The Passat retains its understated and solid no-nonsense looks
The Volkswagen Passat was always a capable car that gave us little reason for complaint. It offered decent grunt, but given the amount you spent on the car, the engine wasn't refined and the engine's initial lack of response made it annoying to drive, especially when quick overtaking manoeuvres were called for.
These flaws have been ironed out with the introduction of a common-rail diesel powerplant, one that's almost identical to that in the Audi A4. The 2.0-litre unit impresses with its refinement levels and it's hard to tell that there's a diesel motor under the hood. The Passat's power delivery is more linear now and the throttle response is much better as well. The six-speed DSG gearbox is the same as that on the older car and retains its responsive nature. The Passat hits the 100kph mark in 10.24 seconds and will go on to reach a top speed of 206kph.
The refined engine is nicely complemented by good road manners. The Passat feels rock-solid at speed and absorbs most road bumps. But the downside is that low-speed ride is a tad stiff and bumps filter into the cabin. However, things improve considerably as speeds rise. The steering is direct and provides ample feedback. This, combined with the stiff suspension, means that the Passat handles well too.
The Passat retains its understated and solid no-nonsense looks. The big chrome grille with the VW badge and sunken headlamps look distinctive. Its mature profile and well-appointed rear, with the LED tail-lamps, is beautifully proportioned. But apart from that, there isn't much that will make the car stand out.
The interiors are pretty much the same, save for the new touch-screen audio system which is very easy to use. Sound quality is quite good as well. Like the exteriors, the interiors are high on quality but not very exciting. The contoured seats are well bolstered and offer good levels of comfort. The front seats are electrically powered and are fully adjustable. The arrival of the new common-rail engine means that overall refinement levels are now befitting a car which costs Rs 27.45 lakh.