Volkswagen will begin taking orders for the eighth generation Passat saloon and Estate models on 7 October, ahead of first UK deliveries in January, with prices starting from £22,215 for the entry-level saloon.
Although the new car has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor and more interior space, it is up to 85 kg lighter, while EU6-compliant, more efficient engines mean fuel savings and carbon dioxide emissions reductions of up to 14 per cent.
Only diesel engines will be offered in the UK at launch, ranging in power from a 1.6-litre 120 PS, through two 2.0-litre units with 150 or 190 PS, to a range-topping 2.0-litre bi-turbo with 240 PS, DSG gearbox and 4MOTION four-wheel drive. A plug-in hybrid GTE version with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and electric motor will follow in October 2015.
At launch, five trim levels will be offered: S, SE, SE Business, GT and R-Line. All will offer a high level of standard features with highlights including Post-Collision Braking System and mis-fuelling prevention on all; Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Crash system, Driver Profile Selection, Ergo Comfort seats and front and rear parking sensors on SE and above; and Discover Navigation on the SE Business which is aimed at fleet drivers.
Luxurious heated Alcantara seats, three-zone climate control and 18-inch wheels are standard on GT, while the range-topping R-Line adds a host of bespoke design features.
A frugal BlueMotion with a 1.6-litre engine returning 78 mpg and just 95 g/km CO2 will join the range in June 2015, while an Alltrack version of the Estate is due in July.
A number of new optional features will also be available including:
- Car-Net "Guide and Inform": in-car connection to the internet via a smartphone Wi-fi hotspot, allowing key information such as online traffic data, news and weather to be accessed via the Passat's colour touchscreen infotainment system.
- Predictive Pedestrian Protection: a radar behind the rear-view mirror scans the area in front of the Passat and detects pedestrians, exercising a full emergency stop if there is no braking intervention from the driver.
- Traffic Jam Assist: brakes, accelerates and steers automatically, easing the strain during stop-and-go traffic.
- Emergency Assist: helps keep the car in the lane and brakes automatically to a full stop if there is a medical emergency situation.
- Trailer Assist: helps to manoeuvre trailers with ease as the system automatically steers with precision. The driver is only required to accelerate and brake.
Later in 2015 innovations such as an Active Info Display, which replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a fully configurable interactive 12.3-inch TFT display, and a head up display will also become available.
This is the eighth generation of Passat, of which nearly 22 million units have been sold since launch in 1973.