Editor's choice
7 Feb 19

VW Passat gets ‘Touaregged’, connected and autonomous

In a few months’ time, the 30-millionth Passat will roll off the production line in Germany. In the run up of this milestone, VW decided to treat its D-segment saloon and estate with a ‘Touareg’ make-over in the design and UX department.

More importantly, it is the first VW that will be able to maintain a cruising speed semi-autonomously under certain conditions.

Thank you, Touareg

You may have to look twice to see the differences between the old and the ‘new’ Passat. Still, the changes VW made below the surface are considerable. Many technologies have trickled down from VW’s flagship model, the new Touareg, including intelligent led matrix lights and a digital cockpit.

The infotainment system finally steps into the online era thanks to an embedded sim card and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Interestingly, iPhone users can mirror their phone’s screen on the car’s head unit without using a USB-cable. Samsung aficionados will be able to unlock their Passat with their mobile device, openinging up car sharing possibilities.

Diesel, petrol and PHEV

Diesel still makes sense in a big car that is mainly used on motorways. That is also VW’s belief: it has re-engineered the 2.0 TDI and managed to scrape off 10 g/km of CO2 in the case of the 150 PS Evo model.
Fleet owners, not to worry: the 1.6 TDI is still available, and so are the 2.0 TDI 190 and 240 PS. Drivers who live close to work can opt for the frugal 1.5 TSI – or the 2.0 TSI if more power is in place (190 or 272 PS).

All engines comply with the Euro 6d-temp emission standard. Most of them can be mated to VW’s proprietary DSG transmission. The most powerful ones are available with 4Motion all-wheel drive.

Strangely enough, the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model sticks to the old 1.4 TSI rather than switching to the new 1.5 TSI. The good news is that its battery pack has been enlarged to boost the e-range to 55 km under WLTP conditions. That translates to 70 km measured by the old NEDC protocol.

In fact, the new Passat GTE is now so clean that it already complies with the future Euro 6d emission standard.

Semi-autonomous

The 2019 Passat will be the first Volkswagen capable of partially automated driving at any speed (0 to 210 km/h) thanks to the so-called IQ.Drive system.

Another new feature is Emergency Steering Assist, which increases safety when performing evasive manoeuvres by means of braking interventions. Moreover, the Passat will be the first brand model worldwide with a capacitive steering wheel.  

The new Passat will be available in Q3, with sales starting in May. Its main competitors are the new Peugeot 508, the Opel Insignia and the Volvo S60/V60.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier