Let’s face it – the D-segment is dying, no thanks to the rise of SUVs.
With more buyers who are upgrading from B-segment and C-segment models ending up with SUVs simply because they offer better practicality than sedans that cost much more, it is no surprise that the executive sedan market is in a dire state.
However, despite the drop in demand, there are still some who prefer a D-segment sedan over an SUV for many reasons, like our colleague here who is looking to upgrade his Honda City to a larger sedan. Plus, he also claims to be a “Sedan-man” through and through.
So, since we were about to get our hands on the newly launched Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI Elegance when he was talking to us about his plans to upgrade, we told him that this is a car which he should definitely consider.
Not only does the new Passat look good, but it also offers a lot of power, an enjoyable driving experience, generous amount of space, practicality, and convenience, which makes it an ideal family transporter as well as a status symbol.
Launched in January, the new Passat 2.0 TSI Elegance now features a redesigned front and rear end, an updated powertrain, an updated infotainment system, as well as new convenience and safety features.
Locally-assembled at the DRB-Hicom plant in Pekan, Pahang, the new Passat is only offered in one variant – the 2.0 TSI Elegance with an asking price of RM189,012 on the road without insurance.
Prior to the update, the model was offered in three variants - Comfortline, Trendline, and Highline, with two engine options (1.8 TSI and 2.0 TSI) to choose from, with prices ranging between RM159,990 and RM198,990.
Now, however, there is only one powertrain option - an updated version of the current 2.0-litre TSI engine that is paired with a new 7-speed wet dual-clutch automatic gearbox, kicking out 190 PS and 320 Nm, which is 30 PS and 30 Nm lesser than the outgoing Passat 2.0 TSI Highline.
Prior to this, the Passat 1.8 TSI came with a 7-speed dry-type dual clutch automatic transmission, while the 2.0 TSI variants came with a 6-speed wet-type dual clutch automatic transmission.
On the exterior, a refreshed front and rear profile distinguishes the new Passat from its previous iteration, while other distinctions include the “Passat” lettering stretched across its rear and bold 18-inch “Liverpool” alloy wheels.
The lights are also new, featuring an all-LED headlight system, front and rear sequential turn signals, and a three-wing tail light design.
Inside, updates include newly-designed door trims, a 30-colour ambient lighting system, and a new leather multi-function steering wheel with new ergonomic multifunction buttons for convenience and connectivity at the touch of a button.
Further complementing the interior is the 12-way powered electric driver’s seat, 3-zone Climatronic air-conditioning system for all passengers, and new power-operated roll up rear sunshades. Boot space on the other hand, stands at 586-litres.
Also new is the 11.7-inch Digital Cockpit which offers a high-resolution, thin-film transistor (TFT) similar to that of a smartphone, which incorporates functions and features in 2D and 3D graphic display for navigation and media. A six-view customizable screen offers a new level of personalization with over 30 combinations options.
While the outgoing range-topping Passat 2.0 TSI Highline came with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with GPS navigation and MirrorLink, the new one here comes with a 9.2 -inch touchscreen with voice control, gesture control, customizable three-view split screen, as well as Wireless AppConnect with Apple Car Play.
Other features include a wide range of connectivity options through a capacitive touch display, three illuminated USB-C ports and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile and audio streaming.
Where safety is concerned, new features include Side Assist with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, as well as the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, which complement other features like the Blind Spot Monitoring System, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Brake Assist (BA), Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS), Hill-hold Control, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, and the Proactive Passenger Protection System.
If there is one word that can perfectly describe the experience behind the wheels of the new Passat, it is definitely “smooth”.
Yes, the car’s power delivery and acceleration isn’t as “explosive” as the outgoing model due to the drop in engine output and torque, but it is anything but slow.
There is still ample power available on tap, which makes the new Passat quite an enjoyable car to drive. The suspension on the other hand, is setup with comfort in mind but the ride is still very planted and composed with minimal body roll.
Despite the length and width of the car, the steering actually feels quite light, making it easy to manoeuvre the new Passat with ease, especially in places like shopping mall parking lots and tight spaces.
A slightly more weighted steering would certainly make the new Passat a much more exciting car to drive along the twisty bits, but the fact is that this is a car which is going to spend most of its life in the heart of the city with occasional runs along the highways, so its light steering actually makes perfect sense.
Further complementing the smooth driving experience was the cabin which is quieter now thanks to redesigned, thicker door panels, followed by the impressive audio system, the ambient lighting, rear air vents, and the generous head and leg space.
On top of all of the above, what impressed us even more is how fuel efficient the new Passat is. Equipped with a 66-litre tank, the new Passat consumes 6.5-litres per 100 km, and returned around 800 km with a full tank of fuel during our stint with the car.
So, with so much to offer, do you think the car impressed our colleague here? Do you think he agreed to buy the new Passat? Watch the video to find out!