Find your inner showpiece
The price is right to own Europe’s car of the year
VOLKSWAGEN’S updated Passat looks a million bucks. The longer and lower stance is more aggressive, the styling wider and more angular.
It comes as a sedan, a regular wagon or offroad-styled Alltrack. Its super-competitive pricing, starting from $34,990, puts it within reach of Falcon and Commodore buyers — many of whom will be looking soon for alternatives. The base 132TSI and upspec Comfortline version share a 1.8-litre petrol engine and seven speed auto, and the 140TDI Highline is a 2.0-litre diesel with six-speeder.
The 132TSI Comfortline is $39,990 and the 140TDI Highline is $45,990 before option packs.
Standard equipment includes nine airbags, satnav, three-zone climate control aircon and 6.5-inch touchscreen.
The Comfortline adds leather upholstery, bolstered sport seats, foglights with fixed cornering lights, keyless entry and push-button start. Safety gear includes front assist with city emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, side assist, lane assist and rear traffic alert.
Its eight-inch touchscreen is easier and gets the Discover Pro infotainment upgrade.
Petrol versions get 17-inch alloys as standard and the diesel has 18s. There are self- healing tyres and a full-size alloy spare.
Occupying the sweet spot, the Comfortline is well worth the extra $5000 in terms of resale alone. The diesel’s premium is pretty steep.
It is worth noting the smaller stablemate Jetta sedan, also $39,990 for the top-of-the-line variant, enjoys similar styling and could well be a rival. The Volkswagen badge has plenty of cachet and the latest Passat lives up to the promise. Its longer wheelbase delivers better dynamics and interior space, while the styling draws plenty of admiring glances.
Badge tragics may be unable to resist the related Audi A4 — their loss.
Slide behind the wheel for the first time and the sporty seats feel big and cushy. The meaty bolsters can catch the hip on entry — we’ve encountered worse but it could be problematic for those who aren’t as lithe as they once were.
Large blind spot warning lights take much of the guesswork out of the cut and thrust of city driving.