VW's Passat is now available in diesel guise.
VW's Passat is now available in diesel guise.

By: IOL Motoring Staff

This week it was reported that Volkswagen would be phasing diesel engines out of its North American range in the wake of the so-called Dieselgate crisis, not that Americans ever much fancied oil burners to start with.

Luckily this is not America, and Volkswagen clearly has no desire to close our diesel tap. In fact, VW has just launched a diesel version of the Passat in South Africa, and it could very well be the sweet spot in the line-up.

The new 2-litre TDI motor pushes 130kW between 3600 and 4000rpm and 350Nm from 1500rpm. Mated to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automated gearbox, the Passat TDI sprints from 0-100km/h in a claimed 8.2 seconds and sips exactly five litres per 100km on the combined cycle, bearing in mind that this figure was attained in a laboratory, not the real world.

The diesel model also ushers in a rejigged range, where the previous 1.8-litre TSI engine falls away, leaving the 110kW 1.4 TSI and 162kW 2.0 TSI as the only petrol options. Furthermore, the previous Comfortline, Highline and R-Line grades make way for Luxury and Executive derivatives.

There's no more roughing it with this range, even the 'entry-level' Luxury sporting three-zone automatic climate control, heated Vienna leather seats and LED headlights.

The Executive adds Nappa leather, App Connect, dynamic cornering lights and the R-Line styling package, among other things. The options list has also been rejigged, reportedly with the aim of offering better value.

PASSAT PRICES

1.4 TSI Luxury 110kW DSG - R468 200

2.0 TSI Executive 162kW DSG - R522 400

2.0 TDI Luxury 130kW DSG - R493 900

2.0 TDI Executive 130kW DSG - R522 400

ALTERNATIVES

Audi A4 1.4 TFSI auto - 110kW/250Nm - R472 000

BMW 320i auto - 135Nm/270Nm - R482 356

Ford Fusion 2.0T Trend - 149kW/300Nm - R424 900

Lexus ES250 EX - 135kW/235Nm - R507 100

Mercedes-Benz C200 auto - 135kW/300Nm - R516 154