Home' Motoring Plus : April 23rd 2014 Contents THE NELSON MAIL Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — 7
❚ Continued from page C6
AT A GLANCE
transversely mounted four
cylinder 1.8-litre direct
injected and turbocharged
petrol engine, with seven-
speed DSG automatic
Outputs: 118kW at 4500rpm,
250Nm at 1500-4500rpm,
0-100kmh 8.5 seconds, 7.1
L/100kmh, 162g/km CO2.
Chassis: Sports suspension.
sensitive power steering.
Electronic parking brake.
audio with high resolution
colour touch screen, six-disc
CD changer, MP3 and WMA
files compatible. Media device
interface multimedia socket
with iPod adapter cable.
Bluetooth with phonebook
stabilisation programme with
brake assist, ABS, traction
control and trailer
stabilisation. Front, side and
curtain airbags, ‘‘rest assist’’
driver fatigue detection
system. Five-star EuroNCAP
Dimensions: L 4769mm, W
2062mm, H 1470mm, W/base
2712mm. Fuel tank 70 litres.
Hot: Value-added offering.
Nice interior. Very easy drive.
High safety specification
Not: Exterior looks getting
dated. Transmission hesitates
when starting from stationary.
Verdict: This least-expensive
Passat is a beauty, a very
good 60th birthday Kiwi
offering from the German
Power plant: 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine is the smallest of the
Passat fleet, but it can still give the sedan a good turn of speed.
Nice seating: New sports seats are upholstered in black with light grey
changes to specification, which
means it has a total value
advantage of $6510.
Obviously this particular
Passat offered a high level of
specification anyway which
explains why the amount of value
added to the car was in the
hundreds rather than thousands
of dollars. But right down at the
bottom of the Passat selection are
the models that really benefit
from this 60th anniversary
One such car is the least
expensive Passat – the TSI sedan
powered by a 1.8-litre direct
injected and turbocharged petrol
engine. With the Trendline
specification it used to retail for
$47,750, and now that it has had
the R-Line treatment it has gone
up in price by $1000. But because
it is the base model Passat it has
had $10,800 worth of value added
to it which means it boasts a total
value advantage of $9800.
And that makes the sedan very
competitive against all the
Japanese, Korean and mass-
market European product
currently on offer in New
Step into this Passat and settle
into its clean almost spare
interior, and one of the first
things to be noticed are the new
seats. The former cloth versions
have been replaced with sports
seats that are upholstored in a
black fabric and with light grey
side sections. The seats combine
forces with quite heavy use of
silver inserts on the dashboard
and doors to immediately give
this Volkswagen a premium feel.
I do like the interior of a Passat.
It all feels so efficient. The driver
information display, audio and
climate control are all nicely
located, and our test model was
fitted with a $750 optional extra
for the park pilot called park
assist, which puts lines on to view
from the reversing camera to help
with parallel parking.
Our Passat’s exterior boasted
body-coloured door handles and
R-style rear spoiler, there were
chrome strips at the front, side
and rear, and these all combined
with the larger 18-inch alloy
wheels – they replace 16-inch
versions – to give the Volkswagen
a performance look. The car also
has a sports suspension which
lowers the vehicle by about
But is it a performance sedan?
Well – no, but despite the fact it is
powered by ‘‘only’’ a 1.8-litre
petrol engine it does turn on a
surprisingly good turn of speed
It’s all because the direct-
injected engine is turbocharged.
This means the top power is 118
kilowatts, and more importantly
the top torque is 250 newton
metres from just 1500rpm right
through to 4500rpm. With the
automatic transmission in Drive
the performance is almost sedate,
but move the gearshift into an
Sport mode and the car can light
The Passat sedan’s official
acceleration time to 100kmh is 8.5
seconds, and combined fuel
consumption is 7.1 litres per 100
My only real gripe about this
car is its seven-speed DSG twin-
clutch automatic transmission.
It’s a wonderful auto when the
Passat is in motion, but at takeoff
from a standing start the
electronic transmission seems to
hesitate before moving the
But that criticism aside, the
Volkswagen Passat continues to
be one of my favourite vehicles,
and this latest value-added entry
model appeals as an excellent
part of it all.
Obviously the addition of all
that specification for not much
more money is not only designed
as a marketing exercise to help
celebrate the marque’s 60 years in
New Zealand, but also to keep the
Passat relevant until a brand-new
model is launched here in about a
All I can say is it’s going to
that much better than this
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