The all-new Volkswagen Passat sedan and wagon have finally arrived in Australia, with the company hopeful of increasing its share of the stagnant mid-sized passenger car market.
Under the body sits the front-wheel-drive ‘MQB’ architecture found on the Golf, new Tiguan and the Skoda Octavia, among many, many others. The car is slightly shorter than its predecessor, but longer in the wheelbase and lower overall.
Once again, sedan and ($2000 more expensive) wagon body styles will be offered, with the latter expected to make up about 60 per cent of sales. Single petrol and diesel four-cylinder turbocharged engines feature, while all versions are equipped with a substantial list of features.
The Passat is now $4000 cheaper at entry level, with the 132TSI sedan kicking off at $34,990 plus on-road costs. Standard equipment is good, including 17-inch alloy wheels, sat-nav, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, three-zone climate control and daytime running lights.
The mid-spec 132TSI Comfortline sedan kicks off at $39,990 and adds a larger 8.0-inch Discover Pro touchscreen, leather seats, autonomous brakes that work below 65km/h, lane assist, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic warning and adaptive cruise control.
Both of these versions come with the 1.8-litre single-turbo 132TSI petrol engine that makes 132kW of power between 5100 and 6200rpm and 250Nm of torque from 1250rpm out to 5000rpm. Standard is a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Topping the range is the $45,990 (for the sedan) 140TDI Highline diesel, which adds chrome styling bits, nicer LED tail-lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, nicer Nappa leather seats with heating, and a multicolour instrument display, and a Driver Profile Selection.
Powering this version is a Euro 6 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine (not affected by ‘dieselgate’) producing a healthy 140kW between 3500 and 4000rm and 400Nm between 1750 and 3000rpm, matched to a six-speed DSG.
All versions get nine airbags and a Euro NCAP five-star rating.
There’s also a series of options packages you can buy: the Driver Assistance Package that adds all the Comfortline’s safety gear and the Driving Profile Selector to the 132TSI for $1800; the Luxury Package that adds LED headlights, a sunroof, Park Assist and more to the Comfortline and Highline for $3500; and the R-Line that adds bigger wheels, sharper steering, a subtle body kit, lowered suspension and more to the Comfortline ($3000) and Highline ($2500).
Under the skin, the stretched MQB architecture (including platform, steering, suspension and multimedia) saves weight (it’s the first Passat made with aluminium in part) and saves money.
The new Passat is 4767mm long (about 130mm shorter than a Commodore), while the wheelbase is 80mm longer, the overhangs are shorter, the body is 34mm lower and 12mm wider.
Luggage space is outstanding in the sedan and SUV-bashing in the wagon. The sedan offers 586 litres of space in its deep and long boot, while you can flip down the rear seats via levers near the lip to yield 1152L.
The wagon offers 650L with the seats in use, but flip them down via levers in the rear and you get 1780L of space, which is more than any price-matching SUV, though a little short of the cavernous Mondeo wagon. Impressively, all Passats come with full-size alloy spare wheels.
All Volkswagen Passats have three-year warranties, and capped-price servicing with 12-month/15,000km intervals.
Read our 2016 Volkswagen Passat review here.
2016 Volkswagen Passat pricing (plus on-road costs):