The entry-level petrol Passat, the 1.6 FSI S, will cost £14,995 on-the-road, which is nearly £1,000 less than the cheapest Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra saloons, albeit both come with 1.8-litre engines. And for the even more important diesel models, the Passat is again much cheaper at the front end.
The base 1.9 TDI 105 S costs £15,840 on-the-road, which is £1,000 less than the Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 115 LX and £1,510 less than Vauxhall’s Vectra 1.9 CDTi 120 Life. As well as challenging its rivals on price, Volkswagen claims the Passat is also cheaper than the model it replaces and has more standard equipment, such as alloy wheels, electronic parking brake, push button engine start and LED rear lights.
When it goes on sale there will be a choice of four engines: a 1.6 FSI with 113bhp, a 2.0-litre FSI with 148bhp and two diesels: a 1.9 TDI with 104bhp and a 2.0-litre with 138bhp. Other engines will be launched later in 2005, including a 2.0 TDI with 168bhp and a 247bhp 3.2-litre V6, while four-wheel-drive and Volkswagen’s acclaimed DSG clutchless manual gearbox also debuts this year.