November 21, 2016 @ 01:17 AM

Passat knocks on luxuries’ door

All-new Passat B8 takes a step up and appears to be a decent alternative to the premium German brands

The rejuvenation of Volkswagen’s core sedan portfolio here comes full circle with the launch of the all-new B8 Passat that will be available in three variants like its refreshed siblings.

Prices start at RM159,990 for the 1.8 TSI Trendline while the mid-range 1.8 TSI Comfortline goes for RM179,990 and the flagship 2.0 TSI Highline checks in at RM198,990.

In an effort to encourage owners to purchase the Passat before the new year, all registrations before the end of 2016 will come with a complementary five years of free scheduled maintenance in addition to the five year manufacturer warranty and roadside assistance for an identical duration.

The entry and mid-range Passat will be powered by a 1.8-litre TSI engine that is entirely-new and not carried over from the outgoing B7 Passat. Instead, this one is based on the EA888 engine family that powers the Golf GTI as well.

Gaining variable valve lift and dual (direct & port) injection gives the new 1.8TSI engine 178bhp with 250Nm of torque that is sent to the front wheels via the DQ200 seven-speed dry-clutch DSG.

The flagship Passat is essentially a Golf GTI sedan as it takes the engine, transmission and electronic chassis control; lock, stock and barrel, and shoehorns them in the Passat’s engine bay. Identical to the GTI, the Passat Highline gets 217bhp with 350Nm of torque that is mated to the more performance oriented six-speed wet-clutch DSG. The Dynamic Chassis Control and XDS+ electronic differential help to keep the car planted in any condition.

Being built upon the MQB platform has a number of benefits, chief amongst which are reduced poundage and more interior room. The Passat is up to 85kg lighter and more spacious in the cabin despite being shorter than its predecessor.

Volkswagen pulled out all stops with the interior and the result is a cabin that is closer to the likes of a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class rather than the traditional D-segment executive sedans it plies its trade with.

Some of the notable equipment in the Passat Trendline includes halogen reflector headlamps with halogen DRLs, fabric seats with manual adjustment, brushed metal interior trimmings, triple-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with infotainment controls, front and rear parking sensors, a 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a push-start button.

Step it up to the Passat Comfortline; which Volkswagen management believes will be the most popular variant, and the kit count climbs to include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps with LED DRLs, leather seats with 12-way power-adjustment for the front, paddle shifters, keyless entry, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with reverse camera, handsfree boot opening and Park Assist that is compatible with perpendicular and parallel parking.

Splash out a hair’s width under the double century mark and you will be appropriately rewarded with 18-inch alloy wheels, wood interior trimmings, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with GPS navigation and MirrorLink, Lane Assist, automatic post-collision braking and a 12.3-inch fully digital Active Info Display instrument panel that replaces the analogue instrument cluster with a fully customisable display screen. Audi first debuted the tech as the Virtual Cockpit in the TT.

Safety is segment-standard with sic airbags, ABS, BA, ESC, Isofix anchorage points and hill-start assist.

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