Review - Volkswagen Passat

March 28, 2021

image for Review - Volkswagen Passat Nobody builds a touring sedan like the Germans. A safe, strong body designed for high speed cruising, laser precision build quality and absolute cutting edge premium design are just a few of the things that have made German synonymous with premium.

Say guten tag to the new Passat. It is the flag carrier of Volkswagen's best technology, with clever design and engineering from inside-out.


Solid engineering

Aesthetically speaking, the Passat casts a familiar yet more modern profile thanks to minor changes to the front grille and headlights. The Passat is now longer than ever before, with Volkswagen extending the wheelbase of the MQB platform, shared with the Golf.

The bonnet features two distinct muscular lines, and there’s a two-tone finish thanks to the optional sunroof. The freshly-designed LED headlamps add to the premium visuals, but the tail end is a stark contrast and lacks the sophistication of the front. It appears rather clean and classy. Overall, the Passat looks distinctly European. The Passat's colour range includes Deep Black Pearl, Harvard Blue, Night Blue, Iridium Grey, Reflex Silver, Tungsten Silver and Pure White. 

A new addition to the wagon range is the Passat Alltrack. Similar to the Subaru Outback or Audi Alltrack, it has higher ground clearance, cladding around the wheel arches and some tougher additions to the body to make it more SUV-like.

German craftsmanship

Step inside and you’re treated to comfortable leather ‘Ergocomfort’ seats, ample headroom and a spacious, largely black interior. While the Passat shares a considerable amount of components and switchgear from cheaper models like the Golf, this takes nothing away from the quality of everything presented. No corners have been cut, with even the door bins lined with carpet-felt material

Its digital dash and enormous touchscreen feature dazzling animations, crisp clarity and ease of use that surpasses its rivals by a country mile. Gesture controls let you change radio station or volume with a flick of your hands, while keeping your eyes firmly planted on the road. It's like waving a magic wand.


Our verdict

The Passat looks and feels like a premium product inside and out, with superb attention to detail, staggering engineering and build quality, and plenty of reasons to recommend for the price. The Alltrack version is a luxury vehicle made slightly more practical and adventurous.

There's not really anything that can compare to the Passat for quality, accomodation, technology and premium-ness for under $100,000, in our eyes. Efficiency, low ownership costs and a crisp German design that looks like it was carved from a block of aluminium are just a handful of the perks of joining the Passat club. 

5 specs you need to know:

  1. Engine: 1.8-litre turbo four-cylinder
  2. Transmission and drive: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive
  3. ANCAP safety rating: Five Stars
  4. Official fuel economy: 6.0L/100km (6.5L/100km tested)
  5. Tested time from 0-100km/h: 7.98 seconds


  • Impressive power & performance for a 1.8T
  • German quality inside and out
  • Interior aesthetics
  • Smart and clean design
  • Fuel efficient ?


  • Auto lurches and lags at slow speeds
  • Almost too conservative design for some



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