The new VW Passat is bigger, greener and estate-only

By topgear, 01 September 2023

Good news! Volkswagen has revealed the new Passat, and it’s made some significant changes to this ninth-gen (!) effort. Blimey, that makes us feel old.

Chiefly, it'll only be available in Estate guise. Although the popular family hauler is also getting a wider engine choice, as VW paves the way for a switch to electrification.

This new Passat is built on VW’s MQB platform. That’s the same one used for Golf and Tiguan, and it enables VW to capitalise on options. What options? ALL the options.

It’s expected that this will be the last Passat to have petrol and diesel engines, so there are two new plug-in hybrids to ease the transition. The choice of 150kW or 200kW motors, coupled with a 19.8kWh battery, will give the Passat roughly 60 miles of electric-only cruising, the brand tells us.

VW has also developed faster charging tech, enabling the Passat PHEV to take advantage of more rapid 50kW DC charge points. Handy. And it reckons that the plug-in tech coupled with the 1.5-litre TSI turbo should be good for as many as 620 miles for longer journeys.

There’s also a new 48V mild hybrid on offer for those who don’t fancy the fuss of cables. Two 2.0-litre turbo petrols (pushing over 200 and 250bhp respectively) and three 2.0-litre turbo diesels (122, 147 or 187bhp) complete the line-up.

All come with an automatic ‘box and front-wheel-drive as standard. Unless, of course, you opt for range-topping power. Then you’ll get Volkswagen’s 4Motion ‘intelligently controlled’ all-wheel-drive. See, options.

Inside, the brand claims there’s been a complete redesign. In a leaf from the Skoda Superb playbook, 50mm of extra length in the 2024 Passat has added legroom and increased the cavernous boot space to 1,920 litres, up from 1,780.

The touchscreen is a larger, landscape display and gear changes are initiated from a stick by the indicators, freeing up central console space.

In a long-overdue move, VW tells us it worked closely with customers to develop the menu structure in response to feedback: we can only hope all VW infotainment systems become less frustrating as a result.

The Passat’s always enjoyed a reputation for being the affordable family grand tourer, and it's the brand’s third best-seller after the Golf and Beetle.

VW is also keen to highlight the integration of massage seats, assisted parking and adaptive suspension, albeit as – you've guessed it, options – it emphasises the Passat’s definitive position as that tourer, both for families and business execs.

The new Passat is set to hit dealerships at the end of the year. What do we reckon, folks?


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