1.1 million Volkswagen Passats were sold in 2013. This makes the Passat, contrary to what you might think in the Netherlands, the best selling VW. The Golf is more popular in the Netherlands, which has to do with our taxes, etc. Worldwide, the Passat is very important for Volkswagen. We’re driving the latest generation, the 8th or B8. This car has to do it for Volkswagen in the coming years. Volkswagen decided not to continue the previous generation, but make a new Passat. It’s build on the MQB platform, which makes the car more compact, lower, and 2 mm shorter. You won’t see the difference, but it’s there. It’s also more spacious with the 8 cm longer wheelbase. We get more interior and trunk space, which is important for Passat drivers. How does the new Passat on the MQB platform handle? It’s 85 kg lighter than the previous generation Passat, which you notice. It handles better. It’s still no sports car; a Passat is the perfect in-betweener. It’s a nice car to drive. Volkswagen calls it the smartest kid in class. They have a point. There are a lot of gadgets that the competition doesn’t have yet. There are a lot of safety features, such as adaptive cruise control with lane keeping, so you can be in a traffic jam without your hands on the steering wheel.You can get some work done, which is nice. And important for the Dutch Passat driver. They are the business drivers among us. There’s also a system using radar to see if there are no cars behind you when backing up. The car has new gadgets which make the Passat the smartest kid in class. The car we’re driving is a TDI, the strongest one with bi-turbo and 237 hp / 369 ft lbs torque. This car is quick. 0-62 mph in 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 148 mph. Especially those 6.3 seconds is a thing. It’s very fast, especially the first 100 yards. It goes fast, but then it stops pulling. It starts well, but then it’s over. I don’t doubt those 6.3 seconds, but it doesn’t feel like it.Kudos for Volkswagen they kept the launch control with the DSG. It’s fun. Foot on the brake, throttle, foot off the brake and go. I think the Passat has made a big step forwards on the inside. It’s a nice interior. The A/C vents run the whole width, which looks good and chic. It’s a nice place to be. What does this nice place cost? There are a number of variaties, starting with a 1.4 TSI of 30,190 euros. This has no 20% additional tax liability, one of the few. A number of varieties are
available now, e.g. the 148 hp gasoline with 20% additional tax liability and 1.6 TDIs, also with 20% additional tax liability. The GTE will be the best-seller with 7% additional tax liability. That’s a plug-in hybrid, super clean and efficient, etc. We know that the Dutch leaser will be enthusiastic about that. The car will be introduced mid 2015, so you’ll have to be patient. The car we’re driving starts at 51,8xx euros for the wagon; the sedan is 1,500 euros cheaper. It’s a nice car.Unfortunately, we won’t get to see it much. Returning to the question if the Passat is the smartest kid in class: yes, it is. It’s the smartest kid. If only for the fact that every Passat driver has 6.3 trailers on average. This car can park the trailer in the right spot. The car helps put it where you want it to be. A wonderful system. That makes it the smartest kid in class. The only thing to ask yourself is whether that kid is also the most popular one. Whom did you hang out with? I liked party people, who were sporty, etc. The Passat may not be the perfect car, but it’s the smartest kid right now. Subs – Maru .