After 20 long years spread across two generations, the Volkswagen Passat has finally bowed out of Malaysia.
The writing’s been on the wall for some time, actually. Globally, diminishing demand for sedans and the ever-increasing sales of SUVs meant that new car buyers are flocking to taller-riding SUVs instead of the traditional three-box sedan.
Back in January 2022, Volkswagen announced that the sedan body style will be discontinued, leaving the wagon and Alltrack variants to carry on with the Passat nameplate. Both these body styles are Euro region-centric models, with little demand for such cars on this part of the world so they are not offered for sale here.
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Seeing that Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) imports CKD packs of the Passat from Europe, the discontinuation of the Passat in the Old Continent would mean the eventual death of the model here.
The Passat nameplate will live on in China, but as an unrelated model.
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The Passat B6 was introduced to Malaysia by Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VGM) in 2006. Prior to that, small numbers were imported sporadically by Auto Dunia and later Euromobil.
Later in 2011 the imported (CBU) B7-generation model was introduced here. The Passat was only promoted to Malaysians in a big way in 2012 upon the introduction of the locally-assembled (CKD) model.
Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) then introduced the B8-generation Passat in November 2016, directly as a CKD model. The facelifted B8 Passat was then introduced in 2020, offered in a lone Elegance variant.
VPCM released the R-Line-kitted Passat B8 in early-2022 as a farewell model, featuring a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with 220 PS and 350 Nm, mated to a 6-speed wet-type dual-clutch automatic.
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That being said, if you’re in the market for a D-segment saloon from Volkswagen, the company still has the Volkswagen Arteon, essentially a fastback and sportier version of the Passat. The Arteon is also the sole European D-segment model offered here; every other D-segment option come from either South Korea or Japan.
The Volkswagen Arteon retails for RM 276,990.