Jeans or a tailored suit? Chart hits or twelve-tone music? Mallorca or trekking tour in the Himalayas? There are so many ways to stand out from the crowd - you don't have to do that with your car. One thinks. And buy one VW Passat. You don't do anything wrong with it.
Almost 60.000 Passat new cars have already been registered in Germany this year. One of 40's new cars comes from the mid-range series from Wolfsburg and Emden. Only the Golf has a higher rate. As a Passat buyer, you do not win an originality price. Especially not if you also choose the most common engine - diesel scandal or not - the 2,0 liter four-cylinder diesel in the version with 110 kW / 150 PS.
The diesel is like the whole car: good in all respects without really being top anywhere. Well balanced. However, at a high level, as the Passat makes clear at every opportunity. The limousine tested in this case, with its restrained, elegantly cut sheet metal and now 4,77 meters long, looks even more like its predecessor than a small Phaeton. There is no longer any trace of honest sales representative flair, and even the management could drive up to him without losing face.
The interior can also be seen and touched: material selection and processing still set the class standard on this side of the real premium manufacturers. However, the ambience hardly differs from other models of the brand. And you won't find any original, surprising or even a real eye-catcher. The deliberately anachronistic analogue clock in the dashboard looks more like an attempt to breathe high-class flair in the Phaeton style. Beyond taste judgments, you still have to pay respect to the interior of the Passat. The space at the front and back is very good, as are the seats. There are enough shelves, the operation is simple and well thought out.
The Passat drives just as calmly. The long wheelbase alone ensures comfortable gliding, and the sedan can take all the hardships of road construction without complaint. Whether long waves, short strikes or bad asphalt - the VW does not allow itself to be really confused. So he has mastered the big tour inside out. And it can also handle winding country roads or slow city traffic - even if the overall convincingly smooth dual clutch transmission has not yet completely shed the slight stubbornness typical of the design when driving slowly and maneuvering. The most noticeable thing about the engine is its inconspicuousness, especially the acoustic. As soon as it is warm, the well-encapsulated four-cylinder diesel can hardly be heard from. Unless you ask him to overtake; It does this confidently without annoying turbo lag. Even when moving off, it gets going quickly enough. The average consumption of five to six liters per 100 kilometers is also okay. There are indeed more powerful, quieter or more economical engines, but the sum of its properties makes the Euro 6 diesel a perfect match for the generally balanced Passat.
The only downer, as is so often the case with VW, is the price. At least 30.875 euros are due for the diesel sedan, with the automatic, which can be dispensed with, it is 33.125 euros. If you choose the more practical station wagon with the same engine variant, you pay 33.175 euros or 35.425 euros. In addition, there is the money for the equipment, because the basic model has the essentials such as air conditioning and radio on board, but frequent drivers would also be happy about extras such as a hands-free system, cruise control or the very back-friendly ergonomic seats, so that the bill quickly goes up to 40.000 -Euro mark added.
For those entitled to a company car this is probably of secondary importance, they need the Passat as a fast, comfortable and not too extroverted long-haul car. But even those who buy the limousine privately and like it more individualistic are no longer left completely alone at VW. In addition to the eye-catching paint tones "Sand Gold" and "Crimson Red", there is at least the station wagon as an "Alltrack" model in off-road style. You can even set yourself apart from the crowd with a VW Passat. (Holger Holzer / SP-X)