It is sold with a range-topping 276bhp 3.6-litre V6, along with a 168bhp 2.5-litre petrol –the predicted best-seller – and a 138bhp 2.0 litre diesel. Here we test the two extremes of the range.
A lightly modified version of this car is also on sale in China.
What’s it like?
Critics say it’s bland to look at, VW claims it’s a timeless and sophisticated design – and you can be the judge.
Certainly the interior loses little to its European counterpart. The quality of the materials is a match for the best, and all of the equipment is pretty familiar, save for some larger cup holders in the door pockets and the slightly low rent analogue clock in the centre of the dash.
It’s spacious too, those extra centimeters sitting within the wheelbase and adding welcome shoulder and leg room in the front and back. The only oddity is that the rear seats don't run to the edges of the cabin, leaving hard plastic filling out the resultant gap. It’s not a major problem, but nor is it the last word in sophistication.
On the road, the impression was positive. Road and wind noise were ever-present, especially on the poorly surfaced roads we tested on. The steering is sluggish at all speeds, and the ride on the firm side. But none of these issues were overwhelming; always that asking price, which remains competitive as you move up the range, loomed as a positive.
Inevitably, the diesel felt the better of the two motors, both of which were linked to six-speed DSG gearboxes. That’s in part was down to familiarity, the four-cylinder 2.0-litre VW unit needing to be more modern than its petrol counterparts to meet diesel emissions regulations. In contrast, the old school V6 petrol felt fun but indulgent, refined but a bit of a hoodlum in the modern world.
Should I buy one?
Unless you live in the US, or VW changes its marketing plans, you won’t be able to. If you are in the market, then it makes an intriguing and good value alternative to the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or Hyundai Sonata.
Price from: £13,000; Engine: 3.6-litre V6 petrol/2.0-litre diesel; Power: 276bhp/138bhp; Torque: 258lb ft/236lb ft; Gearbox: Six-speed DSG.