It’s a D-segment sedan that was unveiled to the Malaysian market in 2016. Following the discontinuation of the Kia Optima GT, the Volkswagen Passat is the only turbocharged (and most powerful) D-segment sedan on the market. The exhilarating performance is coupled with German-engineered style and class.
How Much Is It?
Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) only offers the Passat in a sole 2.0TSI Highline trim, priced at RM 195,390 (OTR without insurance). It is assembled locally (CKD) in Volkswagen Malaysia Automotive Assembly Plant in Pekan, Pahang.
Under the hood rests the EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder TSI petrol engine pushing out 220 PS and 350 Nm. If those numbers seem familiar to you, it’s the exact figures on the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
A 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission (wet-clutch type) automatic is tasked to send power to the front wheels.
Previously VPCM offered the Passat with a 1.8-litre TSI and 7-speed DSG (dry-clutch type) combo at a much lower entry price point (from RM 160k). However, the company have since stopped production of the 1.8TSI in view of the incoming facelifted model.
Nevertheless, our pick of the range would still be the 2.0TSI Highline that comes with all the bells and whistles ticked. Features such as the 12.3-inch Active Info Display, 8.0-inch ‘Discover Media’ touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, 12-way powered front seats, powered boot and Lane Assist are all ticked.
However, those feel-good features are just the icing on the cake. The biggest pull factor of the Passat 2.0TSI is that it is essentially a dressed-up Golf GTI with a 587-litre boot.
In addition to the identical powertrain, the Passat comes with Adaptive Chassis Control (cycles between 4 different drive modes), XDS Electronic Front Differential Lock, Engine Drag Torque Control and Anti-skid Regulator. All of which helps the Passat to tackle a bend harder and faster.
With its Golf GTI formula and the most powerful engine in the segment, very few will have qualms about the driving performance of the Passat. However, in today’s day and age where everyone is talking about Advanced Driving Assistance System (ADAS), the Passat’s lack thereof is its greatest shortcoming.
Being priced close to RM 200k, never mind adaptive cruise control, the Passat does not even come with autonomous emergency braking (AEB). Rivals such as the ageing Honda Accord, controversial Toyota Camry and sultry Mazda 6 all comes with some form of ADAS with the Toyota and Honda being the most complete package.
Despite equipped with adaptive dampers that can alter between comfort and sport mode, the Passat's ride quality is not as sophisticated as its rivals. Over undulations, the suspension can get quite busy which affects passenger ride comfort. The Toyota Camry and Mazda 6 with their passive dampers strike a better balance between comfort and handling.
However, if you're looking for a fast, understated saloon, the Volkswagen Passat 2.0TSI Highline is your prime choice. Those who are not convinced with the reliability of a Volkswagen, every new Volkswagen purchased through authorised distributors comes with a 5-Years Warranty and 3-Years Free Scheduled Maintenance.
Psychology graduate with over 4 years in the automotive industry, 3 in front of the camera. Occasionally seen at his family owned tyre shop. Will only buy cars that passes the big bottle test.