VW Passat: Engaging appeal

By THOMAS HUONG | 18 March 2020

The updated Volkswagen Passat Elegance 2.0TSI comes with some subtle changes to the exterior and interior, as well as improved features and lots of creature comforts that befit its status as a premium D-segment executive sedan.

This is a facelift for the eighth-generation Passat and Volkswagen Malaysia now offers it in one variant only, unlike the past.

Priced at RM189,012 (on-the-road excluding insurance), the updated Passat also gets a new powertrain with a 190PS/320Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged engine mated to a 7-speed wet clutch direct shift gearbox (DSG).
The after-sales package includes a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, three-year free maintenance, five-year roadside assistance and 15,000km service schedule.

It is the first front-wheel drive Volkswagen car in Malaysia to have the new 7-speed wet clutch DSG.


Looks and features

Besides the revised front grille, there are new IQ LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, which display moving light effects when you unlock the doors.

Rear tail lights are also LED, with the same light effects when doors are unlocked.
The exterior visual updates are subtle, although now you have the “Passat” lettering stretched loudly in the rear across the powered boot lid.

We think the Passat still retains its classy and timeless elegant look.


In the cabin, you get a new 9.2-inch touchscreen, which comes with both voice and gesture control.

This gives you control over vehicle data, air conditioning, navigation, driver assistance features, media and sound.

We found the navigation system to be quite user-friendly (compared with many other cars with navigation functions), with navigation graphic guidance also displayed directly in front of the driver via the new 11.7-inch Digital Cockpit instrument cluster.

It doesn’t take long to key in the names of destinations and search for them.

Those with newer mobile phones and devices will enjoy the convenience of three USB Type-C ports (one located in the centre console storage box together with a 12V port.

It’s also worth noting that Wireless AppConnect with Apple Car Play is offered here.


The Passat is an upmarket D-segment sedan, and is renowned for a roomy cabin filled with nice stuff like supple leather seats, and powered front seats with 12-way adjustment with powered lumbar support and driver’s seat memory with massage function.

Other highlights here include a 3-zone Climatronic air-conditioning system, rear air-conditioning vents, and a powered sunshade for the rear window.

There are plenty of storage options such as front seat-back pockets, and four door bins, and a centre console storage box.

Like before, boot space is still an impressive 586 litres and this can also be accessed by a rear passenger pulling down a load-through hatch (behind the rear centre armrest).

If you need more storage room, an option is to pull down the 60:40 split-folding rear seat backrests.



There are ample safety features here including Anti-skid Regulator (ASR), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and a Driver Alert System (Rest Assist) that alerts sleepy drivers with a visual display on the dashboard and a warning sound.

There are also front and rear parking sensors, with Manoeuvre Braking which can reduce the severity of a collision when reversing or driving forward at speeds below 10kph.


The LED headlights have dynamic cornering light tech, which means the headlight beam will swivel as you turn the steering wheel.

Meanwhile, Side Assist gives a flashing warning light to the driver when changing lanes and Rear Traffic Alert warns you if there is danger when reversing the car.

A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System also comes in handy here.


The Drive

The Passat has provided us with refined and smooth motoring over the years, and it’s no different with the latest facelift.

The new powertrain provides plenty of muscle and the new dual-clutch DSG is buttery smooth and instantaneously responsive when you want extra power and speed.

Power delivery is linear, and the car feels very planted when we took highway curves at some speed.

While the cabin is a nice and premium place to be, there is some tyre noise seeping in.


Running on ContiMaxContact MC5 tyres sized 235/45 wrapped around 18-inch alloy wheels, the suspension is a bit firm and the ride feels somewhat bumpy on uneven and poorly maintained roads.

The cabin is nicely decked in high quality leather and plastic surfaces, and we found lots of leg and head room in the rear for 1.7-metre adults. We also liked the crisp sound quality of the eight-speaker audio system.



The facelifted Passat is more engaging and smoother to drive than ever.

The spacious cabin is very comfortable, and there’s plenty of power on tap and sporty drive dynamics when you are in the mood for some speed.

Despite its understated looks, the Passat comes packed with premium features and continues to set high standards for high-quality motoring.


2020 Volkswagen Passat 2.0TSI Elegance

Engine: 1,984cc, four-cylinder petrol direct injection, turbocharged
Maximum power: 190ps at 4,180 to 6,000rpm
Maximum torque: 320Nm at 1,500 to 4,180rpm
Transmission: DSG 7-speed direct shift gearbox
Features: Engine start-stop system with regenerative braking, Auto-dimming rear view mirror, ‘Climatronic’ air conditioning system with 3-zone temperature control, Combination leather seat upholstery, Cruise
control system with speed limiter, 9.2-inch touchscreen, Navigation infotainment system, Bluetooth, Gesture Control, Voice Control, and 8 speakers, Electric sunshade for rear window, electric parking brake
with Auto Hold, Front seats with electric 12-way adjustment with powered lumbar support and driver side memory with massage function, keyless access and engine starting system, Rear air conditioning vents,
3 USB Type C slots, 60:40 split-folding rear seat backrest with load-through hatch, 586 litre boot, Automatic LED headlights, LED taillights, automatic electric boot power closing/opening, 235/45 R18 tyres,
Park Distance Control (Front & Rear) with Maneuver Braking, automatic rain sensing wipers, Rear view camera with multi-angle view and dynamic guidance line
Safety features: 6 airbags, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD),Anti-skid Regulator (ASR), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Driver Alert System
(Rest Assist), Engine Drag Torque Control (EDTC), Engine Drag Torque Control (EDTC), Hill Hold Control (HHC), Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS), ISOFIX child seat anchoring system with top
tether, Proactive passenger protection system, Rear Traffic Alert, Safety-optimised front head restraints, Side Assist lane change system, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Price (OTR without insurance): RM189,012
Aftersales support: 5 years unlimited mileage warranty, 3 years free maintenance, 5 years roadside assist; 15,000km service schedule




CarSifu's Rating: 7.4