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Volkswagen Passat 3,2 DSG 4Motion

Broadcast date : 22nd October 2006

At a certain level, cars are all about lifestyle. So how does Volkswagen’s top Passat shape up in the all-important image stakes? 

And… does it make sense on a bang-for-your-buck basis?

The once-humble VW badge actually looks at home in polished metal opulence.

The more humble four-cylinder Passats also have the polished window surrounds. 

What brings it all together are the 3,2 litre’s beautiful big alloy wheels.

Let’s appreciate those rear lights borrowed from the luxury Phaeton model, and savour the chiselled under-bonnet detailing, before exploring the on-road capabilities.

The Passat is a large car, with a wheelbase that’s longer than the Jetta and Audi A4, but a bit shorter than the A6.

This gives it an inherent stability and ride comfort that moves it up-market with the right running-gear. 

And with V6 power, all-wheel-drive and a DSG gearbox, the mechanical spec is top drawer.

The DSG gearbox is different from a fluid-drive automatic in that it uses a manual ‘box, but with a twin-clutch mechanism that makes it the best of the so-called "clutchless" manual gearboxes.

The 3,2 litre V6 from the Volkswagen-Audi stable is one of our favourite engines in the world right now. 

At a 184 kiloWatts, it’s not dramatically powerful, but simply a sweet engineering exercise.

It makes peak power at 6300 rpm, and although it’s limited to 6600 rpm, it feels as if it could spin to 8000 with no pain.

Using the electro-hydraulic clutch actuation in manual mode, the V6 Passat will run to 100 in just over 7 seconds, and scamper on to a top speed of 240. And cabin ambience is generally up to the game.

With similar running-gear to the Audi A6 quattro, it must have taken careful strategising to prevent the Wolfsburg-built sedan from encroaching too deeply into Ingolstadt territory, while still aspiring to execu-express levels.

Take a careful look at the interior and you’ll notice the plastics and panels are not quite in Audi league, and the switchgear doesn’t have that subtle refinement that comes with the four-rings symbol.

Volkswagen Passat 3,2 DSG 4Motion

  • Engine: V6 petrol, 3 189 cc
  • Power: 184 kW @ 5 200 rpm
  • Torque: 320 Nm @3 200 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed DSG, all-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km: 7,1 (claimed)
  • Top speed: 240 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 13,4 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R339 000

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