Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Passat Retains Winning Formula ; VOLKSWAGEN HAS BEEN PRODUCING THE PASSAT FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS AND DESPITE SUBTLE CHANGES FOR THE MODEL'S EIGHTH GENERATION, PATRICK JAMES EXPECTS THIS POPULARITY TO CONTINUE

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Passat Retains Winning Formula ; VOLKSWAGEN HAS BEEN PRODUCING THE PASSAT FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS AND DESPITE SUBTLE CHANGES FOR THE MODEL'S EIGHTH GENERATION, PATRICK JAMES EXPECTS THIS POPULARITY TO CONTINUE

Article excerpt

IF ever there was a car firm for which the phrase 'if it ain't broke, don't mend it' was coined, then surely it's Volkswagen.

Probably, if you ask the average person on the street which model has been around the longest (apart from the Beetle which has been around since Adam was a lad), they might answer the Golf, or even the Polo.

But the Passat has been around since 1973, more than 40 years (I owned one back in 1979) and has always been an innovative car, notching 22 million sales worldwide along the way.

So it is a winning formula, particularly in the fleet market.

SAME DIFFERENCE But the latest model, the eighth generation, does represent a bit of change from that formula, with an alldiesel engine line-up, weight reduction technology, clever spacesaving design and a raft of new technological innovations.

The new engine lineup ranges from a 1.6-litre 120ps diesel, through two 2.0-litre units with 150 or 190ps, to a rangetopping 2.0- litre bi-turbo with 240ps, DSG gearbox and 4MOTION fourwheel-drive.

Unladen weight has been reduced by up to 85kg and fuel economy figures that have been improved by up to 14 per cent says the German firm.

The engines are mated to either a slick six-speed manual or seven- speed DSG automatic.

With the fleet market accounting for more than 80 per cent of orders for the Passat, it isn't hard to see why VW has plumped for the diesel route initially, but a petrol plug-in hybrid will be available later in the year, offering what the company claims is 141mpg and emitting just 45g/km of CO2.

Initially, there are five trims for the saloon estate: S, SE, SE Business, GT and R-Line.

All offer a high level of standard features, including electric windows and mirrrors, air con, post-collision braking system and misfuelling prevention.

FEATURE HEAVY Move up the range and the SE adds adaptive cruise control, a precrash prevention system, ergonomically designed 'comfort' seats and front and rear parking sensors. …

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