Volkswagen's third best selling car looks sharper after it's make-over.
The new Passat was unveiled today at the lofty launch event. Also known as the “B7”, it's the seventh generation of its Passat. First spotted at the Paris motor show, we had out first chance to see this new executive sedan in the flesh.
The new model is based on the previous Passat, with a fresh new “design DNA” look that we've seen on the latest VW models, such as the Touran. Sleeker in either guise, sedan or wagon, there are new features under the new skin that will impress anyone.
Starting on the safety front, the new Passat gets a fatigue warning system, one of the safety features normally reserved for luxury vehicles. It works by sensing control inputs and pinpointing deviations when compared to the readings at the start of any trip. It will then activate visual and acoustic signals to recommend the driver to take a break. The new car also features Lane Assist which helps to keep the car within lanes, by gently counter-steering if it senses the car drifting into an adjacent lane if the directional indicators are not switched on.
Inside the cabin, the more-curvy redesigned centre console gets new materials featuring different textures. Several components have been repositioned, for example, the parking brake control is now located next to the gear shift and the clock has been moved to the upper region of the dash, Phaeton-style. There are new seats too that features Vienna and Alcantara finishes, and 12-way adjustment for the front seats, with a memory function for the driver's seat.
Other features include the optional Easy Open trunk that pops the boot lid open when the driver passes a foot under a sensor mounted beneath rear bumper. Other improvements are things you can't see, but Volkswagen claims that the new Passat has new insulating materials that will keep more noise out, even the windscreen now has it's own noise-damping film. And how could we ignore the concealed reversing camera, that pops out from under the rear VW badge when activated?
The new Passat is offered with either a 160bhp 1.8 TSI or a 300bhp V6 engine. While the 1.8 TSI variant comes with a seven speed DSG box and front wheel drive, the V6 option comes with Volkswagen's 4Motion, an all wheel drive system. While they may look the same, the improvement comes in the fuel consumption. The 1.8 TSI now sips 7 litre/100km and the V6 sips 9.3 litre/100km.