Volkswagen’s all-new Passat sedan and wagon twins make their European sales debut in the coming weeks.
Strong demand overseas, however, means that Australian buyers will wait until around this time next year before they can take the new Passat home.
Specific details for the Australian range are still to be confirmed, although the launch range is expected to kick off with turbocharged 132kW 1.8 litre petrol and 135kW 2.0 litre diesel engines.
Revealed in July, the new Passat range will also be offered in some markets with a 176kW twin-turbo diesel, although this more powerful option is yet to be confirmed for Australia.
Less powerful petrol and diesel engines will also be offered in Europe, although Volkswagen’s local arm is likely to minimise complexity in the Australian range.
Likewise, we can expect the local Passat line-up to offer six- and seven-speed dual-clutch automatics only, and the recently unveiled GTE hybrid is also unlikely to land.
Local pricing for the new Passat is still far from confirmed, but we should see the range kick off near the $38,990 starting point of the current range - around $5500 more than the entry price for Mazda’s midsized 6.
The new Passat promises an interior fit and finish that comes closer to the premium market than ever before, with Volkswagen boasting of upgraded materials and advanced technologies new to the segment.
For Europe, standout features in the new model’s cabin include 6.0 or 8.5 inch centre display options and - depending on the model - an all-digital instrument cluster with a main information screen flanked by chrome-ringed digital meters.
Lower-end models will feature a more conventional instrument cluster with regular meters surrounding a lower-resolution centre display.
A new Trailer Assist system will also feature, boosting confidence when reversing with a trailer by offering alerts and on-screen steering guides.
LED tail-lights will also be standard from launch for the European range, while headlights will be either halogen or LED depending on trim grade and options.
The new Passat weighs as much as 85kg less than its predecessor, thanks to weight-saving features of Volkswagen’s versatile MQB platform - the same architecture that underpins the new Golf and a host of other models.
The wheelbase of the new model has grown to 2790mm, marking a significant leap from 2711mm in the current eight year-old Passat.
Boot capacity also grows in the new model, up 21 litres to 586 litres in the sedan and 47 in the wagon to 650 litres with the rear seats up, and 1780 litres when laid flat.
Watch for details on the Australian range to surface in the coming year.
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