Milton Keynes – The Volkswagen Passat, renowned for its combination of style and substance, has just rolled out its latest iteration in the UK. Tagged as Volkswagen’s most aerodynamically savvy estate yet, the ninth-generation Passat is all set to swish past competitors, boasting a remarkable coefficient of drag (Cd) of just 0.25. This figure not only puts it ahead of numerous sports cars in the aerodynamic race but also marks it as a paragon of efficiency. The new model starts at a tempting £38,400 (INR 40.51 lakh), ready to zoom into the hearts of families and fleet managers alike.
Volkswagen has sold over 34 million Passats since its debut in 1973, and the newest model is poised to carry forward this legacy of success. It’s not just about the aerodynamics; the Passat’s design has undergone a transformative facelift. With sculptural surfaces, dynamic lines, and expanded dimensions, the car extends its wheelbase by 50 mm to 2,841 mm, stretches 144 mm longer to 4,917 mm, and broadens by 20 mm in width. However, the height remains nearly the same, hovering around 1,506 mm, including the aerial.
The new Passat is constructed on Volkswagen’s advanced MQB evo platform, which underpins the latest Tiguan and accommodates a suite of innovative systems. Inside, the Passat flaunts a completely revamped digital cockpit with state-of-the-art (MIB4) infotainment matrix, enhanced by IDA voice control. The driver’s display has been treated with a new surface coating to minimize reflections and glare, eliminating the need for additional shading.
For those who prize comfort, the new Passat doesn’t disappoint. It introduces ergoActive seats with an array of amenities like massage, ventilation, and heating functions, ensuring a luxurious travel experience. The extended wheelbase translates into more space for passengers and a generous rear storage capacity of up to 1,920 litres, making the Passat Estate a versatile choice for both business and leisure.
Raising the comfort bar higher, the Passat features premium materials, DCC Pro adaptive chassis control, and a first-time inclusion of a Vehicle Dynamics Manager. This system fine-tunes the electronic differential locks and shock absorbers, setting a new standard in mid-sized vehicle handling.
A novel acoustic package with double glazing and laminated acoustic film on the side windows ensures a tranquil cabin environment, rivaling noise levels found in upper mid-sized and premium class vehicles.
The new Passat lineup includes three trims – Life, Elegance, and R-Line, all with either a six- or seven-speed automatic DSG. The eco-friendly 1.5 TSI 150 PS mild hybrid engine is available from January 25, while the new plug-in eHybrids, offering up to 272 PS, are set to join later in 2024.
The eHybrid models, a fusion of a turbocharged petrol engine and a 19.7 kWh battery, promise an electric range of up to 100 kilometres, effectively making the Passat an everyday electric vehicle for most UK drivers. These models feature enhanced charging capabilities at AC and rapid DC points.
Incorporating ACTplus, the mild hybrid variant offers Active Cylinder Management, enabling the vehicle to coast emission-free under certain conditions. With these advancements, Volkswagen’s new Passat is not just a gust of fresh air; it’s a full-blown whirlwind of innovation and efficiency in the estate car segment.