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Capable highway cruiser

autos Updated: May 22, 2011 00:36 IST
Highlight Story

After the success of the Polo and the Vento, VW has rightly focused its attention on the second iteration of the Passat in a bid to better tackle the entry-level luxury segment.

VW Passat 2.0 tdi

Price:
Rs 26.65 lakh
Engine: Diesel, front, transverse
Type: 4-cyls in-line, 1,968cc, common-rail, turbo-diesel
Bore/stroke: 81.0/95.5mm
Compression ratio: 16.5:1
Power: 170bhp at 4,200 rpm
Torque: 35.69kgm at
1,750-2,500 rpm
Transmission: Front-wheel drive
Gearbox 6-speed DSG
Weight: 1,605kg
Wheels: 7J x 16 ET45
Tyres: 215/55 R16
Suspension: Front : Independent, MacPherson struts anti-roll bar.
Rear: Independent, multi-link, stabiliser bar
Brakes (f/r): Ventilated discs

After the success of the Polo and the Vento, VW has rightly focused its attention on the second iteration of the Passat in a bid to better tackle the entry-level luxury segment.

The new Passat is a refreshed version with every exterior panel, except for the roof, being new. It conforms to the VW’s latest corporate look that debuted in 2008 with the Scirocco.

The angular headlamps house bi-Xenon projector units and a string of LEDs to give the Passat a distinctive light signature. The sharp creases that run from the wheel-arches to the tail lamps are uniform and unwavering in their simplicity, and even though the car has grown by a meagre 4mm, the Passat manages to look substantially bigger

Once inside, the Passat’s interiors look relatively familiar; the dashboard layout is as good as before, with the instrumentation being easier to read and an analogue clock that adorns the centre console. The Highline version is equipped with keyless go, and the starter button is found next to the gear lever.

Motorised seats:
The 'Highline' variant comes with 12-way motorised adjustment, so it’s easy to find a comfortable seating position. Pampering the driver even more are seats that can be cooled or heated. The new Passat gets dual-zone climate control, a sunroof and media connectivity with the help of an aux-in and USB jack. The reversing camera is tucked away under the badge on the boot lid and it flips out when you slot reverse. The display unit for the camera also doubles up as the touchscreen for the music system.

Doing duty for the new Passat in the engine department is VW’s 2-litre common-rail motor putting out 170bhp. The refinement levels on this mill are as expected — increased noise insulation as compared to the last Passat, yet the diesel engine sends out a distinct clatter when idling.

Automatic transmission:
Mated to a six-speed twin-clutch or DSG auto transmission, the motor has enough grunt to propel the Passat in a manner that defies its relatively large size. It reaches 100kph in a scant 8.73 seconds.

VW has done a thorough job in the ride department, with the Passat getting a suspension setup that is more than able to handle the varied Indian road conditions. This is one area where VW has upped the ante over the older version’s, with the car excelling at low speeds thanks to the 215/55-R16 Pirelli Cinturatos it’s shod with. The all-round solid disc brakes provide strong stopping power and the pedal has superb feel.

Verdict:
Despite being more powerful and a bit heavier than the outgoing model, the new Passat gives an astonishing 10.8kpl in the city and 15.2kpl on the highway. These figures are more frugal than several smaller saloons.

While the base level Trendline is priced at an aggressive Rs 20.8 lakh, the top-end Highline, at Rs 26.65 lakh, brushes on the more expensive side of the segment.