Next generation Passat


This is the eight generation of the venerable Passat.

VW seem to have adopted the philosophy of if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it because the new car while new looks very like its predecessor both inside and out. Nevertheless its bigger, with a wheelbase that is 78mm longer, better equipped, has a massive 586 litre class leading boot in saloon guise and boasts some new technologies too.

VW have evolved what was a very good car into an even better one. The result is that the new Passat has matured into a very fine car indeed, but you need to dig below the little changed style to find its real virtues.

The model we are interested in this week is the new Alltrak, a four wheel drive estate version of the new Passat. While not a version that will sell in big numbers it is of interest.

The Alltrak estate is distinguished by its broader wheel arches, increased ride height, chrome roof rails and 17 inch Ancona alloy wheels. It is a smart tidy looking estate but it will not really turn heads or win any prizes for innovative or radical design. I suppose in typical VW fashion it is somewhat conservative looking but none the worse for that. Mind you the Habanero Orange paintwork of my test car was hard not to notice!

The interior of the new Passat is well designed and nicely laid out. The driving position is perfect (the new seats are excellent) and all switches and levers fall easily to hand. There is an air of Teutonic efficiency about the whole car. What it may lack in flair it more than makes up for in functionality. The interior has certainly moved up in the quality stakes. It feels more up market, more premium.

This Business Edition Alltrak estate is particularly well kitted out with highlights worthy of mention such as adaptive cruise control, 8 inch Pro Navigation with voice control, Park assist, LED headlights, Auto high beam assist, auto wipers, City emergency brake, heated front seats, Off road driving program with hill descent, front underbody guard, an increased ground clearance of 27.5mm, and a premium multi function display including a G meter. Its safe to say this Alltrak is very well equipped.

Powered by VW’s 2.0 TDi 190 bhp diesel and mated to VW’s optional 6 speed DSG auto the combination gives the Alltrak impressive performance.

First of all that diesel power plant has bags of torque and quite good performance. I also liked the fact that it is very refined, with very little evidence of diesel clatter or vibration with the exception of it feeling slightly buzzy at motorway speeds. .With emissions of just 135g it costs just €280 to tax. Over my weeks road test it burnt just 6.3 litres per 100km. Excellent!

The new Passat Alltrak rides and handles very well indeed. The suspension with the increased ride height does a good job of soaking up road imperfections and refinement levels are very good. With an accomplished all wheel drive system traction is excellent on greasy or slippery roads.

The new Volkswagen Passat Alltrak is a fine car. It does everything well and nothing badly. Its not an inspiring drive, but it will deliver years of solid dependable motoring, and that it seems is what people want.

Its superbly equipped and I love the high quality premium feel of the whole car right down to the mood strip lights in the door panels. Yes this is one lovely motorcar but it all comes at a hefty price, in this case €49,130.