Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -


Starts with a $4500 price dis­ad­van­tage but trumps the Subaru with three-zone air­con, more driver as­sis­tance tech­nol­ogy and au­di­ble park­ing sen­sors. It also has cheaper ser­vic­ing at $1527 over three years (al­though you get three ser­vices to Subaru’s six). Ac­cord­ing to Glass’s Guide, it re­tains just 45 per cent of its value over three years, com­pared with 55 per cent for the Subaru.


The Subaru is well fin­ished, but the Pas­sat takes it up a notch with a pres­tige feel that in­cludes soft leather, brushed alu­minium high­lights and bet­ter qual­ity graph­ics for the cen­tre screen and in­stru­ment panel. It also has more rear leg room and a big­ger boot at 586 litres, roughly 20 per cent more than the Lib­erty.


The Pas­sat has marginally more power and torque at 132kW/250Nm, but the torque ar­rives lower in the rev range, giv­ing it bet­ter re­sponse off the mark. The sev­en­speed dual-clutch auto also helps per­for­mance with its rapid changes, as does the 80kg weight ad­van­tage. The Pas­sat makes its power more ef­fi­ciently too, us­ing just 6 litres per 100km.


Comes fully loaded with driver as­sis­tance tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing fa­tigue de­tec­tion, rear traf­fic alert, auto emer­gency brak­ing and lane de­par­ture warn­ing. It’s a shame auto brak­ing isn’t stan­dard across the range, though. It has nine airbags and au­di­ble park­ing sen­sors to go with the re­vers­ing cam­era. It scored five stars in crash test­ing with a score of 35.89 out of 37.


The Pas­sat is the more en­joy­able drive, thanks to a perkier en­gine, rapid gear changes and a more nim­ble feel through the bends. It feels and sounds sportier but also in­su­lates the driver from road im­per­fec­tions slightly bet­ter, with less road noise from tyres and sus­pen­sion. The steer­ing is well-weighted and di­rect.

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