As you may have noticed, I spent a lot of time over the past year in Europe, and while there I was seeing quite a few VW Passat’s. A very nice care, good stance, and a touch of BMW in it. So when I returned here I asked the US VW to drive a Passat and regain that experience. That was a surprise!! The Passat that was delivered was very different from what I had seen in Europe, very different. So I double checked on the EU VW web sites and I am not crazy. It is a different car. In fact, the American car is based on the 2005 VW Passat Chassis, called PQ46 platform. From 2019 it will finally get the MQB chassis, which the EU Passat has been based on since 2014. So you thought you had a new car, eh?
Design wise the Passat has the latest facial identity as most other VW’s, but in side vew it is a 3 light instead of the EU 2 light design. The rear kick on the EU version makes it associate with the BMW 3 series, the 3 light in the US is more similar to Audi in a way. The Passat GT comes with a 3.6L V6 and 280 HP That is enough to move the Passat around swiftly, of course. The big wheels and low profile tires all contribute to a sporty road holding. On the roads I traveled I never came close to the limits of the Passat GT. They are quite far away, I have to admit. Fuel consumption reflects your driving style of course. If you step on it you will be hard pressed to better the 18-19 mpg mark, but I did manage to get it into the high 20’s most of the time, though it never really achieved the fuel efficiency I managed with the previous VW’s i drove.
What struck me was that I was not noticing that same precision of the bumper cut as I had seen on the most recent new VW’s. Remember that if floored me how sharp the could stamp parts and how tight they could keep the gaps. Well, it is small here, but clearly not the same as on the other cars. Now, knowing that there will be a new Passat next year, it is obvious that we’re dealing with an older model, without the latest technological innovations as the lower category vehicles already have.