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Archive for January, 2015|Monthly archive page

end of the line

In Volkswagen on January 14, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Passat testHere it is, the smart 2013 VW Passat.

Excuse the off centre photo, it is one of four standard shots I take when renting cars.

It saves arguments if someone thinks you’ve pranged the car.

So how about this mid-ranking three box saloon?

First I should explain the spec.

“Mine” was a DSG equipped oil burner, with I guess the 138 bhp engine and cloth seats.

I’m naturally slightly biased against any car I use for work that hasn’t got SatNav, but here goes.

Appearance: I think the hum drum Passat has morphed into something quite handsome.  The slightly chiselled (rather than rounded) nose looks sharp and tasteful.

Interior: Spacious, but it feels like you’re driving  Hyundai i20!  The front seat head rests are too far forward, forcing a slightly uncomfortable stance for any driver who happens to have a head.

Instruments clear, as is the view out.  Mine came with an idiots guide to reversing, which is basically a little read out that helps when reversing.

The boot was huge, with access via a key fob or little release in the drivers door.  Pity than that the key fob requires a hefty shove to open the boot, or open the doors. Yuk.

Performance from a diesel engine lags behind that of my BMW 320, but is perfectly adequate.

This was my first chance to try one of the super smooth shifting DSG autos widely used by the VAG. I’d vouch for the fact that gear changes are imperceptible, although I hear their reliability leaves a lot to be desired.

As a regular user of Winter Tyres I was intrigued by a dash warning saying “Winter Tyres”. Did it mean the car was thus equipped, or that it should be? Possibly the latter as I found the tyres would spin furiously if you accelerated on Dublin’s slippy roads.

The ride from the sensibly high profile tyres was excellent, and the vehicle seemed to float over speed bumps far better than any M sport BMW.

I can’t report a true MPG figure, but during the 8 hours in charge it was so frugal I needed to only top up with a gallon of fuel.

Verdict on this end of the line Passat? Four stars out of five. The new model is now in production, but if you want a spacious well built and comfortable family car you’d better try and seek a bargain from a dealer shifting the last few of this shape from their stock.

I think you’d get a good deal, and the Passat will fit around you perfectly.

The latter picture is of high spec estates was taken at Macau in November 2014.Macau VWs