This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.
This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.
Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.
In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection. Both 2.0-litre TDI engines are available with DSG, as will be the forthcoming 3.2-litre V6 petrol unit.
Tiptronic six-speed automatic
The 1.6-litre FSI 115 PS and 2.0-litre FSI 150 PS, which are fitted with six-speed manual gearboxes as standard, are also available with a smooth six-speed automatic transmission (Tiptronic). The 2.0-litre T-FSI 200 PS will also be offered with this automatic gearbox when it arrives later in the year.
All the gearboxes in the Passat are filled with lifetime oil and need no routine maintenance.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
The two cars we drove were both Sport models, which run on 17" Monte Carlo wheels with 235/45 R17 tyres, it was not so long ago that you would have expected to see tyres of this size on a Porsche or Lotus. The Sport models also feature sports suspension, which is lowered by 15mm over the standard setup.
We did briefly drive one of the SE trimmed cars with narrower, higher profile tyres 215/55 R16 - without the sports suspension, the ride was better and road noise was reduced, but there was no doubt the Sport models had the edge on handling.
All Passat's benefit from electro-mechanical power steering system, which has the ability to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds. The system worked well and we were happy with the feedback from the wheel, we even liked the mild self-centering action, with its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers.
We also liked the brakes, they were progressive and reassuring - ventilated discs are fitted at the front, with solid discs at the rear. All new Passat's have an integrated ‘brake disc wiper’ as standard, where the linings are gently applied at intervals of five minutes. This wipes off any water film that may have built up on wet roads and therefore shortens the braking distance. The driver is oblivious to this procedure.
Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide. Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power. In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend. In such circumstances, ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions.
Volkswagen Passat Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen Passat|
|Body Type||4-Door Saloon|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||TBC|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBC|
|Price (when tested on the 30/05/05)||TBC|