All-new, lighter VW Passat hits SA
By: IOL Motoring Staff
Johannesburg - Don't let its evolutionary design deceive you, Volkswagen's eighth-generation Passat, which has just landed in South Africa, is an all new car.
Following its smaller Golf sibling onto the MQB modular platform, the latest family-sized Volksie is up to 85kg lighter than before and comes with a new family of engines, all this culminating in a 14 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, according to VW's claims.
The new Passat has been marginally downsized, with overall length decreasing by 2mm and height by 14mm, although the car is 12mm wider and the wheelbase has been extended by 79mm, allowing for an actual improvement in cabin space.
Priced between R378 800 and R476 800, the Passat costs a bit more than the Ford Fusion (R349 900 - R449 900) but it does undercut the Honda Accord (R424 600 - R599 200).
THREE PETROL ENGINES
Like the former, the Passat offers a decent spread of turbopetrol engines, which are newly designed in this case; diesel-heads will have to wait until the second half of next year to get their hands on the 130kW 2.0 TDI model.
The launch range kicks off with the EA211 1.4-litre TSI turbopetrol, rated at 110kW and 250Nm and, according to VW, good for an 8.4-second 0-100km/h sprint. The 1.4 can be mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG dual clutch gearbox.
That ‘box comes standard in the mid-range 1.8-litre TSI, which is good for 132kW and 250Nm (yes, same as the 1.4) and the hottest Passat is a 2-litre TSI that pushes 162kW and 350Nm. The latter model is fitted with a six-speed DSG and sprints from 0-100km/h in a claimed 6.7 seconds, versus 7.9s in the case of the 1.8.
All three engines come with idle stop and brake energy recuperation systems to enhance efficiency.
The 2.0 TSI is fitted, as standard, with VW's Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive damping system, which offers 'Comfort', 'Normal' and 'Sport' modes. The XDS+ electronic diff lock is also exclusively available on this model.
The eighth-gen Passat offers a good spread of features and gadgets, with all models featuring Fatigue Detection, park distance control, eight-speaker Composition Media audio system with 16.5-inch touch-screen, leather multi-function steering wheel and cruise control. The 1.8 TSI Highline and 2.0 TSI R-Line add niceties like Alcantara/Vienna leather seats and three-zone climate control.
You can really go to town on the options list, which among other gadgets offers the Discovery Pro Satellite Navigation that replaces the instrument cluster with a 31cm TFT display as well as the latest Park Assist system that allows for automated perpendicular parking and Active Cruise Control with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking.
1.4 TSI Comfortline 110kW - R378 800
1.4 TSI Comfortline 110kW DSG - R398 800
1.8 TSI Highline 132kW DSG - R444 200
2.0 TSI R-Line 162kW DSG - R476 800
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