The 2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport
Here it is before our eyes the all-new 2014 Passat with all its shiny glory in white. What? It’s not 2014 model? Well, that’s correct, because it’s a 2012 Volkswagen Passat that won 2012 the Middle East Motor Awards (MEMA). It went on to awards collection spree of the same caliber around the world. Surely, you won’t be questioning why? Because for a simple reason: auto judges around the world aren’t mad; however, there’s a method to the madness!
The Design Philosophy 7/10
Having a walk around the car you will soon, in fact, pretty instantly realize that this car is devoid of any blemishes. The visual appearance is quite strong as there are no tangents cutting into the corners nor flame appearing in the middle of the front and rear doors. It’s just simple clean fresh design with bold belt line running from the headlight and ending into rear, adding strength and elegance. In fact, I found my favorite moment in the dark hooded appearance of the headlights.
This is the flagship Sport model; hence the car is shod with 18 inch “Bristol” alloy wheels. And again adding function to the beauty is lower air intake with the chrome finish winglets that houses the fog lights. The accentuated lean chrome bar starting from front door to the back door and stretches back around the rear bumper as well. The sloping rear C pillar ends on sizeable rear deck. This whole creates an overall long sleek look, and that’s not a surprise because the car is 4.868m long. Certainly, it has the merits of large sedan, as the car boot offers a whopping 529 liters of cargo capacity. This obviously means it can carry the entire family luggage to the airport and back without any fuss!
Open the driver door and you’ll be greeted with partial leather and Alcantara seats. Just like the Alloy wheels on the Sport model are known as “Bristol” seats are also known as “Vienna.” The 8-way electronically adjustable front seats with memory function were quite supportive, especially due to the Alcantara surface that holds the driver poised in his position. Though the whole atmosphere inside the cabin is a bit dark yet it was highlighted with gleaming chrome bar just like outside. Nevertheless, personally, living with kids and here in UAE with so much dust and sand, I rather prefer a darker colored interior over a lighter one, as the maintenance becomes much easier. Furthermore, the interior echoes the same design scheme of functionality and elegance. The ergonomics and touch points boost high quality, and it gives a pretty satisfying feel of well build quality overall. The cockpit comprises of fuss free easy to understand at first sight, two big round conventional style gauges: Tachometer and Speedometer that are again finished with chrome bezels, and each gauge incorporates a smaller inset gauge of fuel and temp. These large white numberings on black are separated with a digital info-center that provides vital details to the driver. The various menus from fuel data to trip computer, music, connecting your smart phone can all be access via easy five-way buttons mounted on the leather wrapped smooth steering wheel. The center stack fitted with large TFT screen with three sizable round dials that control VW Dual zone Climatronic air-con. During the test drive, I let a few tall people in the rear cabin in different times at different places. And all of them expressed their feeling in three common words, Wow! Roomy! And off course, it’s so comfortable.
Talk About Soul. 6.5/10
The driving experience begins with (proximity) Keyless-Access fob. Just push the Start/Stop button next to the gear lever. VW Passat Sport is fitted with its long running 2.5l, 5 cylinder MPI engine that develops 170 at 5800 RPM. Although it may seem right that VW engine produces power more or less similar to that 4-cylinder engine. However, while driving the Passat, the extra cylinder adds more quietness and removes Noise, Vibration and Harshness from the engine at high speeds. The same quietness was felt inside the cabin as well. We took the car on the switchback roads’ on the way towards Wadi Al Helo. It’s a good twisty road with varying camber to test the car chassis, its ability to perform and handle, where you are quickly tossing the car from left to right. The more you speed up on the straights, the more you need to apply brake to corner the car with the correct speed at the right amount of steering angle. Co-Driver, Naveed noted: the car brakes are linear, probably due to the size of the car but the pedal feel was well assuring. During Lane switching the car behavior was a bit languid. The 2.5l motor is paired with 6 speed electronic transmission that quickly races towards top cogs in order to provide superb 9.5l/100km (during the test run). However, with the available Tiptronic and Sport mode allowed longer hold for spirited driving, we tested couple of 0-60 runs in 9.7 seconds.The 18 inch “Bristol” wheels transmitted some extra feedback from the road, especially on the highway where some road sections were redone. Otherwise, the ride was pretty compliant; the shocks soak the potholes quite well. At the end of our five-hour long journey we did not feel our bodies tired and stiff.
VW Passat Sport naturally comes loaded with safety features like rear backup camera, Electronic stability control (ESP) including ABS, ASR, HBA, TPMS. From driver Driver’s and front passenger airbag to the Curtain airbag system for front and rear passengers, including side airbags.
Norwegian music composer Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Op. 23, written in 1875 as timeless composition called Morning Mood (Morgenstemnin, in Norwegian). It is one of the most melodic symphony that paints an immaculately serene scene of profound passion in your imagination. And just like a fresh dewy morning it fills your senses, heart and mind. You will spend your day at peace unless someone distastefully ruins your remaining day. Though there are some dramatic movements but what remains with you is the melodic sound of flute. Pleasant yes, however, forget the drama or surprises that can change your mood to more upbeat, blood pressure raising activity. This is the intent purpose of this very Volkswagen Passat. It’s not meant to be driven in high rpm at a higher speed, though you can but there’s no pleasure. Just coast it and enjoy the jitter less, fuss free drive. It comes loaded with everything that increases your assurance of longevity because of tight build quality. From wood decor “Autumn Burl Brown” (once again, just like Alloy wheels are known as “Bristol” and the partial Leather seats with Alcantara known as “Vienna”) on the dashboard to front and rear doors adding the sense of luxury. A 30 GB hard disc and touch screen Radio Navigation System “RNS 510” with CD/DVD-player. People who had any liking for musical instrument will appreciate Fender’s badges on either side of the dashboard. Because Passat Sport comes with standard Fender-Panasonic Sound system with powerful 400-watt amp, subwoofer and 8 speakers. Though I doubt there’s any Stratocaster connecting system. However mobile device interface sync with iPod/iPhone adapter cable is available. I did sync my iPhone and BlackBerry via Bluetooth, and it was simply a breeze.