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VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT 2.0 TDI LUXURY DSG

Date: 23 Jan 2018 Author Type: Public Review
Author: Julian Lurie Edited by Liam Mothilall
Source: Julian Lurie
When the all-new Volkswagen Passat was launched locally in October 2015, it was only available with petrol engines, but for the 2017 model year, Volkswagen extended the range with the addition of two Passat 4-cylinder 2.0 TDI DSG turbo-diesel models both making 130 kw with drive to the front wheels through the DSG 6-speed automatic transmission.

The equipment lines of the new Passat has been refreshed and restructured with the addition of several new features.Two trim levels are offered, Luxury and Executive, but it’s the former that we feature in these road impressions. At the front, the new Passat is identified by a new radiator grille with four chrome bars which bend inward towards the headlights in a trapezoidal shape. The lowermost chrome bar of the grille is continued into the headlights.From the rear, the cab has a strong inward sweep, and at the bottom it transitions into the wide, flared shoulder section. The rear lights are considerably wider and leaner, while the twin exhaust tips give the rear a sporty look. Also new is the larger boot lid surface and distinctive crease beneath the rear lights. The side view shows that the new Passat has large 10-spoke alloy wheels, which on the press vehicle were shod with 235/45R18 low profile Pirelli's, and there is a full size alloy spare wheel under the boot-board.

Moving inside, the central design element of the dashboard is a functional yet decorative innovative air vent that extends across the entire width of the interior, and the centrally mounted analog clock.

The Luxury derivatives come standard with LED headlights, Vienna Leather seats with seat heating, rear view camera, Adaptive Cruise Control, Head-up display, GPS, Multi-Collision Braking System, Fatigue Detection, Parking sensors front and rear, LED taillights, 4-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, three-zone Climatronic air-conditioner, electric parking brake with auto hold function, and fold-in exterior mirrors.

The press vehicle came fitted with a string of options which included items such as; a sunroof, park assist, auto boot close, tow bar, advanced key, the ambience light package, two integrated child seats, app connect and the R-Line Styling package. Interior space is quite generous, with ample leg, head and shoulder room both back and front. The front bucket seats are well shaped, very comfortable and the electrically operated driver’s seat is fully adjustable, making it easy to find a suitable driving position.

The boot at 586 litres is enormous – more than enough to swallow the family luggage when on the annual holiday, but if more space is required, the rear seatback splits in a 60/40 ratio and can be folded down. Oddment storage is provided for with four cup-holders – two in the fold-down armrest in the rear – all four door pockets, a lidded box on the console and a fair sized cubby.

Standard safety features include anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control, and six airbags.

The Volkswagen Passat 4-cylinder 2.0 TDI DSG is powered by 1 984cc 4-cylinder 16 valve turbo-diesel engine making 130 kW at 3 600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1 500 rpm with drive to the front wheels through VW’s 6-speed DSG transmission. It also features VW’s start / stop and Brake Energy Recuperation systems.

In performance tests, with the autobox in Sport mode, release the foot-brake, floor the accelerator and with a chirp from the front tyres as it scrabbles for grip, the Passat 2.0 TDI DSG covered the 0 to 100 km/h dash in 6.8 seconds after two gear-changes with top speed given as 228 km/h. The only negative is that in quick starts there is a bit of turbo lag between the time you floor the accelerator to when the car takes off, but this is not noticeable in Sport mode. Volkswagen claim a petrol consumption figure of 5.0 litres per 100 km in the combined cycle, which proved to be somewhat optimistic as the trip computer gave me a reading of 6.2 lt/100 km, but that’s still very good. The tank holds a useful 66 litres.

Seated inside the car, there’s no doubt that the Passat has taken a large step up market with a more luxurious interior, high quality fittings, and a more luxurious ambience. The cabin is well insulated, wind noise is well controlled but there is just a bit of tyre noise on concrete road surfaces. There is a bit of diesel clatter at idle and at parking speeds but once on the move, it’s all quiet in the cab.

The Passat TDI is very easy to drive, with precise and ultra-accurate steering not offering much feel but compensating with easy placement in corners. On the freeway, the Volkswagen Passat is impressively quiet and comfortable, effectively ironing out bumps large and small, while in the corners it displays very good grip. The 2.0 turbo-diesel is quick and smooth and the DSG transmission is outstanding, providing impressively quick downshifts in freeway passing situations. For a more sporty drive, selecting the sport mode and manual gear changing using the paddles behind the steering wheel, converts it into a pleasant sporting saloon. Travelling at a steady 120 in 6th gear the motor spins at just 1900 rpm and at just 2500 rpm at the 160 mark.

In summary, the Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI Luxury DSG is a well spec’d mid-luxury saloon, economical to run and with a relaxed atmosphere for both town and country driving. The basic price is R 517 900 which includes a 3 year/ 120 000 km manufacturer warranty, a 5 year/100 000 km Automotion Maintenance Plan, but excludes the extras. All models have a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty and 15 000 km service intervals.
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