One of my pet hates are wood trimmed car interiors and Volkswagen must have taken this on board as wood trim is an option throughout the Passat range.
How It Looks - Interior
One of my pet hates are wood trimmed car interiors and Volkswagen must have taken this on board as wood trim is an option throughout the Passat range. In fact, you have an option of three types of wood inserts, Burr, Macassar and Poplar.
The interior of the Passat is well laid out, my only grip is the positioning of the electronic handbrake switch, I had to reach out for it and it should have been at hand. All the other switchgear is easy to use and understand.
Our test models featured dual climate control, which worked well in allowing the front seat occupants to independently select the temperature of their choice. I particularly like the finishing touch that when you select reserve, the system automatically switches over to re-circulated air, so that exhaust fumes are not drawn into the cabin.
Both of the test cars we drove at the launch were fitted with the standard RCD 300 radio with a single slot CD - one car had the optional 6 disc auto changer (£235) fitted, which sits in a clever drop down compartment in the glove compartment.
Volkswagen has teamed up with Dynaudio, the Danish speaker manufacturer to develop a custom sound solution for the Passat. Right from the start, the two companies collaborated on the Passat, to the extent of door design and speaker location. Dynaudio fine-tuned the parameters of speakers to their optimal placement within the car and a DSP amplifier to match the acoustics of the Passat.
The Dynaudio option (£930) comprises of a dash mounted 6 CD auto-changer and 10 speakers, delivering up to 600 watts RMS, without generating unwanted vibrations and distortion. The result is magical, at last a standard, albeit optional, in car sound solution that is a match for any custom aftermarket system.
It will be interesting to see how many owners or company car drivers opt for the Dynaudio package. If you are an audiophile the system is certainly worth the £930 cost as the results are audible stunning.
A Navigation / Radio with 6 CD glove mounted auto-changer is available for £ 1470.00 - the system is CD based rather than DVD - therefore I am guessing the system only comes with UK maps only. The LCD colour monitor also allows you to control the in-car music system and there is a feed for a RGB input, such as a video camera. Navigation instructions are also relayed in a simplified format to the instrument panel.
- Ford Mondeo, Honda Accord, Vauxhall Vectra, Peugeot 407, BMW 3 Series, Mazda6 and Volvo S60
What We Liked
- Ride & Handling
- Exterior & interior styling
- Overall Package
- Dynaudio Audio Option
What We Disliked
- Electronic handbrake was hard to reach for the shorter driver
What We'd Like To See
- Safety as standard - we really do not like see rear side airbags as an option, they should be standard.
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|