Volkswagen Passat: A Cheap German Car?

Volkswagen Passat

German automakers are renowned for making great luxury cars they aren’t known for making affordable, reliable or efficient cars. Just look at Audi, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW, all have established a niche for executive cars. The Asian automakers like Kia, Honda, Mazda lead this class effortlessly. However, VW reckon they can compete and thus the Passat. The Volkswagen Passat is a classic family car, and has done well throughout its eight generations. During this time it has acquired a reputation for being efficient, cost-cutting and reliable.

The Passat was also on the receiving end of the emissions scandal that engulfed the German automaker last year. TDI diesel engines have been totally discontinued till further notice due to EPA violations.

What’s In A Name

There are some that are propagating the myth that the Volkswagen Passat was named after the German word for “trade wind.” However, a former copywriter Bertel Schmitt released a report that dismissed this notion. He arrived at this after consulting VW sources including Dr. Carl Hahn former chief for VW’s American operations.

The History

The first Passat was launched in 1973, and was given its distinction as the B1. At this time VW owned Audi already. Thus, the B1 used the same engine found in the Audi A80. Upon its release the Passat was available as either a 2-door and 4-door sedan, accompanied by similar 3-door and 5-door variants. It was styled by Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro.

The Current Model

Currently, the Volkswagen B8 is the eighth generation Passat. It is based on a stretched variant of the MQB platform. The MQB platform is VW’s strategy for its front wheel driven front engine based vehicles. The initials MQB stand for Modularer Querbaukasten, which is German for “Modular Transversal Toolkit.” The B8 made its debut in Europe in November 2014, and in the UK in January 2015. Passat’s North American model in America evolved from a full-size sedan to a mid-sized sedan and has been with us since 2011.

Volkswagen Passat

The Variants

Keep in mind that Volkswagen globally market two versions of their Passat. However, the Passat has a number of variants up for sale:

  • 8T S
  • 8T R-Line
  • 8T R-Line with Comfort Package
  • 8T SE
  • 8T SE with Technology
  • 8T SEL
  • 8T SEL Premium
  • V6 SEL Premium

The Powertrain

The regular global full sized Passat uses a 1.4L TSI petrol engine and two selective catalytic reduction (SCR) diesel engines with one of them being twin-turbocharged. As for the North American version is powered by a standard 1.8L turbo four cylinder churning out 170 hp with a 5-speed manual. If you are going for the most power in America you can pick up the 3.6L 280 hp VR6, which utilizes a 5-speed manual as standard with the option of a 6-speed auto. For obvious reasons the TDI diesel engines aren’t available as VW flouted EPA regulations last year.

The Interior

The cabin spots a new infotainment system and improved connectivity. Passat’s interior is a little bit mellowed down and has lost its German feel. However, great upholstery is going to have you seated comfortably while flipping through the infotainment system.

The Exterior

A Passat is a not usually bought for its looks, however most people will not be disappointed with this car’s exterior. This is a great car to be driven incognito, I’ll go far and say it’s the perfect company car.

Our Verdict

This car is stuck somewhere in the middle of the Phaeton and the Golf. It’s like that American sitcom Malcom in the Middle, but this car isn’t screaming for attention as it has built a reputation through the years for itself. Some will say that the VW’s decision to evolve the Passat from a full sized family car to a compact executive car in America will put it in direct competition with Audi’s A4. However, marketing moves aside the Passat is a great car as former chairman of VW’s board put it “[…] a premium car without the premium price.” In America the car isn’t giving the likes of the Camry or the Sonata that much of a headache. However, the current model shows one important thing and that is that VW is listening to its clients and improving. All in all the European Car of the Year 2015 has to be a great car.

If you are thinking of getting a Volkswagen Passat you should start to budget from $ 23,260.

The Passat when pitted against the Asian brands Mazda, Honda and the likes, does it hold any weight? Or Germans aren’t that good in making cheap? Have your say, leave a comment.

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Cris Shaki

Passionate about cars, tech, people, business, history, art & writing. I also enjoy being a graphic designer and web designer.

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