Diesel wunder wagon
Robert Barry finds that beauty is more than skin deep in the new Volkswagen Passat TDI Comfortline 4Motion variant.
Just like its smaller sibling the generation 6 Golf, the latest generation 7 Passat is one of Volkswagens most important global models. This is why the new B7 model is an evolution of the B6 rather than a revolutionary all-new car.
While some journalists would cynically call this a facelift model, the changes to the B7 Passat variant are more than skin deep. Yes the main body structure, doors and roof are carried over from the B6 but the frontal styling has been completely made over as have the rear indicator and brake lamp assembly on the tailgate.
Inside the Passat Variants interior has also received quite a makeover, with the addition of an analogue clock and iridium printed dash inserts which make a nice change from funereal black. The electrically operated and heated “comfort” front seats are upholstered in Vienna leather and we found they were certainly very comfortable over long distances.
Volkswagen says it has added a range of engine and comfort technologies to further enhance the driving experience to make this car the quietest and most comfortable they have yet built.
And they have succeeded, the new diesel engines are quieter and punchier than before, with very little turbo lag on initial acceleration, something that was very noticeable on the B6 model. We suspect that the VW engineers have tweaked the electronics on the engine and the DSG transmission because both are noticeably smoother than before.
The 2-litre 125kW turbodiesel Passat Comfortline TDI sedan retails for $57,000, so for another $2,500 you can get into the Variant (wagon) and another $2,500 adds the reassurance of the 4Motion all wheel drive system
Acoustic glass, a sensor controlled easy opening boot lid and a fatigue detection system is standard, but Passat Variant buyers can also option such items as automatic cruise control with stop and go ($2,500), park assist ($750), high beam light assist control ($1,000) and a two piece panoramic sliding glass sunroof ($2,500).
So a fully optioned Passat Variant 125kW TDI 4Motion theoretically tops out at $68,750. Our drive vehicle was completely standard and retailed for $62,000.
Bluemotion Technologies are standard on all Passat TDI models and these include the automatic stop/start system, the braking energy recovery system and optimising low rolling resistance tyres.
If you have never driven a vehicle with an automatic stop start system before, it can be a bit disconcerting when you pull up to an intersection and of a sudden the engine stops.
You haven’t stalled but while you have your right foot on the brake pedal the sophisticated electronics recognise that you have stopped momentarily and will switch the engine off to save diesel! Simply releasing the brake pedal will see the engine immediately fire back into life and off you go.
There are a number of parameters that have to be met before the stop/start system will function and it can be turned off, but that would negate the purpose of the exercise, which is to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
And that is the beauty of the Passat Variant 4Motion, it combines diesel frugality, wagon functionality, touches of luxury, and all-wheel-drive safety into an all round package that’s hard to beat for under $70,000.
Body type Five-door wagon
Engine Type Inline four-cylinder turbodiesel
Engine Capacity 1968cc
Max power 125kw/4200rpm
Max torque 350NM/1750rpm
Fuel Consumption 6.7L/100km
C02 emission 149g/km
0 to 100kph 8.7sec
Front suspension McPherson strut
Rear suspension Multi link
Roof Rack Yes
ABS Brakes Yes
Air Bags 6
Air Conditioning Climate
Lap/diagonal belts 5
Satellite Navigation Optional
Electric seats Yes
Burglar Alarm Yes
Panic Button No
Boot release Yes
Cargo Cover Yes
Boot Capacity 603/1731L
Wheel type 17-inch Alloy
Spare Tyre Full size spare
Through Life Cost Report
36 Months 60000km
Servicing to 60k: $1723.00
Total Tyre cost: $2,358.23
Indicative final figure $42,789
The Through Life Cost Model is used for illustrative and indicative purposes only. FleetWorks and Adrenalin Publishing Limited accept no responsibility or liability should any costs indicated in the Through Life Cost Model change from those published. All residual values are based on an average of values achieved through Turners Auctions Limited sales for the previous 3 months from issue date.