AT HOME ON AND OFF THE ROAD
NEW-GENERATION PASSAT WILL HAVE VERY BROAD APPEAL
GLOBALLY, Passats are sold at the rate of one every 28 seconds, which makes it VW's bestseller and a model obviously very important to the brand.
The eighth-generation 4motion (AWD) Passat Alltrack is a strategy towards the SUV segment.
Like the rest of the new range, there are two simplistic options. This is welcoming to buyers as the car comes very well equipped, even in the base model.
The wagon has the same power plant as the rest of the range, a 2.0TDI putting out a healthy 140kW with 400Nm of torque delivered through a well-spaced sixspeed DSG transmission.
VW claims 5.4litres/100km of fuel efficiency from the engine and it seems well-founded after a fair dance to and from the stunning One and Only resort at Wolgan Valley.
Our Alltrack returned a very good 5.7litres/100km after about 400km of mixed driving style and conditions.
Its 4Motion, a ground-clearance increase of 27.5 mm and some cosmetics set the Alltrack apart from the rest of the Passat range. Alltrack comes with unique Kalamata 18-inch wheels with a full-size spare in the rear compartment.
Inside, the sat nav and entertainment system is Apple and Android app connect compatible, there's tri-zone climate control, and black Vienna leather seats complete the comfortable, stylish and simplistic German interior.
Safety is a big ticket for all the Passat range. Nine airbags, adaptive cruise control, city emergency brake technology and driver fatigue are among the long list of safety items.
Others are a blind-spot monitor, rear traffic alert, rear multi-view camera and front park assist.
For visibility, there are LED day running lights and rain-sensing wipers.
Bolstering its SUV-like traits, the Alltrack has new puncture-resistant Continental Contiseal Mobility tyres.
A new Off Road driving mode reduces throttle input and sharpens differential slip and drive to the back of the vehicle on loose surfaces. This adds to Sports,Eco and Normal modes available.
Passat Alltrack is predominantly front-wheel drive, but continuously responds to road conditions to deliver maximum traction to all four corners.
On the road, it is quiet and welldamped, smooth and compliant through tight and twisty stuff too.
The brakes are strong and there is minimal pitch and roll. There is a bit of lag between throttle inputs, but it's a minor quibble.
We drove one up Mt Horrible on the way to Wolgan Valley and found it was not horrible at all. Far from it. There was a decent unsealed section with twists and turns, which the Alltrack felt per- fectly at home on.
The Luxury option tick includes a panoramic sunroof with shield, automatic interior lighting, electric folding mirrors, park assist, corner lighting, headlight washer, a chrome grille and LED headlights.
This option is $3500, a modest price to complete a high level of standard spec.
A larger rear 40/20/40 split fold rear seat system with retractable blind is up on space from the last model to 639 litres.
Alltrack is available now from $49,290 in standard form. It is a stand-alone model according to VW that will shake the SUV segment and bolster sales for Passat.
Pricey, but a great level of equipment . Less 4x4 ability, but more wifey points. Buy the hero Habanero Orange colour to stand out from the crowd.
VW's Passat Alltrack.