Volkswagen Passat is a medium-large German car that has a reputation for being
solidly built and is well regarded by those who have loved this marque for many years.
Interestingly it shares quite a few out of sight components with Audis as that prestigious
company is controlled by the Volkswagen Group.
The Passat works well for those looking for comfort, it has well-shaped seats and
suspension which is able to soak up just about anything, even rough and ready Aussie
Handling is good, with neutral road behaviour at normal speeds, gradually changing to
safe understeer if the big car is pushed hard.
Though smaller engines aren’t always accepted by Australian buyers, even the four-
cylinder Passats have enough performance for many buyers.
Many of the later petrol engines and all diesels use a turbocharger to generate a lot of
extra torque and that torque is spread over a big range.
All-wheel drive isn’t as common in Australian Passats as in those in Europe. But it
provides better traction when cornering as well as on slippery surfaces. So, AWD
models are worth considering if you are doing a lot of driving on unmade surfaces as
well as on the snow and ice.
The VW Passat Alltrack is a slightly jacked-up station wagon that’s bought by those
who don’t want an SUV but do intend to do some trips off the beaten track. Skiers love
them and, as is often the way, Tasmanians also go for them.
The Alltrack has all-wheel drive, to save fuel it only engages the rear wheels when the
computer senses the fronts are losing grip.
Volkswagen Passat CC was introduced in 2009. Virtually a four-door coupe the sleek
Passat CC targets those who seldom use the back seat for adults, but who do want the
convenience of rear doors. Note that it was simply called the CC from 2012. It’s smart
to check both names if you’re doing an online search.
Most VW dealers are in the major State capitals but there are quite a few in larger
country cities and towns.
Spare parts costs are about average for a moderately upmarket car in this class and
we haven’t heard of
Passat is a complex machine but a competent home mechanic should be able to do a
fair bit of work. Always have a workshop manual on standby – and leave safety related
items to professionals.
Insurance is generally not particularly expensive and we don’t know of any companies
that charge more for the performance models. It makes sense to shop around as there
can be quite a difference in premiums.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Volkswagen cheated on emission controls during the period we are reviewing Passats.
It recalled all its vehicles to make them legal again. Check with VW Australia
(volkswagen.com.au) that this has been done on the Passat you’re considering.
If there is a flat spot in acceleration there could be fuel-injection problems, especially in
older cars. These can be expensive to repair.
Check the insides of the front wheels for signs of brake dust buildup, probably
indicating hard driving. This is more likely on one of the sporting models.
Look over the body for signs of crash repairs, especially paint that doesn’t match and
panels that don’t fit exactly. Check the complete body, including hard to reach areas
under the bonnet, in the boot and under the car.
Passat Alltracks that have been used off road may have under-car damage. Check also
for scars on the undersides of the bumpers, the front guard corners and for scratches
on the guards and doors.
Set your budget from $8000 to $12,000 for a 2012 Volkswagen Passat 118TSI;
$11,000 to $17,000 2013 125TDI Highline; $14,000 to $20,000 for a 2013 V6 FSI
Highline or a 2015 132 TSI Comfortline; $16,000 to $24,000 for a 2016 140 TDI
Highline; $18,000 to $26,000 for a 2018 132 TSI Comfortline; $20,000 to $29,000 for a
2019 132 TSI or 2017 206 TSI R-Line; and $28,000 to $38,000 for a 2021 140 TSI
CAR BUYING TIP
Keep an eye on adverts for new cars that say there are specials on particular models.
These can mean a lot of traded-in cars are taking up too much space in the yards and
will be discounted to get rid of them.
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: