Launched: 2017 Volkswagen Passat
VW launches its new flagship, the eighth-gen Passat
It's not every year that VW launches three new models in a year. But 2017 has been special for the German brand. After launching the Polo GTI and then the Tiguan, VW has launched another model, the Passat. It will be VW's flagship model in India and fills up the void that the previous Passat left, after it was put to sleep four years back. In the 8th generation, the Passat is based on the MQB platform and is the first sedan from VW to be based on this extremely versatile chassis in India.
Under the hood is no surprise, a 2-litre TDI engine that churns out 175bhp and 350Nm of torque, and is mated to a six speed dual-clutch gearbox. It's a tried and tested engine-gearbox combo and has enough punch to get the 1.5-tonne sedan going decently quick. It measures 4767mm long and the rear seat has ample space to keep every buyer happy. And if space isn't what makes the buyer happy, it also has a panoramic sunroof, Nappa leather seats, hands-free parking, 360° camera system, auto boot and LED headlamps. In terms of safety kit, it gets 9 airbags, ABS with EBD as standard.
The Passat comes in two variants: the Comfortline and Highline and cost Rs 29.99 lakh and 32.99 lakh (ex-showroom) respectively. Mind you, these are introductory prices.
With VW struggling in India for sales numbers, the Passat isn't going to help much in sending the sales charts pointing north. It's got fierce competition from its own group company in the form of the Superb. But it will nevertheless strengthen the brand portfolio and will have an offering for every sort of buyer in India.
We'll be driving the new Passat in the next two weeks and we'll tell you more about it once we take it out for a spin. Till then, let us know in the comments below if you'd buy this or go in for the Czech sibling of the model.