, unlike Octavias) than the TwinDoor. Looks to be a fabulous car, just like the saloon, albeit better looking.

    • Matt

      Thanks :)

  • Mark

    118 kw and $50, have to be kidding.Id rather a ssv sportwagon anyday.
    My brother has a Passat.Drives pretty ordinary,and yes the DSG is not smooth..
    My FG Turbo drives much better then my bros Passat.
    The R36 is a nice looking wagon though.wouldnt mind it if they bolted a turbo on to it.

    • Mal

      Sigh…Some people seem to persist with thinking price equals horsepower. I’ve had a Passat for 3 years and have had to stomach a new rental Commodore for a week. Guess which one felt ordinary….

      • Simon

        LMAO Mal, I remember the exact same problem. I think I even posted a comment to the same effect on another Passat page on CA somewhere.
        Chalk and cheese anyone?
        Yet people swear by their commodores. I guess ignorance really is bliss.

      • daan

        Did you have to drive the Commodore because your Passat was being repaired?
        Being 3 years old I reckon its about to fall apart so you should think about replacing it.
        On the otherhand if your happy struggling to keep up with traffic in your under-powered fwd eurobox…good on you!

        • Mal

          I won’t dignify this with a response.

    • filippo

      Let me spell it out for you Captain Nemo: Do you really think that the executives at VW care about people who don’t know how to use punctuation, don’t know the difference between ‘then’ and ‘than’ and think only in kws? I personally think that they would be quite happy for the likes of Mark to buy a Commodore SSV.

    • Simon

      Passat drives pretty ordinary? Hey the FG Turbo is a nice bit of auto but it has a lot more flex than the Passat, at least in G6ET guise. Not surprising given the Passat is built on the golf platform and has a very rigid chassis.
      R36 with turbo? I like that idea. I reakon it would spank even the mighty FG T!

  • Matt

    Looking at the pictures this car has Park Assist (auto reverse parallel parking), did you guys test this out?

  • Shak

    Can somebody explain to me the benefits of having a DSG in a family wagon. I understand that they were invented to have quick shift times and lower fuel consumption. But a well calibrated ZF six speeder will deliver similar if not better results. PLease, i am asking a proper question. Why?

    • Reckless1

      ZF 6 speed is a torque convertoer auto, and as such it is an auto not an automated manual.

      It can not, and does not, give equal fuel consumption to a manual transmission.

      I’ve found that all Ford drivers lie about how much fuel their cars use, because they swallow the mantra about how great the Ford is, and then can’t swallow their pride when they find out how much they really drink.

      • Bimmerc

        I know the theoritical efficiency for Torque converter is no more than 98%, but the thing drive consumption up is pump,you can easily increase the fuel consumption by increase few bar of pump pressure.

        I believe the ZF 6 speeder is not cheaper than DQ200,and VW think DCT will have better future.

      • Simon

        Reckless is right. DSG is more efficient but it struggles transferring the torque that the ZF is designed to cope with. I suspect this is because they are engineered to preserve the clutch rather than drop them aggressively.

        • Mal

          Exactly Simon! The DSG may be jerky if not accustomed to it. But as an owner actually experiencing this gearbox long term it’s obvious there’s a definite method to VW’s madness.

  • Stig’s cousin

    Thank you Matt Brogan for the review and road test. How does this wagon compares with the 2008 TDI you tested previously? I know it’s a different engine, but back then you said, “why test the rest when you can drive the best”. Do the upgrades to the 2010 TDI make it an even proposition in its market segment, and more importantly, than its petrol stablemate? Or are there better alternatives for the price in both sedan and wagon formats? Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Matt Brogan

      Hi SC,

      When it comes to comparing petrol and diesel engines in a car like the Passat, much consideration comes down to personal preference. If you do a lot of kilometres, a diesel is certainly going to save the hip pocket over the longer term. They’re also especially good when you need that extra torque (hilly terrain, towing, loaded vehicle, etc).

      But if you’re just moving the troops around town and doing the occasional weekend trip, a petrol will more than suffice.

      The best recommendation I can make, is to ask your local dealer for an overnight loan of each. Take the car on a decent drive through a familiar course, the kind of drive you’d typically use the vehicle for, and just see which you feel more comfortable with.

      At the end of the day, with so many engine/transmission options in a car such as the Passat, you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.

      Hope this helps, Matt.

      • Simon

        As a TDI Passat owner, I think it’s a great car. It’s particular strength is overtaking. It’s achillies heel is turbo lag from stand-still. You will find lots of cars will beat you off the line, even small naturally aspirated petrols. It’s really after 30km/h the diesels come alive. They have the in-gear acceleration of a big V6. In fact I’ve had some older SS commodores work really hard to catch up/beat me.

        I fully concur with Matt’s sentiment. If you are running around town, get the petrol. It’s just better in traffic yet still relatively frugal. If you find you are chewing up the country miles, go the diesel. Best fuel return I ever had was 1190Km from a full tank (70L) but this was all highway. Around town expect 700-800Km. A nice consequence is you spend a lot less time at the bowser.

        The DSG still has a long way to go until I would call it refined.
        Apart from acceleration from standstill and DSG issues, I only have a couple of gripes.
        The chrome gearbox selector surrounding bracket (take a breath!) has a knack of blinding you with the sun’s reflections around midday. They should have made it a matt finish. The interior light only turns on with full intensity. This is harsh on the eyes when you have been night driving. Conversely, the likes of a Falcon have a progressive illumination as you open the doors. The cruise control “on” indicator doesn’t dim. This is distracting when country driving at night as every other part of the dash does dim.
        I concede these are pretty trivial issues, but certainly issues that could easily be rectified by VW.

        Last observation is expect to pay more for servicing. The oil is really expensive as it’s low ash, long service life. The up side is 15000Km service intervals.
        Hope this is helpful.

        • GFC

          Ive had a 103kw TDI Passat sedan for 3 years. My experiences are similar to Simon’s. There is a fair bit of lag from standstill. The DSG is happiest once you are underway. Hill starts are sometimes a bit jerky which is a shame. Otherwise all in all it has been a great car that I enjoy to drive.

          • Stig’s cousing

            Thank you to all for your insight and advice. Very much appreciated. Cheers.

  • Neo Utopia

    Comparing to the Mazda6 wagon or Honda Accord Euro wagon (not available here for some reason), the Passat it starting to look a little outdated, quite classy, but a bit outdated all the same. But for people who want an ordinary wagon, I must say the Skoda is the brain choice. But some people may buy the Volkswagen purely for the brand recognition. I’d choose the diesel Passat, around 6.5 litres per 100, a no brainer really.

    But the way, sitting in the superseded Liberty wagon at the 2008 Brisbane motor show and comparing it to the Passat I thought the Liberty felt more comfortable and driver orientated, I was surprised by that. I would have to sit in the new Liberty to convince me it’s a better car than the previous generation.

  • Joe

    I look forward to July when the this Passat’s true competitor the Mondeo Titanium 2.2 TDCI Wagon arrives complete with 129kw/425nm and Ford’s version of DSG the Powershift Transmission.

    Then we can see how these 2 Up Spec wagons compare(and throw the Skoda in as well).
    I’m sure the anti-Bogan anti-Ford bias’ will come charging through from some of the regular bloggers.

    By the way I think that the Passat is a really nice car but the VW badge/image is starting to turn me off. It’s starting to make me think “Pretentious Wanker” rather than “Well Built People’s Car”.

    As for Reckless 1, the truth is just too hard to accept isn’t it.

    • Simon

      True the new Mondeo looks promising. I suspect that VW will drop their twin-turbo diesel into new Passats. They are currently an option in their new Caravelle, Transporter and Multivan. 2.0L 132KW & 400NM with a 7 speed DSG. This should eliminate just about all turbo lag and give more gear ratios to keep the turbos in peak torque range. I think the Ford will struggle to beat it in outright performance.
      Diesel power is getting serious :)

  • Don

    Great car overall, but overpriced in Oz. In the UK Passat prices are on par with the Accord (Euro), Mondeo and Mazda6, making it a much better proposition

    • ABMPSV

      Yes very closely matched. After 6.5 year the VW is same price becasue of cheaper running cost. Mazda city fuel economy 12.2L, VW 8.4, at 20,000km pa, ULP $1.369, diesel $1.269, VW saves $1208 pa.

  • Golfschwein

    I’ve read the test, the comments and am wondering how to put the DSG transmission into context. Simon and Matt could give me their thoughts, if the post is still live.

    My Golf 109Tdi is a manual. I test drove a 2.0 Tdi with DSG four and a half years ago, before I was ready to purchase, and was mightily impressed. I don’t recall the low speed hesitancy, only the impressive charging through the gears.

    The DSG is an automated box with real cogs and two clutches. As the lights go green when I’m driving my Golf, progress isn’t instantaneous. I have to get on the accelerator, ease the clutch out and time everything so it’s as smooth and progressive as possible. It takes a few moments. If we accept that a DSG has to do exactly the same, does that make its traits more acceptable and understandable? Can it do these things quicker than a driver operating a manual box and clutch?

    • Simon

      Hi Golfie,
      I usually don’t find the DSG jerky unless I’m in reverse. Because of the higher ratio of reverse it seems to engage/disengage the clutch rather abruptly, usually when on an incline. This often occurs because you tend to reverse more cautiously and with an easing on the accelerator the DSG tries to catch the car before it starts rolling, yet avoid stalling the engine. It’s nothing like the progressive action in an auto.
      What I find is a bigger issue is the inherent lag with the DSG/Turbo combination. This probably plays into the revering issue too. Essentially this is a turbo lag issue but it’s complicated by the DSG’s conservative engagment. In a manual you can spool the engine up first and then rapidly engage the clutch. You then get forward motion in a hurry and no stall. The DSG doesn’t let this happen. It is also programmed to avoid stalling while not riding the clutch. So it’s always a compromise and the engine is never spooled before it engages.
      I suspect the best way to improve the whole problem is to try to eliminate turbo lag. That said I don’t know that much more can be done. Obviously a computer controls the clutch and it needs to optimise engagement for all driving conditions.
      I think VW would have spent a lot of time getting the DSG to where it is. It’s pretty good but not yet perfect. I have lived with it’s perculiarities without any major issues, it was just something to adapt to.
      To fully appreciate it best you just give it a go under the conditions I’ve described. Try booting itI from standstill, try reversing on an incline. Also try idling start/stop repetitiously. Again always more pronounced on an incline.
      Not sure I’ve helped clarify but there you go!

  • auto

    Why haven’t VW overcome this annoying jerky DSG box and turbo lag ? Falcon about the same price but have a much smoother 6 speed box. If VW could fix this annoyance I am sure their sales of this car would improve.

  • Terry Panton

    I love my 2007 Passat wagon TDI but was bitterly disappointed last week when between Newcastle and Sydney it suddenly lost power and snuffed out. Later I was informed by a VW mechanic that the injectors had failed and it’s going to cost $4886 to replace them (incl wiring harness). The car has done just over 88,000 k’s. Has anyone had similar experience? TP 0419590625

  • Mark L Rutter

    hmmm … I am looking at jumping into a 2nd hand Passat .. 125TDi Highline/ Bluemoton …3C with DSG ….. what should I be paying for one of these with under 10km on the clock … what bucks would represent value?   It’s a 2010 model.

    I currently drive a Mzda 3 turbo diesel which I love….pin sharp and once under way, smooth, linear power delivery from the diesel. It’s a fun, engaging drive.   Will the Passat disappopint or please by comparison? What else is worth a look? Sat in the Passat ….lots of wow factor in the cabin ..haven’t driven yet.

    Informed comments appreciated. Have enjoyed reading much of the above.

Volkswagen Passat Specs

Car Details
103 TDI
3C MY10
Body Type
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
320Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
103kW @  4000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1500  Unbrake:740
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
215/55 R16
Rear Tyres
215/55 R16
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Standard Features
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Power front seat Driver
Control & Handling
16 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering, Trip Computer
CD with 6 CD Stacker, Radio CD with 8 Speakers
Power Mirrors
Power Windows
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Power front seats, Power Sunroof
Control & Handling
Adaptive Damping Control, 18 Inch Alloy Wheels
Cruise Control Intelligent/Active, Satellite Navigation
Premium Sound System
Fog Lights - Front, Metallic Paint
Leather Upholstery
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Country of Origin