Motoring News 10.5.2017 09:25 am

Volkswagen TSI Passat is just a pleasure

Sheds its apparently docile persona fast when you hit the accelerator.

It’s month two of my time with our VW Passat 2.0 TSI R-Line DSG long-term car, and as expected it has been absolute plain sailing.

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If you call plain sailing trouble free, fast, luxury motoring that is. Our particular car is a good looking Oryx White finished example that features the likes of a Multi-Collision Braking System, Fatigue Detection (Driver Alert), Park Distance Control (front and rear), LED tail-lights, multifunction leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles for the DSG box and three-zone Climatronic air-conditioner all as standard fitment.

As is always the case these days, you can delve into the options bin and spend a bit more money and accessorise your Passat to your heart’s desire. My car has pearlescent paint and brilliant LED headlights on the outside.

On the inside I have the ambient light package, sunroof, Nappa leather seats, integrated child seats, 230v socket and head up display.

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For extra convenience, there is the auto boot close function, keyless access to go with park assist and adaptive cruise control and rear view camera assist for when you are on the move. It would be the perfect all-round family car if the optional fold away tow-bar and Active Info Display with Pro Satellite Navigation system, which replaces the instrument cluster with a fully configurable interactive 12.3-inch TFT display, was fitted.

But as a potential owner, the good news is you can tick these options when you order your car. And because of the second-generation Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) that is also a standard feature in 2.0 TSI R-Line DSG, you can have a ride that is as soft as you could ever want and then at the push of a button, you can firm things up and throw the Passat around as much as you would do a family car.

Compared to the normal chassis the vehicle body sits 10mm lower when fitted with DCC. The system offers three driving modes: ‘Comfort’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’. And via the driver profile selector it is also possible in the ‘Individual’ profile to assign any other driving profile properties to the DCC mode you might want, that your wife might not.

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The system adaptively controls the damper valves via an enhanced and refined Volkswagen control algorithm and thereby sets the damper characteristic. DCC utilises the input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle information from the Chassis-CAN bus; in cycles of one millisecond, it uses these values to compute and adaptively adjust the optimal damping force for every driving situation.

Furthermore, the damping forces selectively applied to the four wheels are individually regulated. In combination with the dynamic chassis control system, new hydro-mounts are used on the rear axle to connect the trailing arm to the sub-frame.

They further optimise the vibration characteristics, namely through better damping of the lengthways vibrations that occur when driving over individual bumps.

With lengthwise rigidity reduced at the same time, the result on uneven surfaces is that the back wheels roll off bumps in a much softer and more comfortable way.

The valves for the adjustable dampers have also been modified for further improved response, resulting overall in a suspension which resolves the conflict between a comfortable and sporty set-up, and results in one of the better driving experiences you can have on the road today.

What has also been an absolute pleasure is the 2.0-litre turbocharged GTI derived direct injection petrol engine with 162kW of power and 350Nm of maximum torque available from 1 500 to 4 400rpm.

The car always has more than enough go for whatever situation you find yourself in, and very quickly throws off its perceived sheep persona and lets the wolf out when you bury the accelerator.

VW claim a 0-100km/h time of just 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 246km/h, along with an combined fuel consumption of 6.2 litres per 100km. We all know that these numbers are not real world numbers, so for next month’s update I will run the Passat at Gerotek to see exactly what this car is capable of up here on the Reef.

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The 2.0 TSI R-Line 162kW DSG retails for R532 800 and comes standard with a three year/120 000km warranty and a five-year/100 000km Automotion Maintenance Plan.

All models have a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and 15 000 km service intervals.

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