Volkswagen Passat


“Latest offering shows VW’s ability to deliver models that sit just above rivals” 

More than 15 million Passat cars have been sold worldwide since 1973, so in an auto world that is constantly changing, a Volkswagen Passat entering showrooms provides welcome stability. It’s one of those cars where we genuinely look forward to a new incarnation.

The latest model, which had its regional launch in Jordan to a larger media contingent than usually fronts up to such events, is larger, more comfortable and sets benchmarks in safety, technology, space and luxury. VW’s mid-sizer has new, more formal exteriors, but the fundamental underpinnings, vital measurements, drivetrains and model line-ups will not surprise the faithful.

The use of Volkswagen’s 2.5 liter MPI five-cylinder engine in the Passat is a first. Developing 170hp at 5,700rpm and paired with a six-speed automatic tiptronic gearbox, the car uses – according to Vee-dub - just 8.9 liters of fuel per 100km. Indeed, it would have come in well under that during our driving stint.

In Jordan, VW pushed the line that there’s a Passat for every need and there’s quite a bit to back that up when you take into account the four trim levels – S, SE, SEL and SPORT – it’s offered in. Particularly impressive is the S entry level model that targets corporate customers, we’re told. It features ABS and ESP safety systems, driver and passenger head curtain and side thorax airbags, Bluetooth with voice command, multifunction steering wheel with audio and phone controls, cruise control, radio with MP3 and CD player, a 60/40 folding rear seat, armrests in the front and rear and electronic vehicle immobilization.

While the new Passat measures up a tad over its predecessor and internal capacities remain impressive, the new Passat is lighter. Most sheet metal is new except for the roof. The styling adopts new VW themes, its four-bar grille reminiscent of the recently updated VW Phaeton.

Inside, there are great new seats, door trims, accents and centre console. VW says there has also been a concerted effort to reduce noise, vibration and harshness and it’s ticked those boxes. The drive started in Amman and took us through the mountains then down to the Dead Sea. Your tester felt we needed more time behind the wheel and took the vehicle back to Amman via some really rustic roads before entering the bustling streets of the capital. The Passat handled the city traffic neatly and was whisper-quiet on the highways and in the mountains.

The dash is minimalist and easy to find your way around. The instruments are similar to those of the Touareg with chrome bezels, and the tachometer and speedometer split by a digital multifunction display

The new Passat rode with composure over a variety of the Hashemite Kingdom’s roads and the steering felt particularly lively on sound daunting mountain switchbacks. That 240 of Mr. Issac’s Nms came into play in the hills around Mt. Nebo and did the job admirably. It went extremely well through the tight roads without necessarily feeling dynamic but, horses for courses.

Its sober styling might not set any pulses racing but the Passat has the edge on most when it comes to safety equipment, engine and driving smarts and everyday usability. And it gets to 100 klicks per hour in nine seconds which is fine in this segment.

Stefan Mecha, managing director, Volkswagen Middle East, says: “Volkswagen sedans have proved to be very popular in the region, and we are confident of similar success with the new Passat. It’s an important car for us.”

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