Volkswagen unveiled the all-new Passat at the Volkswagen Design Centre in Potsdam, Germany in July 2014, ahead of the car making its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in October that year. This is the eighth-generation of the Passat, which since launch in 1973 has racked up over 22 million sales worldwide.
Everything in this car is new: its design, technologies and engines. The Passat sets new standards with an unladen weight that has been reduced by up to 85 kg and fuel economy figures that have been improved by up to 14 per cent.
At 4,767 mm long, the new Passat is two millimetres shorter than the previous model, while the wheelbase is 79 mm longer at 2,791 mm and therefore the body overhangs significantly shorter. At the same time, the new Passat is 14 mm lower at 1,456 mm, and 12 mm wider at 1,832 mm.
Despite exterior dimensions that are actually marginally smaller than those of the previous Passat, interior space is improved, with more leg- and head-room, as well as increased luggage space.
Only petrol engines are available at launch. These are 1.4 TSI 110kW, 1.8 TSI 132kW and 2.0 TSI 162kW. The 1.4 TSI is available with 6-speed transmission as standard and optional 7-speed DSG. The 1.8 TSI is offered with 7-speed DSG transmission as standard. Meanwhile, the 2.0 TSI is mated to a 6-speed DSG transmission. The 2.0 TDI 130kW engine will be available from the second half of 2016.
At launch, two trim levels are offered: Comfortline and Highline. All derivatives offer a high level of standard features with highlights including Multi-Collision Braking System, Fatigue Detection (Driver Alert), Park Distance Control (front and rear), LED taillights, Alcantara/Vienna leather seats (Highline and R-Line), multifunction leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles for DSG derivatives and three-zone Climatronic air-conditioner (optional in Comfortline).
The interior has been developed to match the sophisticated exterior of the eighth-generation Passat. New technologies to be offered on the new Passat include the optional Active Info Display (available with the 8.0-inch Discover Pro Satellite Navigation system) which replaces the instrument cluster with a fully configurable interactive 12.3-inch TFT display and a head-up display (available early in 2016); the Composition Media Infotainment and the latest generation of Park Assist. This newly developed Park Assist includes an option for the car to park itself forwards into perpendicular spaces – useful, for example at supermarket car parks, where access to the boot is important.
- All-new Passat made Paris Show debut on in October 2014, 41 years after the original. Over 22 million Passats have been sold worldwide since 1973
- All-new Passat retails from R378 800 for 1.4 TSI 110kW Manual
- Thanks to its innovative lightweight design, the new Passat is up to 85 kg lighter than the previous model. Yet it has a longer wheelbase (+79 mm at 2,791 mm) and more interior space
- Petrol-only range from launch: 1.4 TSI 110KW, 1.8 TSI 132kW and 2.0 TSI 162kW
- Transmissions: 1.4 TSI (6-speed manual standard and 7-speed DSG optional); 1.8 TSI (7-speed DSG) and 2.0 TSI (6-speed DSG)
- A 2.0 TDI 130kW engine will be available from the second half of 2016
- Two derivatives from launch: Comfortline and Highline. All derivatives offer a high level of standard features with highlights including Multi-Collision Braking System, Fatigue Detection/Driver Alert system, Park Distance Control (front and rear), LED taillights, Alcantara/Vienna leather seats (Highline and R-Line), multifunction leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles and three-zone Climatronic air-conditioner.
- New optional features include: Active Info Display, Head-up display
The MQB platform
The new Passat uses as its base the Volkswagen Group’s MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix. The introduction of the MQB strategy represents a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines as it standardises many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offers access to new technologies.
The MQB extends through a number of vehicle segments. At the Volkswagen brand,it is currently used for Polo and Golf.
One of the prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines. Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy which play a key role here are the modular petrol engine system (MOB) and the modular diesel engine system (MDB).
By introducing these new engines, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group will be reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice. On the contrary; in addition to standardising conventional internal combustion engines, the MQB also enables an identical mounting position for all current alternative drive concepts without limitations – from natural gas and hybrid versions to pure electric drive.
Need to know:
- New car, new design: striking features are the car’s sporty proportions and powerful lines
- New Passat is 4,767 mm long (-2 mm), 1,832 mm wide (+12 mm) and 1,456 mm high (-14 mm); although the car’s length is almost identical, the wheelbase has been extended by 79 mm to 2,791 mm
- Wheels are larger and extend out further, enabling the car’s overhangs to be significantly shortened
- The passenger compartment’s shift to the rear and the elongated appearance of the bonnet re-enforces the look and feel of a high-class model
- Designed by a team led by Volkswagen’s Head of Design, Klaus Bischoff
The new Passat is 4,767 mm long and therefore 2 mm shorter than the previous model. At the same time, its wheelbase has been lengthened by the aforementioned 79 mm to 2,791 mm. The front wheels have been moved 29 mm towards the front bumper, and the rear wheels 17 mm towards the rear bumper (the occupant cell has been lengthened by 33 mm). The result: shorter body overhangs (67 mm less at front, 13 mm less at rear). At the same time, the Passat has been made 14 mm lower (1,456 mm) and 12 mm wider (1,832 mm).
Pure dimensions aside, with the new optimised engine orientation, it was possible to lower significantly the bonnet and shift the windscreen towards the rear, and this ‘cab backward design’ helps to re-enforce the impression of a premium-class car. Extremely precisely drawn edges and creases which develop individual light-reflecting surfaces help to continue this impression. At the front, the new Passat’s radiator grille features 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.
Immediately noticeable at the rear is that the cab has a strong inward sweep, and at the bottom it transitions into the wide, flared shoulder section. The rear lights have been made considerably wider and leaner. In this area, the new Passat features a large boot lid surface, and a distinctive crease beneath the rear lights that extends across the rear.
All Passat derivatives have LED rear lights, while the Highline and R-Line feature a distinctive horizontal tail light signature that switches over to a vertically oriented brake light signature under braking. Standard headlights are halogen. Whilst LED headlights with dynamic cornering lights and LED daytime running lights are available as an option.
The new Passat is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) which exploits synergies across vehicle segments such as progress in weight reduction measures. The result: the eighth generation Passat weighs up to 85 kg less than the previous model thanks to reductions in the chassis, power units, electrics, vehicle body and trim.
The weight of the chassis was reduced primarily through the use of lightweight metals. The rear axle, for example, weighs 4.7 kg less and the steering system 2.2 kg less and overall, the chassis was made up to 9 kg lighter.
The engines used in the Passat weigh appreciably less than in the previous model with total weight savings here of up to 40 kg. Aluminium makes the electrical components, electronics and thereby the overall electrical system lighter, while wire gauges were also optimised, meaning overall, up to 3 kg was saved. Ultra-high strength and hot-formed steels reduce the weight of the car body, and for the first time in a Passat, aluminium was also used in the body structure. Advanced materials and a new air conditioner led to weight savings in equipment. In total, the entire superstructure was made up to 33 kg lighter.
Despite the weight reduction, improvements were made in body rigidity (a gain of 30,000 Nm/°). It is also a fact that around half of a vehicle’s fuel consumption is used to overcome sources of driving resistance – weight, air drag, rolling resistance – and this makes the progress made in lowering the weight of the Passat by up to 85 kg all the more significant.
Need to know:
- Although the new Passat is 2 mm shorter, interior length has grown by 33 mm
- New Passat is the first Volkswagen with an Active Info Display and Head-up display
- Central design element of the dashboard is a functional yet decorative innovative air vent that extends across the entire width of the interior
Dimensions and design
Although the new Passat is 2 mm shorter than the previous model, interior length has grown by 33 mm. Cargo capacities is 479 litres with full size spare wheel.
The goal defined when development began of creating a feeling of lightness and generous space in the interior was realised by the designers with a lean dashboard with a consistent horizontal structure, and the front door panels are stylistically incorporated into this design. The central design element of the dashboard is an innovative air vent that extends across the entire width of the interior like a band and is designed as a functional decorative element. There are no separately placed air nozzles in the new Passat, rather one continuous element that is only interrupted by the instruments and the analogue clock in the middle of the dashboard. The clear architectural character is created by the impressive length of the chrome fins integrated in the air vents and a decorative panel integrated beneath it. The dimensions of the air vent not only affect the design of the dashboard but also have a positive effect on climate control performance and ventilation acoustics.
The designers placed special importance on a driver-oriented design and a very spacious feeling for the front interior area. Therefore, starting from the driver’s seating position, the dashboard builds upwards in the space to the two sides of the instruments, inclined slightly towards the windscreen. This creates a spacious feeling as well as an ideal ergonomic environment. The centre console also has an extremely clean layout, is well organised, and the controls are easy to access. The infotainment system is integrated high on the console and is easy to see; the climate controls are positioned beneath it. Since the console between the driver and front passenger is inclined up towards the infotainment system, the gear shift gate is up high, and the gear knob is in an ideal ergonomic position.
Active Info Display
In the new Passat, Volkswagen is launching an instrument cluster that has been designed as a full interactive display. All instruments in the optional Active Info Display are implemented virtually via software; only the icon lights on the upper border of the display are still powered by hardware. Navigation information can be shown in 2D or 3D views on a 12.3-inch display, and its 1,440 x 540 pixel resolution enables extremely precise, high-quality graphics and interactive display of all details.
In Navigation mode, for instance, the speedometer and tachometer are relocated to the sides to make more room for the map, and information on driving, navigation and assistance functions can be integrated into the graphic areas of the speedometer and tachometer as needed. Data that is displayed on the centre console via the infotainment system, such as phone contact pages or CD covers, can also be shown in the Active Info Display in the Passat.
The new Passat is the first Volkswagen to be equipped with a head-up display (available as an option early in 2016). This projects key information such as vehicle speed or navigation pictograms directly into the driver’s primary visual field, meaning drivers keep their eyes on the road while looking at data such as speed. Reaction time can also be significantly reduced by projecting warning messages directly into the driver’s visual field.
The Passat’s head-up display is a ‘combined solution’: the data is projected onto an extendable glass panel in front of the windscreen. Developers succeeded in attaining the same display quality as in much more expensive windscreen systems. When it is not being used, the display panel is protected by lowering it into the dashboard, and the opening has a flush closure. From the driver’s perspective, the projected data appears to be located two metres in front of the Passat; as a result, because drivers do not have to shift their gaze back and forth between the instruments and the street nearly as often, they do not have to constantly refocus their eyes, thus reducing eye fatigue. The head-up display is activated by a separate control next to the rotary light switch. Drivers can decide for themselves via the infotainment system what information is to be displayed: current speed, permitted speed, navigation advice, assistance systems information and/or warning messages.
Volkswagen is launching the latest generation of infotainment systems in the new Passat. These systems facilitate an extremely high degree of connectivity in order to link up external devices. In addition, the systems have been given much faster processors (optimised booting, quicker route calculation, smoother touchscreen performance, perfected language dialogues) and new higher resolution display in the 6.5-inch ‘Composition Media’ system. The Radio/CD 6.5-inch ‘Composition Media is the standard radio system across the range.
The new generation of infotainment devices is characterised by better system performance. Compared to the first generation ‘Discover Pro’ radio-navigation system, the performance of the CPU (main processor) in the new system has more than doubled from 950 MIPS (million instructions per second) to 2,500 MIPS.
Highlights of features available with Composition Media are:
- Bluetooth telephone connection
- Single CD player (in glovebox)
- MDI (Multi Device Interface); SD card reader; USB port, AUX-in socket music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files title and cover art display
- Eight speakers, front and rear 4 x 20 watt output
- Car menu
- Eco function (with tips for economical driving)
Highlights of the features on the optional top level Discover Pro Navigation system with 8.0-inch colour touchscreen include the following:
- Voice activated control system for navigation, CD and radio functions
- 64 GB solid state hard drive
- preloaded navigation data; 3D map view
- choice of route options, and dynamic navigation based on TMC+ databranded points of interest
- traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones
- additional SD card reader and photo display.
More innovative navigation
In the new Passat, the ‘rubber band’ function is used in the new optional ‘Discover Pro’ system, meaning that just like on a tablet, the displayed route can be scrolled and varied by touching a point on the route by hand. Also as a standard feature of the ‘Discover Pro’ system is the ability to use speech commands to input the navigation destination.
In addition to the infotainment system highlights and enhancements detailed in the preceding section, the new Passat benefits from a wide range of standard safety, convenience and comfort features which would hitherto have been the reserve of the luxury class.
Automatic Multi-Collision Braking System
An innovative feature which made its debut on the seventh-generation Golf is an award-winning Automatic Multi-Collision Braking System. Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.
The Automatic Multi-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision.
Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors. Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g. The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Multi-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled. The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration. Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.
Driver Alert system (Fatigue Detection)
It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness. For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.
The Passat’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements. Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour. Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration. If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.
The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated.
This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration. This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking
This system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.
ACC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h with a manual gearbox and with DSG. In vehicles with DSG, the optional ACC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation. It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic. ACC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic. The system dynamics can by individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector.
Front Assist works like ACC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead. Even with ACC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings. If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision.
Should the driver, meanwhile, not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised. The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front. The City Emergency Braking function is also part of Front Assist.
City Emergency Braking is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor. It operates at speeds below 30 km/h. If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist. If the driver fails to intervene, City Emergency Braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact. In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.
Driver and Convenience Assistance Systems
The new Passat offers customers a selection of standard and optional driver assistance systems. These include features such as Park Distance Control (front and rear), Park Assist, High beam control light assist, Keyless access with power closing boot and driver selection profile.
Driver profile selection
The Passat’s driver profile selection offers customers up to five different programmes to allow them to match their car settings to their desired driving style. The standard available programmes are: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.
Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.
Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy. A fifth profile – Comfort – is also offered in the 2.0 TSI R-Line which offers Dynamic Chassis Control as standard (see Running Gear section for details).
Park Assist enables semi-automatic parking in parking spaces parallel or perpendicular to the road. It can also back the car out of parallel parking spaces. In the case of perpendicular parking spaces, not only is parking in reverse supported; it is also possible to park in a forward direction semi-automatically.
The newly developed third generation of Park Assist adds the new feature of semi-automatic forward parking into spaces perpendicular to the road. The wide variety of functions of Park Assist 3 provides the driver with optimum assistance in difficult traffic situations, because it makes parking faster and, for less experienced drivers, simpler.
How it works. After pressing the Park Assist button, the driver only needs to activate the accelerator pedal and brake (together with the clutch for a manual gearbox), as Park Assist automatically steers the Passat into the parking space. The system independently detects the type of parking space and initiates the necessary manoeuvre; at the same time, the driver is informed of the operation and given instructions via the multifunction display. The driver can make a manual selection of the desired parking space from the parking spaces that the system has automatically detected. The basic functions of Park Assist have been further improved by the use of what is known as a surroundings map. The system has sensors in all four wheels that detect turning direction; this enables precise locating of the Passat so that it can be parked more precisely than ever.
At launch, the new Passat is powered by a new range of petrol engines, all of which are EU6 compliant and incorporate Start / Stop and Brake Energy recuperation systems. The 2.0 TDI 130kW diesel engine will be introduced in the second half of 2016. The petrol engine line-up is 1.4 TSI with 110kW, 1.8 TSI with 132kW and 2.0 TSI with 162kW.
1.4 TSI delivering 110kW: The 1.4 TSI is the entry level engine in the new Passat model range. It belongs to the EA211 range which was developed specifically for the MQB platforms. The 1 395cc engine has claimed combined fuel consumption of 5.3 l/100km (5.2 l/100km for DSG) equating to CO2 emissions of 124 g/km (121 g/km for DSG). The maximum torque of 250 Nm is available at 1500-3000rpm. The acceleration from 0-100km/h is achieved in 8.4 seconds. The top speed is 220km/h. It is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission as standard. The 7-speed DSG transmission is optional.
1.8 TSI delivering 132kW. The four-cylinder 1 798cc engine has maximum torque of 250Nm which is available between 1 250 rpm and 5 000rpm. Even with 132kW of power, the engine has claimed combined fuel consumption of 5.8 l/100km, equating to 130g/km of CO2. The classic sprint to 100km/h is attained in 7.9 seconds. It has a top speed of 232 km/h. This engine is offered with a 7-speed DSG transmission.
2.0 TSI delivering 162kW. The two-litre turbocharged direct injection petrol engine with 162kW of power is the range topper. It has maximum torque of 350Nm available from 1500 to 4400rpm. It accelerates to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds and reaches top speed of 246km/h. The combined fuel consumption is 6.2 litres per 100km (143g/km of CO2). The 162kW engine is available with a 6-speed DSG transmission.
The three petrol engines of the new Passat come standard with the BlueMotion Technology system. All Volkswagen models with The ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badge, combine efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions. Models with ‘BlueMotion Technology’ are equipped with Start / Stop and Brake Energy Recuperation systems.
For vehicles with manual transmission, the Passat’s automatic Start / Stop system is operated through the clutch pedal. When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral. When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start / Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display. In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically. The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary. With the DSG transmission, the Start / Stop system is activated through the brake pedal.
A Brake Energy Recuperation system helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for rapid recharging of the car’s battery. Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed. It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.
In developing the running gear for the new Passat, engineers set out to exploit the advantages of the new Modular Transverse Matrix (or MQB platform – see separate section for full details), and certain specific proven components were further advanced to perfect the car’s ride and comfort properties.
The new Passat is equipped at the front with the latest generation strut-type suspension; coil springs are integrated here with telescopic shock absorbers as a unit within the spring strut. The wheels are suspended via the spring struts and the lower wishbones with a track-stabilising scrub radius. At the rear a four-link axle with independent wheel suspension provides a high level of comfort and agile, secure chassis handling. The suspension itself is provided by gas-filled shock absorbers with separate springs. Both front and rear stabilisers are used.
Used at the front of the new Passat is enhanced strut-type suspension with spring struts. All components have been reworked for improved functionality, weight and costs. This was made possible, for example, by the use of high-strength steel in the transverse links.
The sub-frame is centrally positioned on the front axle; its frame – designed for maximum transverse rigidity – handles loads from the engine mounts and steering as well as front suspension component loads. Now fully tubular in shape and thus also lighter, the anti-roll bar has, along with its spring rate, been adapted for comfortable and agile handling. The rubber bearings are vulcanised directly onto the painted anti-roll tube; this assures optimal acoustic properties and optimises the responsiveness of the anti-roll bar which is important for vehicle dynamics. A new aluminium pivot bearing has been developed for the Passat. The use of aluminium and the bionic design of this pivot bearing enabled a further weight reduction. Last but not least, the suspension characteristics and spring rates have been adapted for the Passat; in combination with a now 30 mm wider track, they provide the best combination of vehicle dynamics and vibration control.
The new Passat’s rear axle is an enhancement of the familiar four-link axle and has been reworked for improved kinematics, acoustics, weight and modularity. However, nothing has changed with regard to its fundamental approach of separating longitudinal and transverse rigidities. The low longitudinal rigidity has been preserved by the trailing link’s soft axle control; this was a necessary precondition for further improving ride comfort. Furthermore, Volkswagen has successfully improved the transverse rigidity of the modular performance axle, which is important for steering behaviour, by adjusting the steering link’s bearings.
Key design changes to the rear axle are the connections of the tubular anti-roll bar and of the axle damper, which are now made at the spring link. This not only reduces forces within the axle but also has significant advantages in packaging. In addition, the axle has been made lighter by structural optimisation of many components and the use of high-strength steels.
DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control)
Second-generation Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) is used in the new Passat and is available as a standard feature in the 2.0 TSI with 162kW. Compared to the normal chassis the vehicle body sits 10 mm lower when fitted with DCC. The system offers three driving modes: ‘Comfort’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’. In the ‘Sport’ mode, a very agile style of driving is implemented, while the ‘Comfort’ mode makes riding in the Passat exceptionally comfortable though still involving.
Via the driver profile selector it is also possible in the ‘Individual’ profile to assign any other driving profile properties to the DCC mode. The system adaptively controls the damper valves via an enhanced and refined Volkswagen control algorithm and thereby sets the damper characteristic. DCC utilises the input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle information from the Chassis-CAN bus; in cycles of one millisecond, it uses these values to compute and adaptively adjust the optimal damping force for every driving situation.
Furthermore, the damping forces selectively applied to the four wheels are individually regulated. In combination with the dynamic chassis control system, new hydro-mounts are used on the rear axle to connect the trailing arm to the sub-frame. They further optimise the vibration characteristics, namely through better damping of the lengthways vibrations that occur when driving over individual bumps. With lengthwise rigidity reduced at the same time, the result on uneven surfaces is that the back wheels roll off bumps in a much softer and more comfortable way. The valves for the adjustable dampers have also been modified for further improved response, resulting overall in a suspension which resolves the apparent conflict between a comfortable and sporty set-up.
Electronic parking brake with auto hold function
The all new Passat has an electronic parking brake which is operated via a switch between the front seats. This also incorporates a standard auto hold function. This is activated via a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic. In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards. The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.
If auto hold has been switched on when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched on the next time the vehicle is started. Likewise if auto hold has been switched off when the vehicle ignition is on, it will automatically be switched off the next time the vehicle is started.
Technically, the XDS+ electronic differential lock is a vehicle dynamics function that is integrated within the ESC. Its functionality has now been extended to cover all driving situations where the brakes are not applied. XDS+ improves agility and reduces the need to turn the steering wheel through systematic application of the brake to the wheels of both axles on the inside of a bend. In addition, XDS+ is effective at all levels of friction, thus, for example, making the Passat easier to steer even on wet roads. The well-known benefits of XDS – such as significantly less tendency to understeer and improved traction – have also been further enhanced. The XDS+ is only available in the 2.0 TSI with 162 kW.
Standard and optional features
Volkswagen is launching the new Passat with two equipment lines: Comfortline and Highline. The R-Line package is available as an option for customers buying the Comfortline and the Highline but it is offered as standard with the 2.0 TSI delivering 162 kW.
Passat Comfortline. The standard features in the Comfortline include Radio/CD Composition Media with 6.5-inch touch screen with 8-speakers, USB port, Media-in and SD Card; Multifunction display Plus; chrome trim around the side windows, an exclusive decorative panel, comfort seats with fabric trim; leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel; automatically dimming rear-view mirror and door mirror (driver’s side); rain sensor; Park Distance Control (Front and Rear); fog lights;16-inch ‘Sepang’ alloy wheels; LED taillights; Single-zone manual air conditioner.
Passat Highline/R-Line. Along with Comfortline features, the Passat Highline adds these features: a chrome strip above the radiator grille; LED taillights in dark red; 17-inch ‘London’ alloy wheels; seats in Alcantara/leather and heated seats in front; 3-zone automatic climate control (Climatronic with additional control panel for rear passengers) and multi-coloured “Premium” multifunction display.
Optional features / driver assistance and convenience systems
Optional features. Volkswagen has developed a range of optional features that enable the Passat to be adapted systematically to suit the most diverse tastes and demands. These include convenience and driver assistance features such as a 230-volt socket in the back; Electric 12-way front seats with active climate control, lumbar support, memory and massage function (driver only); Active Info Display with Discover Pro Satellite Navigation System; Head up Display; Dynaudio Confidence Sound System; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and ambient traffic monitoring ‘Front Assist’ with City Emergency Braking; Interior Ambient Lighting; Park Assist with Rear View camera; High Beam Light Assist; LED headlamps with Dynamic cornering light, LED daytime running lights and dark LED taillights and Keyless Access with Power boot closing.
Maximum individuality. The range of optional features also includes decorative trim in ‘Brilliant Pine’ or ‘Piano Black’ finish, a panoramic tilt-and-slide sunroof, 3-zone automatic air conditioning (standard in Highline), ‘Vienna’ and ‘Nappa’ leather trim, 17, 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels.
R-Line package for the Passat. Volkswagen R has also developed an exclusive R-Line package for the new Passat. The R-Line package includes bumpers in a striking, sporty look, dedicated radiator grille with R-Line logo, chrome-plated trapezoid tail pipe trim panels integrated into the rear bumper, side sill extensions, and a black gloss diffuser. In addition, the Passat can be customised with 18-inch alloy wheels.
Exclusive R-Line package for the 2.0 TSI with 162kW: The 2.0 TSI with 162kW is fitted as standard with an exclusive R-Line package which includes 18-inch Marseilles alloy wheels, the XDS+ electronic differential lock and a sports chassis with the vehicle body 15 mm lower. Additionally, the 2.0 TSI with 162kW is offered with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). Furthermore, the 2.0 TSI Passat can be customised with 19-inch Verona alloy wheels.
As well as making this latest generation the most technically advanced Passat, designers and developers have also made this the safest Passat yet.
The Passat comes with a full complement of airbags: driver and front airbags with passenger side deactivation switch, along with a curtain airbag system for front and rear passengers including front side impact airbags.
Euro NCAP test results
The Passat has been tested by an independent European consumer protection organisation Euro NCAP and was awarded the maximum rating of five stars, meaning the eighth generation of the Passat is also considered to be one of the safest cars in the world.
Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) has been considered to be the most important standard for vehicle safety since 1997. The requirements were tightened again in 2014 and the new Passat passed with excellent results – thanks to a world-class security package consisting of an optimised body structure, a highly effective integrated seatbelt and airbag system and innovative assistance systems.
The overall safety rating of five stars for the new Passat is composed of the results in four sub-areas: occupant protection for adults and children, pedestrian protection and security support.
During the extensive investigations on occupant protection for adults, which include a head-on crash test against an aluminium barrier (at 64 km/h and 40 per cent overlap) as well as a side impact (at 50 km/h in the vehicle structure) and a pole side impact (at 29 km/h), the Passat received 85 per cent of the maximum rating. The new Passat also performed excellently in the important area of child protection and reached over 87 per cent of the attainable point total due to the standard ISOFIX and top tether child seat anchors.
In addition, constructive details of the pedestrian protection in the new Passat were graded; these reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians. These include, for example, the design of the bumper and the bonnet.
In the Euro NCAP assessment of the safety systems, the safety-optimised head restraints, which minimise the risk of neck injuries in a rear-end collision, and seat belt warning systems for all seats were evaluated. The ‘Front Assist’ surroundings monitoring system including the City Emergency Braking, which is available as an option and was incorporated in the safety systems category, were also assessed positively.
Retail Prices (VAT and emissions tax included)
1.4 TSI Comfortline 110kW Manual R378 800
1.4 TSI Comfortline 110kW DSG R398 800
1.8 TSI Highline 132kW DSG R444 200
2.0 TSI R-Line 162kW DSG R476 800
Warranty and Service
The new Passat comes standard with a 3 year/ 120 000 km manufacturer warranty and 5 year/100 000 km Automotion Maintenance Plan. All models have a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty and 15 000 km service intervals.