Volkswagen Passat Review (2005)

Volkswagen Passat
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Volkswagen Passat Review

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There are seven new direct-injection engines ranging from 105 PS to 250 PS, with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines from launch.

How It Drove - Performance

There are seven new direct-injection engines ranging from 105 PS to 250 PS, with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines from launch. Two additional petrol units and one diesel unit will join the line-up by the end of 2005. All the new Passat engines conform to the Euro 4 emissions standard and are installed transversely, in contrast to the longitudinal layout of its predecessor.

Petrol 1.6-litre FSI, four-cylinder, 1598 cc, 115 PS

The entry-level direct-injection petrol engine in the new Passat develops 115 PS, providing surprisingly brisk performance with good fuel economy. This power plant has already proven to be a robust and popular choice in both the Touran and the latest Golf.

Petrol 2.0-litre FSI, four-cylinder, 1984 cc, 150 PS

This more powerful FSI engine endows the Passat with lively performance and refinement. This engine made its debut in the Golf, and has since featured in the Touran.

Petrol 2.0-litre T-FSI, four-cylinder, 1984 cc, 200 PS

The Passat’s most powerful four-cylinder engine is the 2.0 T-FSI with turbocharger and intercooler, which has already been highly praised for its blend of abilities in the Golf GTI. This direct-injection engine develops 200 PS, with ample amounts of torque produced across a wide engine speed range. This means that performance is not only strong; it is also highly flexible, with power instantly available at almost all engine speeds.

Petrol 3.2-litre FSI, V6, 3189 cc, 250 PS

This petrol engine is a further development of Volkswagen’s compact narrow-angle V6. Now with 250 PS and FSI direct injection, this power plant promises to develop smooth yet strong performance. It will be available with DSG transmission, as well as a six-speed manual.

Diesel 1.9-litre TDI, four-cylinder, 1896 cc, 105 PS

This most recent incarnation of Volkswagen’s legendary 1.9-litre TDI - one of the most successful passenger car diesel engines in the world provides the entry point to the Passat TDI range. With 105 PS at 4,000 rpm and 184 lbs ft of torque at 1,900 rpm, this power plant is a great all-rounder - especially as it has surprisingly low fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures for a vehicle of this size. It is also offered in the Golf and Touran.

Diesel 2.0-litre TDI, four-cylinder, 1968 cc, 140 PS

This is projected to be the most popular engine option in the new Passat range, providing an exceptional balance between performance and economy. With four valves per cylinder, the 2.0-litre provides more power at higher engine speeds than typical diesels, yet retains the low-down tractability for which Volkswagen’s TDI engines are renowned. The power plant is already proving highly popular in the Touran and Golf.

Diesel 2.0-litre TDI, four-cylinder, 1968 cc, 170 PS

The second 2.0-litre TDI, fitted with highly innovative piezo high-pressure injection and twin balancer shafts, makes its debut in the new Passat. With a maximum output of 170 PS and a specific power output of 86.4 PS per litre, this is the most powerful diesel engine of its size on the market, and yet fuel economy is remarkably similar to the 140 PS engine on which it is based. Effectively, it offers near six-cylinder diesel performance with four-cylinder fuel consumption.

We drove the 2.0 Sport FSI (150 PS) and the 2.0 Sport TDI (140 PS) back to back. After the two test runs on a mixture of motorway, ‘A’ road and twisting ‘B’ roads we could not reach a conclusion as to which engine we preferred.

My colleague preferred the Diesel TDI engine, with combined fuel economy of 47.1 mpg and 0-62 in 9.8 seconds - I preferred the petrol engine which loses out on fuel economy, 33.6 combined mpg but gains fractionally on the 0-62 mph time of 9.4 seconds - both have a similar top speed of 130 and 132 mph, respectively. My reasoning behind preferring the petrol engine was that it had the edge on response and flexibility, it felt quicker and I am sure that the petrol car had the edge on the handling front. However, this was so marginal that on a re-test I could swing the other way. A few years ago, I would not have wanted to drive a diesel car, today diesel engines are so good that they are usually my preferred choice.

The Passat is available with three gearbox options a 6-speed manual (as fitted to our test cars), DSG - Direct Shift 6-speed Gearbox and Tiptronic 6-speed Automatic transmission.

DSG - Direct Shift Gearbox

The Direct Shift Gearbox is a true innovation, combining the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit.

The six-speed, transversely mounted DSG has two wet clutches (offering a higher thermal load tolerance than dry clutches) with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears. Essentially, it is two gearboxes in one.

With this new clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur. This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

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Volkswagen Passat Road Test Data
Model ReviewedVolkswagen Passat
  
Body Type4-Door Saloon
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Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mphTBC
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TransmissionTBC
  
Fuel TypeTBC
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
UrbanTBC
Extra UrbanTBC
CombinedTBC
  
Insurance GroupTBC
Euro NCAP RatingTBC
WarrantyTBC
Price (when tested on the 30/05/05)TBC

The information contained within this Volkswagen Passat review may have changed since publication on the 30 May 2005. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Volkswagen dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017