I recently acquired my new shape Passat after driving a 130bhp TDI SE for 93k in 36 months,
swapping it for the new 140bhp TDI SE.
The new car is much quieter, roomier and the handling is streets ahead of the old model.
I like the cruise control, the electric seat adjustment, and the overall feel of the car.
On the negative side, there seems to be too many blind spots, and reversing is a nightmare (if you are going to buy one, get the parking sensors). Reverse gear is too easy to engage, being next to first; I have done this on numerous occasions, not good.
It has an imposing presence on the road and most of my friends/acquaintances seem to think it’s an Audi (don’t know if that’s good or bad).
Other pluses are the remote controlled boot lid, it is an absolute joy. Returning to the car with a load of shopping; one quick flick and the boot is wide open for your arrival.
I am not totally convinced by the button handbrake. It is a totally unnatural thing, and I have been caught out by doing what comes naturally. As you leave a car, it’s the done thing to switch all the lights off, which unfortunately in my case included the handbrake, which I subconsciously turned off.
When I arrived back, the car had rolled 3 feet out of its space, but no harm done, thank goodness, don’t want to bash it with 300 miles on the clock.
The handbrake software it very reluctant to let go, using a seemingly random combination of revs/gears/seatbelt on or off/foot on the brake combination before it let’s go.
DO NOT USE THIS CAR AS A GETAWAY VEHICLE!!
Initially I was disappointed that the bean counters at VW had dropped climate control from the SE, replacing it with ‘Climatic’ semi automatic control, which looks cheap and nasty, but, surprisingly works very well and is less hassle than the twin zone climate option. (don’t fall for the draught free hype; it blasts like any other climate). Compared to a Mondeo, the goodie list is grim, but hey it’s VW, you are lucky to get alloys!
Let me think, obscure things that are fitted; umbrella slot in the door, three 12v sockets, sunglass holder, parking ticket holder on windscreen, ski slot, giant radio display; truckers driving past can read it!!
When you start the car, it’s rough and smokey, but soon settles down to a muted thrum, has great acceleration and good MPG, but so far down from 48 MPG on the old Passat to 42 on the new one, but only 4k on the clock, so should improve with miles.
If you want to drive 500 miles in a day, this car is probably the ultimate blend of performance, comfort, refinement and economy.
Subaru Imprezas, Mitsubishi Evos or any other pretend performance cars, move over when you see a Passat diesel coming; you know you can't afford to keep up!