Volkswagen has bided its time prior to introducing the new Passat in the Indian market. The Passat gets the modular MQB platform and this 8th generation model is the sibling to the Audi A3 and Skoda Superb models. Now in terms of design, it all depends on one’s perspective. The Passat may appear sleek and ultra-elegant or it may seem a little ordinary for one’s taste. The proportions are just perfect and the overall look is classy although there is not much design flair or any element which excites onlookers. There are full LED headlights with daytime running lights along with a coupe-esque roofline and prominent shoulder line along with LED rear tail lamps. The lower edge of the bumper gets inward tapering and something similar happens with the rear bumper and sides as well.
The interiors look premium and the wood panel on the dashboard and doors offers a classy touch. The steering wheel is the similar unit used in the Volkswagen Polo. The HVAC unit controls, window switches and door handles are sourced from the Tiguan and Jetta models. The Passat gets Nappa leather upholstery along with wood inserts and soft-touch zones for the dashboard. The cabin feels premium and luxurious and there is ample comfort for rear passengers. There is power adjust for the seats in front along with memory and massage functions for the driver’s seat. There are supportive rear seats with ample space and the flip-down armrest feels really nice. The headroom is on the lower side but there is ample shoulder room. The big central tunnel means that the central passenger at the back will have to squeeze in a little.
There is a big 586 litre boot which can be opened by a remote button or waving one’s foot below the bumper. You can also fold the rear seats easily. There automatic parking, three zone climate control, tyre pressure monitoring, a sunroof, electric rear sunshade, touch screen unit with USB, Bluetooth, AUX, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a proximity sensor which puts up commands whenever one reaches out for the display. There is a 360-degree camera along with the self-parking function. There are 9 airbags including a driver’s knee airbag along with drag reduction which prevents front wheel locking in case of sudden downshifts. There is ESC and ABS as well. The 2.0 litre TDI diesel engine is used for the Indian version of the Passat. This is paired to a 6-speed DSG transmission setup. This engine makes 177 hp and 350 Nm. The engine is responsive and powerful enough and there are steering mounted paddles.
The only little chink in the armor is that the engine note is sometimes on the harsher side and there is a fair amount of engine noise at times. There are drive modes which alter the steering, engine and gearbox along with damper properties which is a good addition in this segment. The ride quality is good although slightly on the stiffer side. The suspension sound is a little louder than it should normally be. Fuel economy is pretty good and drivers get tips and inputs for boosting efficiency with the on-board Think Blue Trainer.