The VW Passat is a rock in the surf. Despite all the SUV ideas, the mid-range series, whose name appeared in the VW model range for the first time in 1973, continues to be the favorite of fleet customers for field service and Co. The station wagon is also a popular choice as a family vehicle. The sedan was less popular, which is why it has been out of production for some time. The pleasure of the flat rear should grab the VW Arteon. Or in the future to the electric VW ID.7.
Before the electric series (which will also be available with an estate rear) takes over, there will be one last new Passat development in 2024. The ninth generation will start in the spring exclusively as a variant. Like the new Tiguan, which will be available at about the same time, the Passat B9 uses the further developed MQB Evo – Architecture.
In terms of format, it increases significantly. The length of the station wagon increases by a remarkable 14.4 centimeters from 4.92 meters. The width (by two centimeters to 1.85 meters) and height (by seven millimeters to 1.48 meters) have also increased, as has the wheelbase by five centimeters to 2.84 meters. The first seat test shows that the increase in length benefits all the passengers in the rear. Not that there have been any complaints here so far. The group brother Skoda Superb offered even more room in front of the knees. Now the Passat is equal, offering five centimeters more space to the front seat backrest.
Not only that: In the future, the two series will not only be a joint development (the Superb will also be new in 2024) but will also come from the same assembly line in Bratislava, Slovakia. In contrast to the Passat, the upcoming Skoda Superb will continue to be available as a sedan and combi (which the Czechs traditionally write with a “C”) – more on that soon.
The revised basis of the VW Passat not only brings more space for the passengers but also a larger trunk. The rear swallows 690 liters in the future, 40 more than its predecessor. If the backrest parts of the rear seat bench are folded forward, 1,920 liters (+140) fit in.
VW Passat 2024 Interior
The new cockpit comes standard with a 12.9-inch infotainment screen, optionally with a 15-inch diagonal. The lower bar on the display is intended for the climate control (bottom bar), the counterpart at the top of the screen (top bar) can be configured and thus have direct access to functions such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (both without cables). The sliders under the display for climate functions and audio volume are still there, but they are now illuminated in the dark.
If you prefer to speak instead of pressing and swiping, you can chat with the digital voice assistant IDA. There are larger digital instruments behind the steering wheel with new graphics, and you can also order a head-up display.
The steering wheel makes the manufacturer’s announcements about the return to more haptic controls true: Here there are classic buttons instead of touch surfaces. The rotary pushbutton that the new Tiguan will have on the center console is missing in the Passat.
Between the seats, which can be ordered with automatic climate control for heating and ventilation and, as an ErgoActive chair, also with a massage function, there is a large shelf or a blind. The select knob for the DSG gearbox is eliminated, it pulls to the right side of the steering column. In the future, the windscreen wiper functions will be controlled on the left, like the turn signal.
Test drive with DCC Pro
The prototype, with which the first test kilometers can be collected, carries the newly developed DCC Pro chassis under its pasted bodywork. The adaptive dampers now work with two-valve technology, with which both the rebound and the compression stage (extension and compression) can be actively controlled. In addition to a larger spread between the individual driving modes and the 15 almost continuously adjustable intermediate levels, this should also improve driving comfort in general. The VW test site in Ehra-Lessien, with its different road surfaces, gives the first opportunity to familiarize yourself with the complex damper system. The two-valve technology is more responsive. This is made clear by the fact that slight vibrations in the body after waves in the ground are a thing of the past.
VW also gave the Passat an electronically controlled differential lock (XDS) and a new four-link rear axle design. On the slalom course and in chicanes, the big car shows remarkable handling talent, which is matched by sufficiently direct steering.
Gasoline and diesel
The beefy torque of the 150 hp two-liter TDI in the test car helps when accelerating out of bends and hairpin bends. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) is standard. With 142 kW / 193 hp, the more powerful diesel version has been capped by seven horsepower compared to its predecessor. The reason lies in a new vote for current and future exhaust gas regulations.
The new VW Passat will be available as a petrol engine with a 1.5 TSI with 150 hp and mild hybrid technology and as a 2.0 TSI. This engine, internally called EA888, should again be offered in two power levels with probably just over 200 and around 270 hp. The more powerful, like the TDI with 193 hp, is an all-wheel drive 4Motion.
VW Passat 2024 plug-in hybrids
The two plug-in hybrids are new, sending the aged 1.4 TSI to old age. The more current 1.5 TSI takes over the combustion part. There will be two power levels with 150 kW (204 hp) and 200 kW (272 hp), still with a 6-speed DSG. The storage capacity of the battery increases to over 25 kWh, of which just under 20 kWh net should be usable. Depending on the equipment, the electric range of the Passat Variant with a plug should increase to up to 120 kilometers. For the first time, the PHEV can also be supplied with electricity via a CCS on the fast charger, the charging power with alternating current on a wall box or charging station increases to 11 kW (three-phase).
Information on equipment lines and options for the new VW Passat Variant will only be available at a later date. The HD matrix LED light with over 38,400 controllable light points as in the Touareg and Tiguan will not be available for the new Passat for the time being, but the well-known IQ. Light with adaptive functions will be. Incomprehensible from a marketing point of view, many company car drivers in the field should also be willing to invest in good lighting. So technical reasons must speak for the absence of this option.
The current VW Passat Variant can still be ordered at prices from 38,850 euros for the 1.5 TSI Conceptline (as of July 2023), and the Arteon Shooting Brake as a 2.0 TDI costs 47,270 euros. What the new Passat will cost is not yet known.
The VW Passat will offer even more space after the model change. Digital operation is easier with a new infotainment menu and the button steering wheel. The plug-in hybrids are the biggest novelty under the hood, otherwise, there are fine-tuning. The DCC Pro is more sensitive as an interesting chassis option.
Photo credit; Autobild & Volkswagen