At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, VW unveiled the seventh generation of the one of the most recognized mid-size sedans in the world, the Passat. The car has always been a benchmark in quality, design, economy and comfort, no wonder that since its launch 37 years ago more than 15 million units have been sold! The 2011 model tries to raise the bar even further.
The looks of the car is totally revamped to create a fresh design, while retaining the VW character in it. The front of the car, dominated by a new grille element with prominent horizontal chrome fins, features striking heavily contoured headlight units, set into which are LED running lights. At the rear a set of distinctive tail lights is joined by subtle chrome highlights that extend down the side of the car. Every body panel apart from the roof is new.
Measuring 4,769 mm in length (Estate 4,771 mm) the new Passat is marginally longer than the car it replaces (+4 mm) and at 1,820 mm wide and 1,474 mm tall (Estate 1,519 mm) it retains the same proportions.
Same story goes inside the car where you will find a fresh look and new amazing features. For example you get seats that can be specified to both heat and cool their occupants and even feature a massage function for the driver and front seat passenger. Now that’s unexpected in a car of this class!
You also get revised dashboard with new dials, trim finishes and an analogue clock are joined by subtle chrome inserts and the option of ambience lighting similar to that found in the Phaeton. The centre console has also been uprated with revisions to the minor controls as well as new door trims.
As for the engines, you get lots of options, diesel and petrol. The petrol line-up comprises a 1.4-litre TSI engine developing 122 PS, a 1.8-litre TSI unit with 160 PS, a 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS engine and a range-topping 3.6-litre V6 producing 300 PS. But if you like economy more than speed, then consider on the diesel units.
They include a 1.6-litre TDI unit producing 105 PS which is equipped with the BlueMotion package of changes including aerodynamic modifications, Stop/Start and battery regeneration, to be able to deliver a combined 68.8 mpg while emitting just 109 g/km of CO2. The other option is a 2.0-litre TDI engine available in two power outputs – 140 PS and 170 PS. Each of the engine ranges can be specified with a choice of manual or DSG gearboxes.
Some of the other new and innovative features of the 2011 Passat include City emergency braking function, a part of the Automatic Distance Control (ADC) system, automatic fatigue detection system, Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) incorporating Trailer Stabilisation, XDS electronic transverse differential and…
Other new optional convenience systems include an innovative boot opening system for the saloon model: on vehicles specified with keyless entry, so long as you’re carrying the key fob on your person a simple foot motion at the back of the car is enough to activate sensors that open the boot automatically.
You can expect the new Passat to hit the market in a couple of months.