Phenomenal Passat

Text and Photos by Julian Kho, sgCarMart

The stationwagon version of the Volkswagen Passat is like a trustworthy and understanding person you can call a friend.

It can be quite scary going through a tough time without someone you can call a friend. Recently, this pint-sized author has been going through a relatively tough time, without knowing whom he can turn to and trust, considering how the selfish nature of humans are to naturally judge and gossip.

Of course, no one could have prepared me for such an emotionally draining and physically trying situation - a form of woeful feeling that I feel almost ashamed to write about. But I supposed there's a form of encouragement to, on discovering how universally interesting life can take you places you never expect to go.

 

Perhaps woe is woe. However you decide to cut it open and magnify it for the sake of sympathy or just purely for the sake of comparing your woes with other people's woes to satiate your curiosity killing on the "woedometer" serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. It'll still be the same old familiar cliche of sorts that only time will heal the wound… or so I've heard.

Fortunately for me, I recently bonded with the Volkswagen Passat Variant, the stationwagon version of the handsome-looking Passat, forming a worthy and memorable friendship. In that sense, with its trustworthy and obliging nature, the Volkswagen Passat Variant is the kind of car that bridges the gap between mere acquaintance and a good friend.


Up close and Personal

The Passat Variant is every bit as handsome as its sedan counterpart, with a wide grille and slim headlamps that enhance the car's width. Further pushing its boundaries as a good-looking lad is the bold and deeply-sculpted line that runs from the A-pillars right through to its taillights. Of course the rear end is the only differentiating factor, with a bulkier but no less gorgeous butt that doesn't look out of place at the driveway of a five-star hotel.

That doesn't mean that the car is unrecognisable as a Passat. It retains its familiarity that will reassure current Passat owners without alienating newbies. Sitting squarely at 4,767mm long, 1,832mm wide and 1,477mm tall, the car you see here is pure on the outside and clean on the inside, with a sort of physique that shows you how much of a gym buff it actually is.

While you should never judge a book by its cover, the Passat Variant is an exception. Its attractive sheet metal forces you to assume that the cabin is just as appealing and you won't be wrong. Buttons and controls are all neatly arranged on the inside, with stylish chrome bits extending across the dashboard while the new 12.3-inch Active Info Display that comes standard means you get to enjoy a fully digitalised instrument panel that will allow you to have a clearer and more comprehensive view of the map in Navigation mode by relocating the speedo and tacho to the sides.

When it comes to practicality, the Passat Variant does not disappoint. Boot space has been increased by 47 litres to 650 litres and will continue to grow up to a whopping 1,780 litres with the rear seats folded. This trumps cars like the Volvo V60 and the Peugeot 508 SW. In fact, it'll even supersede cars one class above like the Audi A6 Avant and the 5 Series Touring.


The Drive

Solid, sprightly and sensible are apt words to describe the car's characteristics on the road. A great deal of this comes from the 2.0-litre powerplant that churns out 217bhp and 350Nm of torque from the word go.

Coupled with the fact that it's married to a smooth and quick-shifting six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the Passat Variant manages to finish the century sprint in just 6.9 seconds, which is nothing short of respectable for a car that weighs 1,550kg.

Like a good buddy, the car shines when you're out and about on the open stretches of roads in the middle of the night. It 'listens' to your every input and 'advises' you on your every action as it covers endless distances tirelessly. Even when you're stuck in traffic, the car keeps you feeling snug and easy with a steering that's easy to manoeuvre in tight and short spaces. And when you're all tired of 'talking' and you just want to enjoy the comfortable silence, the quiet and refined engine does the job well.

It can come across as a playful but predictable pal when you're tooling around bends, with body control that's faultless and a set of 19-inchers that grip tightly to the asphalt. On the other hand, the way the Passat Variant reacts to your responses makes you realise just how much of a mature fellow it is.


Conclusion

The Volkswagen Passat Variant may not exactly be the kind of car you yearn for but its high levels of refinement and maturity are undoubtedly contagious, which makes it a lot less scary to fork out $181,800 (as of 7th April 2016) for it.

Perhaps the saying is true: Things are never quite as scary when you've got a good friend.

Read the original article here.


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