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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016 Volkswagen Passat - Review





Edited by : Shahen Tharammal
Like us on Facebook : Super Modified Sports Cars
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PRICE : 1.8T S 4dr Sedan $22,440
PRICE : 1.8T R-Line 4dr Sedan $23,975
PRICE : 1.8T SE 4dr Sedan $26,280
PRICE : SE w/Technology $28,410
PRICE : 1.8T SEL 4dr Sedan $30,495
PRICE : 1.8T SEL Premium 4dr Sedan $34,270
PRICE : V6 SEL Premium 4dr Sedan $36,835


When the current-generation Passat was first unveiled for the 2012 model year, Volkswagen purists cried foul. The Audi-lite exterior styling of the outgoing Passat was replaced by more generic sheet metal. The previously high-quality interior materials were downgraded, and similar cuts were made in the engine bay. Gone was the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and automated clutch transmission shared with the GTI. In its place was an anemic 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that made it difficult for the Passat to get out of its own way. The Passat's once-vaunted handling supremacy in the midsize class shifted in favor of a comfort-oriented setup that left the sedan clumsy in the corners.

It was a sedan aimed squarely at the mainstream, with a lower price that allowed the Passat to better compete with the Camrys and Accords that dominated the segment. Sales went up and while they lagged behind the class leaders, the Passat still contributed healthily to Volkswagen's bottom line. So when it came time to refresh VW's second best-selling car in the U.S., the automaker characteristically chose to play it safe.

You'd have to be an eagle-eyed Volkswagen aficionado to notice the differences between the 2015 and 2016 models in terms of body styling. Exterior changes are mostly limited to a domed hood, revised headlights, LED taillights and chrome window trim. The upgrades are more apparent from behind the wheel. The top trim level now gets full leather seating rather than a leather/simulated suede combo. Several design elements are borrowed from the 2015 Golf, including a revised steering wheel and instrument cluster.

On SE models with the Technology package, as well as the SEL and SEL Premium trims, smartphone integration comes in the form of an upgraded version of Volkswagen's Car-Net telematics system called App-Connect. Certain smartphone applications, including Spotify and Stitcher, are emulated on the Passat's touchscreen display via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. While the new touchscreen that incorporates those features is appreciably faster than the old one, it is noticeably smaller than screens used in almost every other midsize sedan.

Although there's a lot to like about the Passat, it operates in a competitive segment with numerous solid alternatives. The 2016 Ford Fusion and redesigned 2016 Honda Accord are a couple of our favorite midsize sedans, each with impressive styling and a choice of powerful engines. If a sporty midsize is more your style, it doesn't get much better than the 2016 Mazda 6, although an engine upgrade is not available. If you're after a refined and quiet ride, the 2016 Toyota Camry is as silent as they come. The 2016 Kia Optima and 2016 Hyundai Sonata are also good choices that offer a strong value proposition.



EXTERIOR









The changes are subtle at first glance, but the 2016 Volkswagen Passat has been redesigned from the windshield forward to give the sedan a more commanding presence, with a newly sculpted hood, slimmer headlights and bolder grille adding both refinement and strength. The new Passat R-Line variant takes the sportiness a step further, with unique front and rear styling touches, darker 19-inch wheels and more. The Passat’s tech upgrade includes the ability to open the trunk when your hands are full by waving your foot under the rear bumper (when the key is in your pocket or purse).



INTERIOR








The layout of the interior is the same as that of the outgoing model, but VW has made little changes to the details here and there. This is best exemplified by the steering wheel, which is no longer used as a way for VW to show off just how cheap-looking plastic can be. The new cabin gives every appearance of having been made with higher quality materials, and this is good, since that was one of the major failings of the current generation. The car also gets the latest VW infotainment system, now compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Volkswagen also claims that the system now boasts faster response times, which is always a good thing.



SPECIFICATION



Year:2016
Make:Volkswagen
Model:Passat
Price:$ 22440
Engine:inline-4
Displacement:1.8 L
0-60 time:7.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.



FEATURES





► APPLE CARPLAY AND ANDROID AUTO 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are going to revolutionize in-car infotainment, and the Volkswagen Passat is among the first midsize sedans to offer both. Choose a song, dictate a text message or navigate to a destination with the ease and familiarity of your smartphone. 

► ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL 

Radar-based “smart” cruise control is becoming more common on mainstream vehicles, but it’s still a surprise-and-delight feature in anything this side of the luxury set. Set your speed and the Passat will automatically slow down when it approaches slower traffic, and speed up again when the road is clear.



PERFORMANCE



Don't let the conservative exterior let you think that you're getting a big, floaty, uninspiring sedan. The 2016 Passat is quite the opposite; what's under the hood is entirely modern and fuel-efficient; suspensions are taut yet comfortable-riding; and you won't find a single member of this lineup that isn't pleasant driving, strong, and smooth. 

There are two gasoline engines in the lineup. A 170-horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4 offers impressive peppiness and torque for its modest ratings. It makes an impressive 184 pound-feet torque, from below 2,000 rpm to above 5,000 rpm, which makes this model quicker than its horsepower number will suggest.

It's mated to a perfectly fine, smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic. Yet for 2016, the 6-speed manual that's been available on the Passat has been unceremoniously dropped; the Passat was one of the only remaining mid-size models still offering a manual 'box.

At the top of the lineup is the 3.6-liter "VR6" V-6, which remains at 280 hp. It's strong and smooth, but it's only offered with an automatic and doesn't make the Passat feel much quicker than with either of the other engines.

A turbodiesel version of the Passat was available until last year, when the automaker was forced to pull those models after admitting they cheated emissions tests. It's not clear when, or if, those models will return.

The 280-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 version sits at the top of the heap. Its 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and top speed of 130 mph are nice for those who need to spend more; yet we're not convinced that most Passat buyers are going to care. To put it bluntly, considering the great difference in fuel efficiency, the V-6 seems like an invisible extravagance. It includes a different transmission, by the way; the VR6 comes standard with a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic that includes paddle-shift controls.

We’ve found the current generation of the Passat to be extremely pleasant-driving, with some of the of the best (light yet accurate and nicely weighted) steering systems in its class. The suspension is relatively taut for good control, yet the ride is comfortable, and this generation of the Passat is generally very quiet inside.



ON THE ROAD



Part of what differentiated Volkswagen in the past was Germany's penchant for building cars that tended to be worthwhile to drive. And while it's still the case that the Passat will not leave the enthusiast buyer completely in the cold, the reality of the situation is that the differences between manufacturers in this regard have shrunk so drastically over the years that it's hard to build a case on handling and responsiveness alone. Even cars like the Mazda6--widely regarded as the segment's dynamic top dog--don't enjoy an entirely decisive advantage.

That's bad news for Volkswagen, as the Passat's dynamics, while fundamentally sound, are not particularly noteworthy. The ride is relatively soft, the tires not particularly responsive on-center. These combine for a not-inconsiderable amount of slack in the steering that must be taken up before the Passat takes a set into a curve. It's entirely competent, but not much of a stand-out in that regard. Without driving them immediately back-to-back, we'd struggle to point out the Passat's dynamic advantages over a similarly-optioned Sonata or Accord, and that's assuming there are any to be found. We're skeptical.

We spent all of our time behind the wheel of 1.8L "TSI" models. Volkswagen only brought two VR6-equipped examples out of some 18 that were available for evaluation. They were in high demand throughout the day and we decided that, rather than trying to fight our way to the front of the line, we'd simply spend our time with the cars people are going to buy.

It's a sad reality, but in terms of sales numbers, the VR6 was actually over-represented in this sample. In the real world, take rate on the 3.6L is below 10% according to Volkswagen's product planners. Will the absence of diesel bump that up a few ticks? Only time will tell. It could be quite a while before TDI models reappear on Volkswagen dealer lots, and they have to sell something in the meantime.

The good news is that the 1.8L is a solid carry-over, and while the absence of diesel may be bad news for dealers, it's only a piece of the larger puzzle.



ENGINE



With Volkswagen’s popular diesel engines on administrative leave for EPA violations, the 2016 Volkswagen Passat lineup includes two engines. Most buyers will choose the 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission. With underbody aerodynamic improvements and a couple mechanical tweaks, this combination is now rated to deliver an impressive 38 mpg on the highway, up from 36 mpg last year. Models equipped with the powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine option also feature a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, both of which combine to deliver even more European feel. All Passats are front-wheel drive. 

1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine 
170 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm 
184 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm 
EPA city/highway 25/38 mpg 

3.6-liter V6 engine 
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm 
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm 
EPA city/highway 20/28 mpg



SAFETY



The outgoing Passat has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA, and there is no reason to think that this would change. Nonetheless, the Passat has some new safety features in the form of driver aides. There is adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and parking steering assist. There is also a new Post-Collision Braking System, which will apply the brakes following a major crash to help bring the car to a stop in the even that the driving isn’t applying the brake for whatever reason. All of these features are optional extras. A rearview camera, however, is now standard.



FUEL ECONOMY



There's a big of a cloud hanging over the Passat lineup for 2016, and it mostly concerns fuel efficiency. That's because the highest-mileage powertrain in the lineup is currently on hiatus, as VW acts to correct a serious federal emissions-cheating scandal with its 2.0-liter TDI engine—the one in the lineup that used to achieve EPA ratings up to 30 mpg city, 44 highway, and even better in real-world driving. 

Yet the Passat's base 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine gets respectable fuel economy while also providing the torque needed for everyday driveability. Its ratings have been boosted to 25 mpg city, 38 highway, 29 combined for 2016, thanks to several improvements, including better aerodynamics and smarter engagement of the air conditioning. 

The V-6 Passat, which comes only with an automatic transmission, is EPA-rated at 20/28/23 mpg. It's a bit more competitive with the other top-line models in its class, but far off the mark of the most powerful four-cylinder turbos like those found in the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima.



VIDEO



By : The fast lane car


Edited by : Shahen Tharammal
Like us on Facebook : Super Modified Sports Cars
Join to our Facebook group : Automotive News


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