Volkswagen says that with over 30 million sold worldwide across its lifetime, the Passat is the best-selling mid-size model in the world. The enhanced eighth-generation model benefits from updated connectivity, powertrain and engine technologies.
The Passat is the longest continuing name plate in the Volkswagen passenger car range, having been originally launched in 1973. The latest updated car is offered in SE, SEL, and R-Line trims from launch. A limited edition, Estate-only R-Line Edition will also be available.
Entry-level SE trim cars are identifiable by their 17-inch ‘Istanbul’ alloy wheels and black roof rails on Estate models, while a Composition Media System, incorporating a 6.5-inch colour touch-screen, DAB and Bluetooth comes as standard. The entire Passat range benefits from boosted connectivity, with wireless App Connect now fitted as standard, allowing the driver to seamlessly connect their smartphone to the Passat’s infotainment system via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink via Bluetooth, without the need to plug the device in via a USB cable.
The Passat range now gains all-LED headlights from entry-level SE cars up, including LED running lights that perform the indicator function as standard. The rear lights also incorporate LED technology. In addition, all Passat models come with Wireless App Connect. The entry-level option, 1.5-litre TSI 148 bhp will open for order in the coming weeks, available as both a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG. Until then, prices for the Passat start at £27,630 for the 1.6-litre TDI 118 bhp seven-speed DSG saloon.
The new Passat will also be the first Volkswagen to be fitted with Travel Assist – a system that allows the car to be driven at up to 130 mph – where legal – in a partially automated mode. It combines the latest version of Adaptive Cruise Control, version 3.0, which can now auto adjust the speed including temporary speed-limits as well as slowing for junctions and corners. It is led by information from road sign recognition and GPS. This is combined with Lane Assist version 2.0 which can now recognise kerbs and grass verges as well as road markings. This new driver-assistance technology will be standard across the Passat range.
SEL examples can be identified by their 17-inch ‘Nivelle’ alloy wheels, and also offer Vienna leather seats, Discover Navigation system with 8.0-inch colour screen and Voice Control. SEL cars also have tinted rear windows and silver roof rails for the Estate.
R-Line brings 18-inch ‘Monterrey’ alloy wheels, sports suspension, R-Line exterior styling pack, as well as Nappa leather front sport seats embroidered with R-Line logo. R-Line decorative inserts for dash and door panels, stainless steel pedals, 3 Zone climate control and black roof lining are also included, while keyless entry and an easy open boot also feature as standard on this version.
Limited edition top-spec R-Line Edition Estate models are given lightweight 19-inch ‘Pretoria’ alloy wheels, Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, and Discover Navigation Pro with 9.2” colour screen. The engine choice for R-Line Edition is limited to two, the 2.0-litre TSI 268 bhp and the 2.0-litre TDI 237 bhp, both fitted with 4MOTION and seven-speed DSG. Just 150 of these Passats will available for UK buyers.
The Passat GTE will return soon with an increased 34-mile electric range (WLTP). As standard it features 17-inch ‘Nivelle’ alloy wheels, sports suspension, blue brake calipers, unique signature ‘C’ shape front LED running lights, Discover Navigation system with 8.0-inch colour screen and a charging point in the radiator grille. If customers opt for the GTE Advance model, they will receive 18-inch ‘Monterrey’ alloy wheels, IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, Discover Navigation Pro with 9.2-inch colour screen and keyless entry with an easy open boot. Orders for the Passat GTE will open in the coming weeks.
The Passat Alltrack has also been updated, standing out from the Passat Estate with 18-inch ‘Kalamata’ alloy wheels, chrome exterior mirrors, plus raised suspension with underbody and wheel arch protection. Inside it boasts the latest Discover Navigation system with 8.0-inch colour screen and Summit cloth seats.
Options available on the new Passat have been simplified to a list of 50, from 80 previously. These include nine different alloy wheel designs, a head-up display, Panoramic sunroof, Trailer Assist including Park Assist and a premium Dynaudio sound system.
Two new colours – Bottle Green and Aurora Gold – also complement the Passat’s enhanced design.
At launch three four-cylinder diesels will be available – 1.6-litre TDI with 118 bhp and a 2.0-litre TDI with 187 bhp or 237 bhp outputs. All three engines will only be available with a 7-speed DSG. While the 187 bhp will optionally be available with 4MOTION, it will be fitted to the 237 bhp as standard.
Opening for order in a few weeks is a new, extensively reworked 2.0-litre TDI EVO with 148 bhp, which will be available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG. This new engine will feature Active Cylinder Shutdown, a first for a Volkswagen brand diesel engine.
Orders for the Passat are now open, with the first UK deliveries expected to take place in late August.
Joe Laurence, Product Manager for Passat at Volkswagen UK, said: “Being our longest-standing nameplate, the Passat is a staple in the Volkswagen range, and continues to be popular with those wanting a genuine all-rounder, capable of hugely comfortable long-distance driving.
“We have made things easier for new Passat buyers, through simplifying the trim level offering and cutting the number of options to make finding the right car easier. Owing to the huge popularity of the previous generation Passat GTE we’ve increased the mix for this model, and now expect one in four Passat buyers to opt for it.”