MOTORING: VW Passat 2.0 TDI R Line

VW’s Passat has always been in the shadow of the Audi A4, but the latest version of the Passat seems to be breaking away from that mould. To start, the front of the Passat is unmistakably VW, with its new striking chrome grill that seems to fade into the lights.

The new headlights look edgy and modern with their angular lines and crystal clear glass. The bonnet has two prominent creases which elevate the centre of the bonnet, giving the car a sports coupé look as opposed to a sedan.

The side silhouette of the vehicle is in keeping with the coupé look, but the boot ends with a rather sudden squared end. The sporty look was enhanced on the test car thanks to the optional R Line edition.

Inside is where the car really comes into its own. The revised dashboard has a seamless look. The top and bottom section of the dashboard is split by a long airvent type grill. The centrepiece classic clock completes the executive look. In keeping with modern times, the cockpit display is all electronic and customisable. The infotainment screen, unlike other cars, has remained in the dropdown centre section and not elevated to the top of the dashboard. The sporty leather-bound steering and gearshift complete the cockpit look and feel.

The seats are slightly oversized making for a very comfortable ride. Rear legroom and head room are good, but due to the sloping roofline, exercise caution when getting into the vehicle as you may just hit your head. The boot space is enormous and easy to load thanks to its squarish dimensions.

On the road, the two-litre diesel motor feels powerful and refined, with very little diesel vibration. It’s an absolute breeze to drive no matter if you’re in the city, on the freeway or even overtaking on an incline.

The best part though is the fuel consumption as throughout my test drive, which included many different roads on my trip to Mpumalanga, I averaged just over 7 litres per 100 kilometres. Considering the hilly areas I drove on, that is truly impressive.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a sporty sedan with all the practicality and provocative looks yet not breaking the bank in both price and overall running cost, then this should certainly be on the list. A true winner from VW.

Author: Torque Talk is a member of SAGMJ

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