AT HOME ON AND OFF THE ROAD

NEW-GEN­ER­A­TION PAS­SAT WILL HAVE VERY BROAD AP­PEAL

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - DRIVE WAY - Robert Buys

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.

Ver­dict:

VW's Pas­sat All­track.

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