By on July 3, 2014

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Volkswagen unveiled their all-new Passat, riding on the same MQB architecture as the all-new Golf.

The new Passat is 2mm shorter, but 14mm lower and 12 mm wider, while cargo and passenger space is increased. Nearly 200 lbs is lost from the car’s curb weight, helping to boost fuel economy by as much as 20 percent.

A new diesel making 237 horsepower and 368 lb-ft mated to a DSG gearbox is expected to be a highlight of the engine range. No word on whether we’ll get this Passat, or continue on with our American-ized version.

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75 Comments on “Volkswagen Reveals MQB-Based Passat...”


  • avatar
    alsorl

    Looks like this new Passat is going to make BMW and MB owners look like tools.

  • avatar
    Mike N.

    I had a B3, B4, and a B5 Passat. They weren’t without their problems, but I generally liked them (surpringly the B5 was nicest inside but was the worst driving-wise, mostly because of the nose-heavy north-south, in front of the axle engine layout it inherited from the contemporary Audi A4).

    This looks pretty nice, certainly nicer than the US market Passat. The rear lights remind me of the Phaeton, actually.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The details look too expensive for us cheap Americans. Here in Murica if we’re going to buy a $40,000 car it better have a badge on it that tells everyone how expensive it is.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnnyFirebird

      That and the US contracts for Passat building in TN aren’t ending any time soon. It’d have to be priced mid-20’s well equipped and be able to be made at the existing factory.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Love the back, the front… not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      At least they softened the standard casket look. It’s pretty obvious Volkswagen stylists are NOT wild and crazy guys – the styling is evolutionary. It kind of makes me wonder if they’re all like the Stepford Wives or something.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Derek, your link is to the new GTI, but I’m still hoping that Jack will do the review he promised of the other new Golf models that he drove.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    Me gusta.

    If this comes stateside next year and the previous gen Passat TDIs are discounted like crazy, me encanta.

  • avatar
    Stovebolt

    Why doesn’t North America get these nice wagons-or whatever they are called these days? Oh, we’d rather drive our kidz to school and do errands in huge gas swilling truck derivatives. Oh, I get it.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      It’s probably the CAFE rules. A regular wagon counts as a part of a “car” fleet, but raise it a little bit, make it bigger, call it a CUV, and suddenly it’s classified as a “light truck”, which has more liberal fuel economy rules. It’s a loophole that killed the wagons, large sedans, created the huge SUV/CUV market, and helped the big 3 survive the 90s and early 00s.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        While I would love to blame the government for all my problems, I think the answer is a little more mundane.

        Most consumers will spend more for a crossover than they would for a wagon. Example: people spend $25K for a CR-V all day long, but would not spend more than $20K for an equivalent Civic wagon. In that case, why would Honda offer a Civic wagon?

        The sad truth is that Passat, Mazda6 and Camry wagons have all been tried, and simply failed in the US marketplace.

        • 0 avatar
          stodge

          Camry wagon? Yikes, that doesn’t bear (bare?) thinking about.

          • 0 avatar
            James2

            Stodge,
            You must be young. Back in the late ’80s Toyota ‘blessed’ us with a Camry wagon. It was an ugly thing –not that Toyota is known for its styling prowess– with ‘backwards’ rear windows (best way I can phrase it). To call it Awkward would be kind.

          • 0 avatar
            bigdaddyp

            We used to call those Camry wagons the “hearse mobile” because that’s were it seems like the designers got their inspiration from.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Even if they lifted this wagon and lowered the side-skirts a bit (a la Outback), it would make a lovely product and I’d still want one.

        But what irritates me about VW’s latest North-American Passat and Jetta is that, despite being lower-quality in just about every way, they still really aren’t any cheaper than their predecessors. The Tiguan is downright small and overpriced, and the Touareg is overpriced and was visibly decontented versus the first-generation in order to make the Cayenne (and its $20K price-gap) more appealing.

        You can *still* get better value for your money with any other non-luxury brand.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Waingrow

          Kyree, I agree with everything you said, but the one exception might be the new Golf and GTI that seem to actually give more content for the same money. Someone will hopefully correct me if I’m missing something.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            They probably do…similarly to how you get everything that’s in the Maxima in the Altima, for much less money. But, also similar to the Altima vs the Maxima, the bigger (pricier) sister is the prettier one.

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            Agreed. This is why in my later post I commented that if the new GTI and Golf pricing and contenting is anything to go by, things are looking up for the future Passat in North America.

            The new GTI is really well packaged and very comparable to the Eurospec models. The big things that we are lacking: LED tail lamps and the 8″ Discover Pro navigation system, are the only major options we did *not* get here.

            The rest of the car was packaged and priced very attractively. The new Golf, in particular, received a significant price cut (especially the TDI models). This is good news for the next generation Jetta and Tiguan.

            While I agree that VW is perpetually behind the curve on North America and relatively clueless on how to handle this market, it would appear that they are playing the long game in regards to building first the architecture, then the localized production, to set the stage for a product offensive. I think their timeline is getting pushed up because of the lack of (relative) success of the Americanized Passat and the blah-response to the new Jetta, but if they can move quicker and release a competitive CUV, SUV and revamped sedans they should get back on track.

            Lots of ‘if’s’ there, I know….

        • 0 avatar

          The Tiguan is a joke for the money, especially in light of gorgeous competition like the MKC, especially in light of the hillariously toxic reliability issues, especially in light of the fact that its still made from non-stick headliners and non-durable touch points like every modern VW.

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            Compared to the CRV, RAV4 and Escape the Tig is less than a blip on the radar. My wife wanted one until we looked at them and she couldn’t get past the pricing.

            We then drove down the street to Honda where she picked up a 2012 CRV-EX 4WD and couldn’t be happier. Plain Jane Schoolteacher is very pleased with her purchase.

          • 0 avatar
            cpthaddock

            “… non durable touch points” – wow, you’re right about that. It honestly shocked me to see the wear on a 12 month old Audi S5 dash recently. It’s disappointing when the nice matte finish on a cell phone case wears off, but a $70k Audi … {inhales over clenched teeth}

      • 0 avatar
        Tom Szechy

        +1, most useful post so far.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      You can get an E-wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      turboprius

      For people who have hip and knee pain like my mom and dad, respectively, a sedan or wagon is impractical. Too low to the ground.

      If you really want a practical vehicle, just get a crossover. Spacious, easy access, and not that expensive. Most of these “wagon” variants of sedans have the same amount of passenger room, just some more cargo room. Most families are like mine; they never have to haul anything around except people, so they just get sedans. I love the styling of wagons, but they’re only good if you plan to carry lots of stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      We don’t get them because no one wants them, except me. Everyone asks me why I bought the Acura wagon and not a SUV.

  • avatar

    I like the rear styling and the 5 Series copy of the side character line, but the front looks like the generic car photo you would find in a dictionary. VW has to come up with a more interesting corporate face.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The design is a bit on the plain side, but all of the lines have purpose and add up to a very cohesive and stately package. And that wagon is easily better than anything I’ve seen in a long time, including the Mk7 Jetta SportWagen/Golf Variant.

    But seriously…what’s the ratio in Europe? One Passat to twenty Golfs and Jettas? Do people buy these? They probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much as we would. In fact, if VW brought *this* Passat over to the States, I’d have no problem paying their outlandish prices and would buy one…

    • 0 avatar

      They are much more bought in Europe than in the US. The Passat is one of the few cars that has survived the decimation of the larger European car population. It’ll never sell in the number of Golfs, but there are many markets it still thrives.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      I don’t have numbers, but Passat may be VW’s second or third bestselling car in europe. It is the most sold car in its class.
      Fewer than Golf, but substantial. May be 3 Golf for every Passat, definitely not 20.

      Add the higher margin on a larger car and you see that the Passat is very important.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Interesting. I didn’t know that. I stand corrected.

      • 0 avatar
        Tom Szechy

        Some additional insight on EU Passat sales: I believe most of the sales comes from corporate/institutional fleets.
        Company car hierarchy over here values the Passat/Mondeo(Fusion)/Insignia(Buick whatevs) category, and they give it to mid-high level employees. These cars are considered to be big and spacious over here, plus they can get a hint of “luxury” trims too.
        The “usual” company car is one category below that (Golf/Octavia/Focus/Astra blah blah). Hence Skoda is breaking records every year.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        If this article is correct, they built 1.1 mio every year and is their best selling car. I think it is hard to believe the Passat unseated the Golf. either way, 1.1 mio / year is a lot.

        http://www.spiegel.de/auto/aktuell/vw-passat-winterkorn-preist-die-achte-generation-als-premium-auto-an-a-979165.html

  • avatar
    Victor

    I physically hate what eurocrats did with the front section of cars.

    That said, this looks nice.

    • 0 avatar

      I think this is the best VW face in a long time.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I absolutely agree. It looks…gentlemanly.

      • 0 avatar
        Victor

        Yes, I won’t disagree. It looks better than most things VW made after the Sirocco. But something is just not right on that fascia.

        The side profile and the volume of the front end are dictated by european legislation on pedestrians safety. As an example, recently I came across a picture of that new F-Type model, the Project 7, taken alongside a D-Type. It is really sad that the F-Type, beautiful for today’s standards, looks so massive and heavy when compared to the cars of yore.

        Eurocrats ruined design forever. The chrome finishing just above the headlights of this new MQB Passat creates a rather massive forehead that should not be there. And that would not be there if is wasn’t for those regulations.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    “Nearly 200 lbs is lost from the car’s curb weight, helping to boost fuel economy by as much as 20 percent”

    Is anyone investigating anymore, or just doing copy&paste? 200 lb out of a 3,500 car will never save 20% fuel. it must have some other fuel economy measures (i.e. engine, aerodynamics etc.) to get 20% improvement.

    I hope TTAC is not becoming another copy&paste news outlet, but provides more insight and critical reporting.

    • 0 avatar
      300zx_guy

      to be fair, it says “*helping* to boost fuel economy by as much as 20 percent”, implying that this is not the only reason fuel economy is up.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    An MQB Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and as-of-yet-unknown SUV are the keys to resurrecting Volkswagen in North America.

    If the new GTI built in Mexico is a harbinger of what we can expect, I think that we will get 90% of what this Eurospec car has to offer. And that’s a really, really good thing.

    TDI+4Motion? Probably not, but I’ll put money on the fancy new digital disco dash making it stateside. This new Passat has all of the little touches that will help it stand out against the competition here in North America. It can’t get here fast enough.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    The last-gen Euro Passats (2006-2010) were my nemesis when I was a used manager at Volks, especially the first two MYs. Massive rust problems that would take months for corporate approval, suspensions that would fall apart, and a flex-pipe mesh that would be invariably torn (covered until 130,000 kilometers but still). Eye-watering recon trying to bring even relatively low-mileage ones back to sellable condition. I didn’t have to deal with too many ‘Muricanized Passats, but at least early on they didn’t have any where near the sophistication / problems of the Euro ones.

    tl;dr I hated those damn things.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      What you describe makes them sound worse than my 2005 Mazda 3. I always was under the impression body, rust proofing etc. is what VW excels in ( definitely not electric).

      Was there a pattern with what factory the rusting ones came from?

      • 0 avatar
        JohnnyFirebird

        Yeah, there’s a known paint defect on 2006-2007 Passats / Jettas. The paint was fixed after that, rust would start on wheel wells and the trunk around the pull / lights. Much like the Mazda 3. Those years are equal in rust problems to the 3, but VW has a 12 year rust warranty versus the 5 year on the Mazda. As long as your car has never been in an accident or otherwise repainted. I haven’t seen a rusting VW newer than 2007 yet, so that’s a good sign in regards to their new paint.

        • 0 avatar
          HerrKaLeun

          Did they ever honor the warranty?

          When I brought my Mazda to dealer after 3 years it had rust spots on the rear wheel well. Right and left side on the exact location. The dealer told me that was not covered because stones hit that (it is the wheel well, unless you never drive it will get hit!). in addition the warranty says “rust through”. Since it wasn’t rusted through i applied several rust-proofings that covered the rust till i sold it years later. At the time i didn’t know all Mazda are affected, or i would have complained. So much for Japanese built cars. it was totally rusted underneath, even a piece of steel fell off one day.

          Our 2007 Mazda 6 built in the US doesn’t show any rust yet. Also underneath it looks good. I guess Mazda is hit and miss, that is why I didn’t take chance on a CX5.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnnyFirebird

            Yeah, VW is very good about honoring that warranty, at least our dealership was. Just getting through the delay to process it was rough, since the cars were sitting in the back lot and couldn’t be sold.

            And as for the “perforating” rust that’s an iffy area. Depends on the dealer. Considering every 2005-2007 Mazda 3 I’ve seen has the same rust in the same areas I think it’s a manufacturing problem and not coincidental rock chips.

            They were the most popular car in Quebec during that era. Now no one wants to buy a Mazda here since they all rusted to pieces. VW avoids this by having a very, very dedicated base. Glad to hear the 6 is better!

  • avatar
    Fred

    I’m curious why the Passat is not being built on the new MLB platform along with the A4.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Easy. The Passat was meant to have a transversely-mounted engine, so MLB wouldn’t work.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      Because ot is FWD. I didn’t know the A4 is RWD. Source?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Because a longitudinal engine hurts packaging and interior space in exchange for benefits that the Passat’s target buyers don’t care about.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        what is the longitudinal advantage if it is not RWD?

        Traditionally Passat and A4 were siblings (like Gold and A3), so they give that up now?

        Are the A6/8 also going to be longitudinal as well? Those were the sole FWD luxury cars for a very long time and Audi really is giving BMW and Mercedes a run for their money, at least in Europe. So I’, surprised they give that now. Now, when even BMS starts with FWD.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          The only advantage I could think of is weight distribution (to some extent) and proportions. Then again, as far as proportions go, Mazda managed to make its FWD 3 and 6 look distinctly RWD, so it’s possible to fake it.

          • 0 avatar
            HerrKaLeun

            mmm, it makes the hood longer (and with that the entire car at given passenger and cargo space). So the weight distribution isn’t necessarily better…

        • 0 avatar
          JD23

          The A4 hasn’t shared a platform with the Passat since the B7 era ended in 2008. All Audis, except for the Golf-derived TT and A3, are currently longitudinal.

          Longitudinal platforms generally have better F/R weight balance and can accommodate larger engines, at the expense of packaging efficiency.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Weight distribution, styling proportions, the ability to easily accept long engines like V8s or even V10s, and (for Audi in particular) the ability to use the Torsen-based AWD system that’s the hallmark of “real” Audis.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike N.

      The B5/B5.5 Passats shared a platform with the contemporary A4. Not that it does anything for weight distribution. All longitudinal Audis have the entire engine in front of the front axle. They are definitely not “front-mid” like BMWs, for example.

      This means you have a big heavy engine hanging out the front. Understeer city, and if you lower the car, a punctured oilpanon a rough road.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        I just looked at A4 pictures and really have a hard time to imagine the entire engine is in front of the front axle. Especially longitudinal engine. And the space behind the axle must be almost empty with the engine in front of the axle.

        Google revealed abit of this:
        http://www.reddit.com/r/Audi/comments/139etp/you_should_know_how_the_quattro_system_works/

        So it seems their quattro is built around having the engine so far front.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Not anymore. The engine moved back for the B8 generation and now is centered only slightly forward of the front axle. It’s not “front-mid” placement but it’s not the same as transverse FWD cars either.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        “All longitudinal Audis have the entire engine in front of the front axle.”

        As dal20402 noted, this is no longer accurate.

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    All-new same-old same-old Passat. Why make a new car if it looks EXACTLY like the old one I wonder?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “riding on the same MQB architecture as the all-new Golf.”

    Golf owners will tell their friends that their car rides on the same MQB platform as the Passat, not the other way around.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I’m going to pick some nits here: I don’t think it’s accurate to call MQB a “platform” in the traditional sense. MQB is more of an architecture that consists of many modules, ala an erector set. The modules can be mixed and matched with the only fixed point being the front axle and pedal box. Otherwise, the wheelbase, track, height, width, suspension, etc. is all variable.

    When I think “platform”, I think of the traditional ‘top hat’ where you essentially have one chassis but different sheet metal and interior bits for the various products.

    Again, I know I’m picking nits on this, but I think it’s an important distinction.

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