2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8TSI Comfortline PLUS: Refined and powerful

By THOMAS HUONG | 2 February 2018


This is the mid-grade variant of the latest Volkswagen Passat premium D-segment executive sedan, which was launched in Malaysia in November 2016 in three trim lines - Trendline (RM160,937); Comfortline (RM180,937) and Highline (RM200,030).

The Passat Trendline and Comfortline has a 1.8L TSI turbocharged engine that is paired with an improved 7-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG).

The Highline comes with 2.0L TSI turbocharged engine and a 6-speed DSG.

Our review unit, the Passat Comfortline PLUS (priced higher at RM185,927) has upsized 18-inch Monterey alloy wheels and window tint, valued at RM12,000.

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Exterior

The Volkswagen Passat has dynamic proportions, and stands out on the road especially with its chrome grille that extends to the LED headlamps.

There is a minimalist yet elegant look to the exterior design, which emphasises a low body, long wheelbase and sporty, large 18-inch wheels.

The rear end gets LED tail lights, and even LED rear license plate lights, as well as twin exhaust tailpipes.

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Other exterior kit include wing mirrors with integrated turn signals, automatic headlights and wipers, and heat insulated windshield, side and rear windows.

One feature we found to be very convenient is the keyless entry/lock function on every door, where you can open or lock any door by pressing the small locking buttons on the door handles (with the key fob on you).

Alsol, the wing mirrors fold in when you lock the car.

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Performance

The 1.8-litre 4-cylinder petrol, direct injected turbocharged engine mated to a 7-speed silky-smooth shifting DSG, produces 180ps at 5,100rpm to 6,200rpm and 250Nm at 1,250rpm to 5,000rpm.

So, with so much torque from as low as 1,250rpm, you get a very dynamic and punchy drive.

Combined with the lightning quick gearshifts from the DSG, the Passat is quite a spirited machine that can be driven with gusto if one is in a hurry.

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We noted that the tachometer needle hovered around 1,600rpm when we drove at 80kph.

At 90kph and 100kph, the tachometer needle was at 1,800rpm and 2,000rpm respectively.

At 110kph, we noted the needle hovered at the 2,200rpm mark.

Fuel Consumption

The 1.8-litre turbocharged DSG-equipped Passat is rated with a fuel consumption of 5.7 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

It also has a fuel-saving auto engine start/stop function, which automatically switches off the engine when the car comes to a standstill at traffic lights or in heavy traffic.

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We drove the car which has a 66-litre fuel tank, for a week.

At the end of the week, we had driven 729km, with a remaining travel range of 120km.

Based on the digital trip meter, our average fuel consumption was 8.0 litres per 100km which we thought was quite impressive, considering how heavy-footed we usually are.

Interior

There is a lot of nice kit here, including the black leather upholstery, powered seats with 12-way adjustment with powered lumbar support and driver side memory with massage function, automatic air-conditioning, rear air-conditioning vents with temperature control buttons for rear occupants, one touch powered up/down function for all windows, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen display radio with USB, and one SD-card slot.

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The eight-speaker audio system produces top-quality sound, and there are rear reading lights for rear occupants, and a space-saving electronic parking brake (with auto hold function).

An analogue clock, located between the central air-conditioning vents in the middle of the dashboard, imparts a dash of old-school charm to a dark themed interior.

The interior of the Passat Comfortline PLUS is a really comfortable place to be in, and befits its premium car status and high price tag.

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Practicality

The Passat has a huge 586-litre boot, which has a powered lid (just push a button for the lid to automatically shut).

For more storage room, there is a load-through design for the split-folding rear seats.

For small items, there are two cup holders in the centre console, front seat-back pockets and bins on each door - useful to keep water bottles.

A USB port is located in the centre storage box.

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The Park Assist feature allows semi-automatic parking for parallel or perpendicular parking bays.

In terms of practicality and storage spaces, the Passat is quite well-designed.

Ride and Handling

Shod with Continental ContiMaxContact MC5 235/45 R18 tyres, the Passat handles well on twisty roads, and drives like a well-tuned sports sedan.

Step hard on the accelerator pedal, and power delivery is quick and linear.

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The previous-generation Passat has a marvellous "steer, point and shoot" quality and it's no different with this one.

There is very little noise intrusion in the cabin, and the drive quality is smooth, refined and quiet.

On rough and poorly maintained roads, the Passat provides ample cushioning from road shocks, despite its sporty ride quality.

It has a well-sorted suspension that allows for a good balance between ride comfort and sporty driving.

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Safety

- 6 airbags
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Brake Assist (BA)
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Hill-hold control
- Anti-skid Regulator (ASR)
- Driver Alert System (Rest Assist)
- Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
- ISOFIX child seat anchors
- Brake pad wear indicator
- Engine Drag Torque Control (EDTC)
- Rear View Camera
- Park Assist
- Park Distance Control (Front & Rear)

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Equipment

- Engine Stop/Start system with regenerative braking
- KESSY Keyless locking and starting system
- Vienna combination leather seat upholstery
- Cruise control
- 6.5-inch touchscreen display
- USB, one SD-card slot, AUX-IN, Bluetooth
- 8 speakers
- Front seat with electric 12-way adjustment with powered lumbar support
and driver side memory with massage function
- Headlight washer system
- Adaptive LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
- Paddle shifters
- Automatic headlight activation with ‘Leaving Home’ function
- Automatic wipers
- LED tail lights
- 235/45 R18 tyres
- Full size alloy spare wheel
- Electric parking brake with auto hold function
- 3-zone climatronic air conditioning
- 586-litre boot
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror
- LED interior reading lights (Front & Rear)
- Push start button
- Rear air condition vents
- Split-folding rear backrest with load-through provision
- Tilt and telescopic steering wheel

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Reliability

- 5-year manufacturer's warranty
- 5-year free maintenance (offer valid for new buyers until 31st December 2017)
- 5-year Roadside Assist

Price (OTR Price without insurance)

RM185,927

Summary

It has lots of premium features, ample storage space, a roomy cabin, sporty drive character, a smooth and refined ride quality, fuel economical yet powerful drivetrain, and ample passenger comfort.

Here, you get all the comforts, power and sophisticated engineering of a large-sized premium German car, but without having to pay the price that luxury brands charge for wheels of the same sort.

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Of course, it's not perfect.
We wish it has more USB slots, especially in an age where almost everyone carries a smart mobile device.

A surround view camera would be nice too, but perhaps the next facelift or upgraded model will include one.

In summary, the Passat 1.8TSI Comfortline PLUS has nearly everything you want in a D-segment executive car.

Photo gallery: 2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8TSI Comfortline PLUS

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Keywords

Overview

Styling
70%
Comfort
80%
Performance
80%
Safety
80%
Value
70%

CarSifu's Rating: 7.6