Of the raft of engines Volkswagen makes and Europeans choose between, we’re expecting the 138 bhp 2.0 TDI Blue Motion diesel and the 1.8 TSI petrol to come to India. Volkswagen just might surprise us by getting a third 1.6 turbo TDI diesel that returns a claimed 23.8 kpl, which is impressively economical, if a bit underpowered for a car in this class. All the diesels deploy Volkswagen’s Blue Motion technology — start-stop, low-resistance tyres, battery regeneration when braking — and on the roll, it all comes together very pleasantly indeed. The 2.0-litre diesel I drove in the gorgeous hinterland of Barcelona seemed sprightly. The six-speed DSG ‘box responded well to throttle inputs through various driving conditions. The steering feels light in your hands and winding up a set of twisties, the body control, even in the comfort mode, seems to be spot on. The handling is adequately sharp for the kind of driving expected from the Passat, keeping your sleep and the new Fatigue Detection system from kicking in. What really matters on the Passat — passenger comfort — is top-notch, as is the refinement and sound isolation. It would be unfair on my part to comment on the ride quality, because the Spanish roads were snooker-table-smooth, so let’s just wait until we give it a road taste of Incredible India.
Driving dynamics aside, what really is upfront and centre on this generation of the Passat is a massive technological upgrade, both for safety and convenience. The Euro-spec car pretty much comes with all the technology its bigger (and much more expensive) brother, the Phaeton offers, a typical automotive trickle-down effect.