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The Volkswagen Passat Bluemotion 1.6 TDI is without doubt an impressively refined, solidly well executed and astonishingly economical saloon – but that comes with compromises.

Our Verdict

The VW Passat is a competent family car - but does it show any flair?

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3 October 2011

The only piece of information that wasn't in the report was what the car returned driving it normally on a 36 mile motorway and urban route - the sort of journey it will do in real life.

It really does seem a down size too far for this car but hey if that's what gets the right numbers in the fuel consumption tests, that's what they need to do. Back to the real world.......

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

3 October 2011

I'd love to see how this 105bhp version of the 1.6 diesel would perform in the Polo. Especially in Bluemotion form.

In fact, there are plenty of instances when manufacturers could put a higher powered diesel engine into its superminis as well as the Polo (and its twins). The Fiesta and Mazda2 aren't available with the 1.6TDCi 110, which seems ridiculous.

The Corsa is the only mainstream exception that I can think of, with it's availability of a 130bhp 1.7CDTi. It seems like a great idea, because there's loads of power and torque in a light car, which makes for a very economical and quick little car. I would like to drive one. I'd much prefer to drive the new VXR Nurburgring Edition Corsa though.

3 October 2011

[quote Fidji]The Corsa is the only mainstream exception that I can think of, with it's availability of a 130bhp 1.7CDTi[/quote]

What about the Seat Ibiza 2.0 TDI FR with 141bhp?

I think the Fiat Grande Punto is still available with the 1.6 multijet 120ps engine as well.

3 October 2011

[quote 5cylinder]What about the Seat Ibiza 2.0 TDI FR with 141bhp[/quote]

Well remembered; I didn't think about that. The 170bhp version would be even better in a car the size of an Ibiza.

[quote 5cylinder]I think the Fiat Grande Punto is still available with the 1.6 multijet 120ps engine as well[/quote]

I did think of that one, and thinking about it, I believe you can get an equivalent MiTo.

What surprises me is that the market for hot diesel superminis is so sparse. Manufacturers have the engines and the cars for the job, and the fact that the cars are smaller aids performance, economy, running costs, usability and cost. There's a big open window awaiting most mainstream carmakers, and it seems ridiculous that these gaps are being left unfilled.

3 October 2011

I'm surprised that Skoda never replaced the Fabia vRS diesel - that sold really well, didn't it?

And it came with a 'proper' gearbox!

3 October 2011

[quote 5cylinder]

I'm surprised that Skoda never replaced the Fabia vRS diesel - that sold really well, didn't it?

And it came with a 'proper' gearbox!

[/quote]

It did sell very well indeed. It would have done even better if it had the 150bhp version of the 1.9TDI instead of the 130bhp version.

Again, a manual gearbox is much better than a DSG. Especially on a small car like this. The Skoda version of this small hot hatch should be there to save money, and a proper manual would knock about a grand off the price, as well as making the car much more enjoyable to drive. Still, it's good that they're making a Fabia vRS estate. I'm not surprised that they ditched the Fabia saloon; it was a flop here in the UK. It did sell very well elsewhere, as do most saloon versions of small cars.

3 October 2011

[quote Fidji]It did sell very well indeed. It would have done even better if it had the 150bhp version of the 1.9TDI instead of the 130bhp version.[/quote]

I doubt it.

If you remember (not many people will) Seat did a Cupra version of the Ibiza based on the 150 engine (it was actually a 160). Didn't sell that well. Wasn't that economical either.

3 October 2011

[quote LateKnight]

[quote Fidji]It did sell very well indeed. It would have done even better if it had the 150bhp version of the 1.9TDI instead of the 130bhp version.[/quote]

I doubt it.

If you remember (not many people will) Seat did a Cupra version of the Ibiza based on the 150 engine (it was actually a 160). Didn't sell that well. Wasn't that economical either.

[/quote]

I think that the 2.0 TDI 170 in the current Ibiza would be better than the 1.9 TDI 160 in the old Ibiza.

As Harry Hill says, there's only one way to find out... Get Seat to put it into production.

4 October 2011

Perhaps I am off topic here, but I have to admit that I find driving small block diesel engines a bit miserable generally speaking. I hired a Nissan Qashqai 1.5 litre turbodiesel and drove it from Milan airport to the ski resort and it was fine on the motorway but really struggled as we got into the hills. As it was dark, it was all too easy to come ito the corners in too high a gear, come off boost and then struggle round the corner at crawling speed. It didn't feel much better in a lower gear as diesels hate revs. A friend following in a 1.4 litre (petrol) Clio had no such problems and couldn't work out why I was driving so slowly. It is difficult to believe that the VW Passat would be any better, as it is 100kg heavier...

On a similar note, I can certainly understand why there aren't more diesel hot and warm hatches on the market. Presumably, there is a lack of demand, as petrol heads tend to worry less about the cost of their miles and are more concerned about enjoyment. On that note, diesel engines fall down. They are heavier than their petrol counterparts, so handle less well...typically a 100kg+ penalty, a bit like having a fat mate strapped to your bonnet. Their inability to rev past 4,500 rpm also spoils some of the fun, as does the lack of aural stimulation. In addition, they produce a lot of torque. Bearing in mind that most hot hatches are front wheel drive, this produces terrible torque steer.

So, while a hot diesel hatch may look attractive on paper, the reality is rather less enjoyable...

4 October 2011

I expect that this car is in the Passat range to tempt the small number of people who want this size of car and still need economy above all other considerations. It will also help VW corporate CO2 figures as well.

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