Volkswagen Passat 206TSI R-Line 2022 assessment
In a motoring world full of extra type than substance, the delightfully understated Passat delivers constantly – and in methods you don’t count on.
- Clean freeway cruiser
- R-like efficiency
- Dynamic but comfy chassis
- Feels and appears costly
- Comparatively excessive buy worth
- Preliminary DCT engagement
- Security options have been stripped
- Wait occasions may be lengthy
Now eight generations in, the Volkswagen Passat nameplate is among the oldest within the model’s line-up. However ageing isn’t at all times such a nasty factor, or so it appears.
Formally launching in Australia in 2015 earlier than being handled to a complete facelift in 2019, the ‘B8’ Passat vary was reunited with its 206TSI range-topper in Australia final yr so as to add some correctly sporting flavour to the line-up.
Whereas it was beforehand supplied in a sedan, the Passat 206TSI is now a wagon-only affair, although the closely-related Volkswagen Arteon and Skoda Excellent proceed on in each physique types.
With a punchy four-cylinder underneath the bonnet and all-wheel drive, Passat 206TSI R-Line performs on the heartstrings of the fanatic however with a price ticket of $65,890 earlier than on-road prices, it’s additionally tauntingly near a Golf R wagon at $68,990 and that presents a real dilemma.
With no true head-to-head we will’t simply make this choice for you, however what we will say is the Passat is lots simpler to get your palms on, with wait occasions on the Golf R stretching out to 12 months as a result of overwhelming demand.
In distinction, there are a handful of MY22 Passat 206TSI R-Line fashions sitting in dealerships proper now (as of August 2022), although you probably have a singular specification in thoughts, you’re a wait of as much as 9 months.
However are you dropping out on that high-performance flavour by choosing the R-Line? Effectively, it might not pack the identical punch however then once more the bigger Passat wagon isn’t making an attempt to both.
How does the Passat drive?
Like the remainder of the Passat vary, the 206TSI R-Line makes use of Volkswagen’s devoted EA888 engine, although this one is somewhat bit extra particular than most.
With peak energy turned as much as 206kW and torque following go well with at 350Nm, the Passat isn’t hanging about. And regardless of its wholesome outputs, the engine doesn’t really feel peaky in its supply, and in some ways feels reminiscent of a bigger displacement engine.
Because it seems, Volkswagen is aware of a factor or two about turbocharging.
Curiously, the Passat 206TSI makes do with a six-speed ‘DSG’ dual-clutch transmission, quite than the newer seven-speed unit fitted to the Arteon, however it’s laborious to fault the pliability or smoothness from the Passat’s gearbox round city. That mentioned, there’s a small quantity of engagement lag when first stepping off the road that some might discover irritating.
The usual-fit adaptive dampers provide excellent physique management and provides a direct feeling to how the Passat 206TSI drives however with out compromising the journey. Even when traversing some significantly gnarly backroads on its firmest setting, the journey was impressively composed.
Pitching this 1655kg wagon right into a bend reveals an enticing entrance finish, and whereas it’s not as agile as a shorter Golf, the velocity the Passat can carry is spectacular given its dimension.
A lot of the Passat’s tempo may be attributed to its clever all-wheel-drive system that applies this grunt to the street so shortly, even when the open differential on the rear does little to fight the front-driven feeling.
Volkswagen’s intelligent new twin-clutch rear differential that made its debut on the Golf and Tiguan R fashions might provide an answer to this flaw. It has the flexibility to deploy as much as one hundred pc of the rear-axle torque (and as much as 50 p.c of total grunt) to every particular person wheel, permitting it to kick its tail round an apex at a stunning fee of knots.
But it surely’s necessary to keep in mind that this isn’t a fully-fledged ‘R’ mannequin, and the AWD system fitted to the Passat is a lot able to severe tempo if you happen to occur upon a B-road.
Earlier this yr, ANCAP made the controversial choice to run out the Passat’s five-star score however, as Volkswagen Australia rightly identified on the time, in 2022 it is a considerably safer car than when it launched seven years in the past.
Whereas missing fashionable improvements like a front-centre airbag, the Passat options explosive pillows nearly all over the place else; with two up entrance, beside the motive force’s knee in addition to facet and curtain airbags throughout the back and front seats. As well as, customary driver help options embody adaptive cruise management and lane-keep help that each one carried out nicely in our testing.
It’s additionally price noting that the Passat is provided with ahead and reversing AEB as customary, the latter of which is crucial for household consumers and but continues to be an non-compulsory additional on well-liked midsize SUVs such because the Kia Sportage and Toyota RAV4 – and isn’t even accessible on the Honda CR-V.
However with semiconductors nonetheless briefly provide, Volkswagen has opted to take away a number of the security options from all MY23-badged Passat Alltrack and wagon fashions.
Omissions embody Volkswagen’s Proactive Occupant Safety system, which takes pre-emptive motion by tensioning the seatbelt and shutting the home windows forward of a potential crash, together with Aspect Help (blind-spot monitoring and emergency lane-change intervention) and rear-cross site visitors alert.
Volkswagen has supplied a $900 low cost on the value of the Passat as comfort however the finish result’s disappointing for consumers. Reflecting a pattern that’s sadly frequent when buying a brand new automobile.
If the removing of those security options is a deal breaker for you as a purchaser, verify Volkswagen’s web site for MY22 inventory, with broader security gear fitment, as some nonetheless stay on the time of publication in August, 2022.
How is the Passat’s inside?
Though getting on in years, the inside of the Passat is a lesson in why good design by no means dates and realizing when sufficient is just sufficient.
Though the R-Line variant is fitted with Volkswagen’s last-generation infotainment system, the 9.2-inch show is crisp, vibrant and (in contrast to rivals from Mazda, Hyundai and Kia) doesn’t require a cable to hook up with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
This setup is a reminder that Volkswagen can nonetheless make a quick and well-thought out infotainment that works with you. And in contrast to the latest-generation system within the Mk8 Golf it doesn’t relegate all local weather controls into the touchscreen, as an alternative utilizing touch-capacitive sliders and buttons which are fairly satisfying to make use of.
Whereas different carmakers stick with old-style USB A ports, Volkswagen has lengthy since switched to USB C ports and the Passat of the cabin is all the higher for it, constructing on this gear with fashionable options corresponding to ambient lighting, a ten.25-inch digital driver’s show and a panoramic roof to create a extra fashionable and ethereal area inside.
That’s to not say there weren’t some misses. The shortage of a wi-fi cellphone charging regardless of the implementation of wi-fi Apple CarPlay is odd and the 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system fitted to our take a look at automobile had distortion points within the entrance left speaker, maybe as a result of person abuse. This can be a disgrace, as a result of it confirmed a powerful depth of sound and high quality in any respect different occasions.
Being the sporty R-Line mannequin, you shouldn’t be stunned to seek out Volkswagen’s Nappa leather-based ErgoComfort bucket seats up entrance. The pair do an ideal job at holding you in place when driving dynamically, although some might discover the aggressive bolstering make entry and egress a bit theatrical.
As soon as sat in place, nonetheless, the 14-way adjustable entrance seats are extremely comfy and permit the person to tinker with lumbar adjustment and use the therapeutic massage perform. The entrance row additionally advantages from seat heating, although in contrast to the 162TSI Magnificence, it misses out on cooling.
It’s an identical story within the backseats, which supplied loads of room to take a seat behind my very own driving place at 183cm and strong under-thigh assist. Rear air vents and pull-up sunshades also needs to make this a really child-friendly area.
The boot of the Passat measures a powerful 650 litres with all of the seats up, however fold the 40/20/40 break up again seats down and it measures an enormous 1780 litres in dimension.
What are the Passat’s operating prices?
Throughout our time with the Passat 206TSI R-Line throughout a wide range of highways, suburban and efficiency testing, we noticed a median consumption of 9.6L/100km which isn’t too dangerous however you do have to refill with 98-octane gas.
Volkswagen presents an industry-standard five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee for the Passat which is sweet however it’s price contemplating that the Skoda Excellent may be had with an extended seven-year guarantee if you are going to buy pre-paid servicing of the identical size.
Service intervals for the Passat 206TSI are each 12 months or 15,000km which isn’t dangerous for a automobile with this type of delicate efficiency utility.
Like many producers, Volkswagen presents a capped worth servicing program however it’s price mentioning that it additionally presents a selection of pre-paid servicing plans.
Patrons can go for a three-year plan for $1650 or a five-year plan $3000, which reductions the price of the primary service. Volkswagen says the packs save $165 and $963 respectively compared to paying for every service after the actual fact.
The ultimate verdict
Seen right here in a good-looking shade of Lapiz Blue, the Volkswagen Passat 206TSI R-Line presents as a extra aggressive tackle the basic wagon format and maybe that’s precisely what it must survive.
Volkswagen presents extra wagons than simply about anybody else and whereas the Passat isn’t the quickest of the lot, what it lacks in outright tempo it pays again in spades by means of its inherent maturity and sheer breadth of capacity.
The Passat might have been round for some time, however Volkswagen has clearly been honing this household wagon over time, ushering in necessary updates to maintain its know-how suite in sync with fashionable calls for and an alluring, if quickly compromised, security package deal.
With Australian consumers targeted so intently on a automobile that may ‘do all of it’ the Passat is a left-field choice within the eyes of the overall inhabitants. And but it ticks extra containers than many well-liked SUVs and does so whereas retaining a definite on-road character.
And if you really want that additional floor clearance, simply get the Alltrack.