Very good car. It's lacking in power, but still I recommend it.
The new Passat is a real treat to drive.
I've had a BMW 320D Sport for the past couple of years and prefer this car by some distance. Handling is sharp and there's plenty of mid-range torque - looking forward to the next drive!
I have had the car for three weeks now and am overall impressed with the quality and refinement for the price.
There is plenty of space inside the car and a lot more compartments to store goods than the previous model.
The brakes are very responsive and I have found the steering to be OK now having adjusted to it over the weeks. The stereo is excellent and very clear/strong reception is available to all local stations.
The only major fault I found was the finish to the seals around the chrome trim that surrounds the windows, which does not seem to fit very well.
I have the manual model and gear changing is very smooth and positive. It was definitely worth going for the SE for the comfort seats, cruise, chrome and all the other extras over the S. I would recommend this car to anyone who is looking for a change from the usuals Fords, Hondas etc.
There is lots of torque and it is very noticable when in the mid range but dip in those reserves often and the consumption drops fiercely.
A very fine cabin, just the odd rough edge on mouldings etc let it down.
The quiet engine (2.0-litre TDI) is punchy and frugal, but a fair bit of tyre rumble on some surfaces spoils the smooth motorway ride.
The brakes are firm and powerful. My main gripes are the steering - which is far too light at speed and produces a slightly nervous effect a bit like driving in a cross wind - and the DSG gearbox.
Yes, I know it's heresy to criticise it but the power take up from the off is too abrupt, making slow reversing for parking a bit nerve-racking.
Hill starts are also tricky. Unlike my previous torque-converter autos, the DSG will allow the car to roll backwards in first on a hill, so you need to use the push-button hand brake. This is not easy and, coupled with the abrupt power feed, not much fun in traffic.
These two issues aside, the Passat is pretty good, with a massive boot, comfortable seats, well equiped and better looking than the previous model.
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