Family car buyers who eschew common SUVs will delight in Volkswagen’s decision to expand the Passat line with a number of new wagons and sedans – with the return of the vaunted 206TSI R-Line at the head of the range.
Volkswagen will move to expand the facelifted Passat large car lineup locally in Q2 of 2021, following a year where the brand has sold only a single grade of this traditional sedan and station wagon.
The 2020 Passat range didn’t take long to recite, with the sole option available to Australians taking the form of the 140TSI Business variant in either sedan or wagon body styles.
This will change next year, with the addition of better, faster engines for the Passat, along with the availability of two new cladded-and-raised Passat Alltrack AWD wagons.
The strategy will see the Passat 140TSI Business wagon dropped altogether, with the fleet-focussed Business trim now sedan-only. That car, which is effectively the base model Passat, continues to make use of a two-litre turbo four-cylinder engine putting out 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque.
Standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Vienna leather trim inserts and three-zone climate control. Selecting metallic or pearl paint is an $800 extra across the range.
The Passat range will be bolstered with the addition of a new 162TSI Elegance grade, alongside the return of the 206TSI R-Line wagon – while Passat Alltrack buyers will be able to select from a ‘base’ version or an upscale Alltrack Premium grade.
Those opting for the 162TSI Elegance grade will need to cough up $51,790 for the sedan or $53,790 for the wagon (before on road costs) – but the extra spend over the 140TSI Business sees the ‘EA888’ two-litre turbo bumped to a healthy 162kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
The Passat Elegance is also a more luxurious place to spend time, with the leather upgraded to more supple Nappa-appointed hide, while the touchscreen is enlarged to 9.2 inches. There is also a standard panoramic sunroof and a Harman-Kardon premium sound system.
You can also add the $3,000 R-Line package to the Elegance sedan or wagon. This includes a host of aggressive trimmings including front and rear bumpers, a sports steering wheel with paddle shifters and a roof spoiler.
But if you really want some bite to match your bark you should look to the wagon-only 206TSI, which returns exclusively in R-Line trim but with a Golf R-esque 206kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
Like all Passat wagons, boot space is a generous 650 litres, expanding to 1,780 litres with the seats down. It’s a nice upgrade for those outgrowing a Golf R estate.
The Passat 206TSI family hauler will set buyers back $63,790 before on-roads, but merging onto the freeway is a breeze with a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds.
If you love the outdoors but can’t stand the idea of getting a high-riding SUV, the Passat Alltrack 162TSI will present an alternative at $46,990 (before on roads). Packing 4MOTION with adaptive chassis control along with a full-sized spare, you can feel properly confident when driving over the rough stuff.
Upgrade to the Alltrack Premium at $58,790 (before on roads) and you will find the 18-inch alloys upgraded to the 19-inch versions, along with ventilated and heated electric front seats with a massage function for the driver.
Volkswagen also includes the Harman-Kardon sound system along with a 360-degree camera and a panoramic roof to give you about as much visibility as you could ever need.
The sales of wagons and sedans have been declining rapidly in recent years and Volkswagen Australia said it was only able to confirm the Passat for 2021 and 2022 before its generation ran out. But if this is its last hurrah against an onslaught of SUVs, it looks to be a good one.
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