World exclusive video 2014 Volkswagen Passat reveal
Volkswagen brings us an all new Passat
Published 04/07/2014 | 15:57
The Passat is a very important car for Volkswagen and we got dispatched to Berlin for a very first look
Showing the importance of the Passat to the Volkswagen group the whole worlds press assembled in Potsdam for the reveal of the 2014 Passat, no expense was spared for the launch. The brought the head of VW group Martin Winterkorn and even the chief designer Walter DeSliva who rarely makes an appearance at these events.
The new Passat seems to really move the game on in terms of looks and feel of both the interior and exterior. They have taken the looks of the CC and melded it with the Phaton to give the new Passat a tighter, leaner and meaner exterior stance. The interior has a luxury feeling with lots of new toys to play with such as self-parking, lane assist that can take control of the car and pull it over to the hard shoulder automatically in the event of something happening to the driver.
Another good feature is the ability to park a trailer, reversing a trailer is difficult at the best of times but VW have figured out a way that the car can do all the work for you so that the car parks both the trailer and car all by its self.
There’s more tech on the way from VW in the form of the all-electronic dashboard instrument binnacle which replaces everything on the dash with a very bright and clear system that’s viewable from every angle and under every light condition.
As this is just a reveal we didn’t get to drive the new Passat but we could touch and feel everything in the car is right up there for that business class feel, we might even have a slight lowering of the price for Passat in the showroom because the car has been lightened and so it’s lower Co2 output than the current model and that means less tax to pay. There will also be a plug-in hybrid version coming out from launch
The money spent on the reveal alone could probably give me enough to have a very comfortable retirement from tomorrow and it’s that kind of money that only VW group has to spend because they are basically the only car company in the world that are making real profits at the moment. There is a bit of a recovery on but Europe is still flat enough that there’s many a worried face in car companies.
The all new Passat will go on sale at the end of January 2015 and order books will be open in quarter four this year. One tip I’ll give you, if you are heading into a Volkswagen dealer to order a car and you don’t want the new Passat haggle hard for the current model because dealers won’t want them hanging around on the forecourt when the new model comes out.
Eddie Cunningham's first impressions
After all the hoopla and build-up, I was struck by just three, simple, everyday things.
Firstly, there is so much room on the inside. I set the front seat to suit myself and when I sat in behind there was plenty of room between my knees and the seat-back. And even though the car is lower, I had more headroom. Now that’s impressive.
The boot is huge too; more useable space
Secondly, I like the way you can see the relevant information – right through the upper part of the steering wheel. There’s a head-up display on some versions. Lots of elbow room and great lateral and rear visibility.
Thirdly, the saloon is, well, it’s a Passat. Evolution v revolution. I know not too many of you buy estates but this looks better, much better, than the saloon. And there is huge room in the cargo area.
There was a lot of talk about technology, connectivity, driver assist systems, emergency halting. Of course it is all important and as VW chief Martin Winterkorn says we are increasingly looking at the junction of car and computer. But basic principles still apply; the car still has to give families and business drivers plenty of roomy comfort. No one can say the Passat doesn’t do that.
Personally I would have preferred a more dramatic departure in terms of looks and profile. Side by side with the current one it will stand out, I’ve no doubt. But even though the front is sharper, the rear is quite dull and uninspiring.
Can’t wait to drive it. That’s where I expect the revolution.