What is it?
Part of a four-strong range of new diesel-powered Passat models slated for UK sale later this month, the roomy five-seater is poised to become a familiar sight on our roads. Or so Volkswagen would have us believe, anyway – it points to “unprecedented pre-order activity” for the new car.
The apparent optimism for the new eighth-generation model is backed up by its styling, which gives the latest Passat an instantly more up-market appearance than its predecessor.
More structured than before and with a liberal lathering of chrome, the exterior is evolutionary in design but also possesses a true air of elegance. A heavy swage line running from the front wheel arch back along the flanks, flatter roof line and more flowing C-pillar treatment stretch the car visually, while larger door apertures help to provide easier access to the cabin, both front and rear.
The various examples of the new car we drove also had terrific attention to detail, superb surface finish and excellent solidity. It may compete in the volume market, but the perceived quality of the new Passat is in many respects even more impressive than that of such highly regarded cars as the Audi A4, BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class.