VW’s mid-range saloon and estate get MQB platform and edgier looks
17 January 2014

The new Volkswagen Passat has been spied wearing a production-based body for the first time ahead of its planned unveiling at the Paris motor show in September. 

Key among the innovations adopted by the new Passat, known internally as the ‘B8’, is VW’s highly flexible MQB platform structure.

The MQB platform provides the Passat with greater component sharing potential with other VWs. It also helps to streamline production by enabling the new Passat to be assembled on the same assembly line as the Golf.

The early road-going prototypes are heavily disguised, but the new Passat is said to take on a much edgier look and have tauter surfacing in line with the styling direction taken by the latest Golf.

Insiders privy to early design models suggest that the new car has gained a more technically orientated appearance. A clear focus on panel fit and shutline architecture is said to provide a lift in perceived quality.

Together with the standard saloon and estate models spied here, VW also plans a follow-up to the Passat Alltrack - a rugged, high-riding version of the estate.

As evidenced by the prototypes here, the future incarnation of VW’s traditional mid-range model is slightly longer but considerably wider than today’s Passat. Its longer wheelbase provides scope for added interior accommodation.

The Passat is earmarked to receive a heavily updated range of turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines, of 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0 litres. Diesels will include carried-over versions of VW’s 1.6 and 2.0 TDI in varying states of tune. A super-frugal Passat BlueMotion model should achieve more than 70mpg.

Mirroring the move made with the Golf, VW also plans a plug-in hybrid version of the new Passat. It will mix a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor. 

Buyers will be offered the choice of either standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive on a number of different engines. A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto optional. 

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Passat 2011-2014

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

Join the debate

Comments
10

17 January 2014
I don't remember the old Passat ever being described as small and the UK certainly hasn't got bigger. We don't need longer cars just more intelligently packaged ones. It may be the disguise distorting things, but given the proposed engine line up consists solely of 4 cylinder engines, the bonnet looks large, perhaps they could have saved some space here, unless of course, there are V6s destined for other markets.

17 January 2014
The current Passat is HUGE! The new one does not need to be even bigger

Longer and wider is not the way to go.

When are the manufactureres going to recognise that us puneters want cars that fit standard parking spaces and our driveways

17 January 2014
.... as opposed to transversly, hence the long bonnet line. I can't remember if the new MQB platform continues this. If the engine has been mounted further back in the engine bay, would of course encroach on cabin space, prompting the need to increase cabin space by way of increasing the overall length of the car.

"Why is http://www.nanoflowcell.com not getting more media attention? It could be the future... Now!"

17 January 2014
Marv wrote:

.... as opposed to transversly, hence the long bonnet line. I can't remember if the new MQB platform continues this. If the engine has been mounted further back in the engine bay, would of course encroach on cabin space, prompting the need to increase cabin space by way of increasing the overall length of the car.

No it hasn't, the current Passat has a transverse engine. So did at least one earlier version.

17 January 2014
Is this the US version or the European version?

Is the plan to continue with separate models for the two markets?

17 January 2014
The new Volkswagen Passat has been spied wearing a production-based body for the first time ahead of its planned unveiling at...

next week's leaked photo shoot.

To be unveiled at Paris in September - yeh, whatever.

P.S. It's bigger! Which present Passat customer thinks his /her car is too small? At this rate the only customers for the 2030 model year Passat will be Stagecoach and National Express.

17 January 2014
I hope supermarkets and car parks take note, I can barley get the wife's Passat in most parking bays at the supermarket as it is without one of us getting out of the car before we park otherwise there is no chance of opening both doors.

Optima2

17 January 2014
The 1st generation (B1), 2nd generation (B2) and 4th generation (B5/B5.5) Passats had longitudinal engines by virtue of sharing their platforms with the Audi 80/A4. The 3rd generation (B3) and the current, 5th generation (B6/B7), models have Golf-derived platforms. The North American Passat is, I believe, also based on the same Golf platform as the current European Passat.

What I fail to understand however is why VW went to the time and expense of designing an all-new car for the North American market that has the same platform, is only 4" longer, the same width and has styling that is almost identical to the Euro model (the only immediate difference is the addition of a 3rd side window). I can understand VW wanting to cut costs by building a Passat in the USA, but why not just build the Euro one there and, to cut costs further, lower the quality of some of the materials and then introduce this forthcoming MQB-based model on both side of the pond rather than have 2 Passats based on different platforms.

17 January 2014
I think the oversize issue actually killed off many Mondeo sales to a substantial extent, all our drivers of them find it a pain and vow never again, its ridiculous when you get the estate in a space and 2 foot of bonnet are still sticking out the front.

Same here with the Passat, it will damage sales, where do they think people who drive company cars park? tight, overcrowded company or public car parks day in day out of course. Tiresome, poor packaging.

17 January 2014
The Apprentice wrote:

I think the oversize issue actually killed off many Mondeo sales to a substantial extent.

Here's a fact to bore readers even more. Who remembers the 'square' Volvo V70 which ended production in 2000? That car was vast, the antique dealer's car of choice. I bought one of the last Classic V70's in 2000, and although I hate antiques, I did on one occasion have cause to collect a floor -to- ceiling display cabinet from an antiques auction.

That V70 was 4720mm long. Today's 'small' Passat SALOON is 4769mm. A Ford Mondeo HATCH is 4778, but even those are dwarfed by the Insigna HATCH at 4830mm !!! Remember those are NOT estate versions yet everyone of them is bigger than that V70.

No wonder a 2nd hand Golf costs more than a Passat, a Focus more than a Mondeo, and an Astra more than an Insignia - nobody bloody want's them! they're too big! Manufacturers, hello-ho!!!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK