The new VW Passat it's the perfect saloon for Ireland says Bob Flavin
There's something very Irish about the Passat, we do like a good saloon and the Passat has always filled in as the decent all rounder but it was never very good at anything until now.
It was a bright and sunny day with a chilly wind blowing when I drove the Passat in Wicklow, that wind was blowing through the trees and it was just about all I could hear. Then I closed the door on the new Passat and I was cocooned in a world of silence.
There's no doubt that the new model has a lot of up-market features, there's an imposing exterior look and the dash inside really does have a high quality feeling. Volkswagen have really moved the Passat along in all the right ways.
Even just sitting into the cabin you'll find that everything falls to hand and there's no bad plastics anywhere. There's a huge boot that can take 586ltrs of your stuff without moving the seats and of course it opens from the key fob.
Diving the Passat is a firm but reassuring feeling, there's very little in the way of body-roll and it does keep that cushioned feeling even over the bumpy stuff.
While the competition comes in the form of Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6 and the Opel Insignia I'm not sure any of them can match what Volkswagen have done with the Passat. It really does feel like a properly sorted package especially when you put the 2.0ltr 150bhp engine into it.
After a couple of hours with the car I couldn't really find fault, everything works and it's perfectly comfortable in all situations. It's only in the lower powered petrol and the 1.6 diesel where the car feels a little on the sluggish side but I'd be willing to put up with that for the savings.
The one to go for is the 2.0ltr 150 or 190bhp models, I'd take the estate over the saloon because it would suit my lifestyle more but the saloon should suit most of you.
Prices start at €28,045 on the road for the petrol and €29,690 for the 1.6 diesel both entry level trendline models.
Have a watch of the video above to see what else I thought about the new Passat and have your say on twitter @indomotoring