03 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Dealer view: seventh generation Passat arrives this month

Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September 2010, the new Passat is the seventh generation of this popular model that has sold over 15 million during the 37 years since its debut. Victoria Stubbs from Volkswagen retailer group Vindis previews the new model, due in UK showrooms this month


New design
While the grille and headlights are perhaps the most noticeable changes, the only panel of the exterior of both the saloon and estate models that is unchanged is the roof. For a quieter ride, the side windows have thicker glass, the windscreen has two layers of glass with a thin plastic film between them, and the front bulkhead is thicker. However, despite all these changes the dimensions of the car are practically unchanged.

New interior
New seats feature both heating and cooling elements, and the dashboard, centre console and door trims have all been revisited. An iPod interface and leather multifunction steering wheel are standard for the S trim; the next level up (SE) comes with eight-speaker digital radio and is Bluetooth-enabled. The top of the range Sport has touchscreen satellite navigation. The estate is expected to out-sell the saloon for the first time.

New engines
There is a range of both petrol and diesel engines, all available with manual or DSG transmission. The petrol units are 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0-litre TSIs, topping off with a 3.6-litre V6. You have a choice of two diesels; a 1.6 or 2.0-litre TDI. The most economical of these is the 1.6-litre, the BlueMotion variant of which is capable of 68.8 mpg with only 109g/km of CO2. That fuel economy gives it a possible range of over 1000 miles on a single tank of diesel. If you think this is just hype, you’d be wrong – an unmodified Passat recently broke a Guinness world record by doing over 1500 miles on just one tank of diesel!

New safety and comfort features
Like previous Passats, VW’s ‘ESP’ (electronic stabilisation system) intelligent suspension is standard; if you opt to have a factory-fitted towbar then the system also takes into account your trailer. Six airbags, ABS and anti-whiplash headrests are also standard. However, there are also new features which were previously only available for the more expensive Touareg and Phaeton.

Automatic distance control and emergency braking
This new system means that at speeds below 18mph the car will automatically brake if it senses a possible collision in front. And – so long as there is space in front – if a collision from behind is anticipated then the car will automatically accelerate.

Fatigue detection
Another new feature (on the SE and above) monitors the driver’s actions and will give a warning message to the driver (both audio and visual) if it is felt that the driver is not active enough. Tiredness is a real killer and this warning to take a break could save lives.

New differential
The new XDS electronic transverse differential (also standard on the Golf GTI) makes the seventh-generation Passat feel more responsive by reducing understeer and improving traction on wet roads.

‘Hands Full’ boot opening system
Finally, saloon models with the optional keyless entry specification can be opened at the rear with a simple foot motion so long as you are carrying the key fob, making loading the boot easier.

Orders are being taken now for immediate delivery. Prices start at £18,470 (RRP on the road) for the saloon and £19,745 (RRP on the road) for the estate.

Victoria Stubbs, Vindis
Vindis are VW dealers for all models including used Volkswagen Passat

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