VW’s new family sedan outclasses the competition.
Powering the new Passat is VW’s new 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine that pushes out a respectable 170BHP and 240Nm of torque. While the acceleration is an unremarkable 9.2 seconds from 0 to 100kmph, the potency of the engine never makes you feel underpowered in any situation, unlike a Camry. Whether you’re pulling away from stand still or overtaking someone on highway speeds, the Passat’s engine will rumble loudly and push you forward to wherever you want to be.
The average fuel consumption for the Passat was a very impressive 9.5-liters/ 100km, with mixed driving in Dubai and long stretches on Sheikh Zayed Road.
As I mentioned earlier, the soft suspension does take away some of the thrill from the drive, so the Passat never felt as sharp as an Accord. Certainly the loose breaks (I had to push past 1/3rd of the way for full application) don’t help the already floaty feeling of the Passat. However, this is something one can adapt to rather quickly, and certainly for family sedans comfort is a higher priority than cornering at high speeds.
Our top-end ‘Sport’ model comes with some extra goodies inside, of course. You pay an extra AED 27k over the base model for the RNS 510 navigation system with 30GB hard drive, SD card reader and DVD drive. Complementing it is an 8.1 speaker system by Fender-Panasonic which, when coupled with the great sound isolation of the Passat, provides for an incredibly rich audio experience. Then there’s the part-leather seats (with suede on the inside padding) with 8-way power settings (and 3 memory settings) and a dual-zone climate control system. Don’t forget the 18-inch alloy wheels and Continental 235mm Sports tires that also accompany the extra price tag on the ‘Sport’ model.
In between the basic AED 91K to the full-options ‘Sports’ AED118K models you get two more trims, the SE for AED 93.3K and SEL for AED 104.4K, with different options for gradual price increases.
So all things said and done, the new Passat represents and very well balanced package with some very aggressive pricing, especially on the basic entry model. The engine may not be the most powerful in its class, but it’s sufficiently punchy and sounds much better than anything from Toyota, Nissan or even Honda, while also being extremely fuel efficient. And the slight price premium is justified when you look at the quality of the interior and aesthetic feel of the Passat.