To prove the overall performance of its latest version, Volkswagen Philippines organized a ride and drive event with select members of the motoring media. ‘This is an opportunity for you guys to experience luxury the Volkswagen way,” says Franz Decleodt, VW marketing man.
The men from Wolfsburg prepared five units of the recently launched flagship model, the Passat. The 400 kilometer drive kicked off at the VW showroom at the Bonifacio Global City and snaked through the scenic route of Cavite and Batangas up to the exclusive La Chevrerie Resort and Spa in Anilao, Batangas.
“The twisty and uphill roads, plus some stretches of pavement test the feel of the suspension, comfort and smoothness of the diesel engine of this latest Passat,” adds Klaus Schadewald, VW PH’s Chief Operating Adviser, who drove to Anilao as the convoy sweeper.
For the first day of the event, this writer was in car number 6 with Brian Afuang of the Businessworld and Ira Panganiban of Wheels Magazine. We were behind the wheel of the top tier version, the 2.0 TSI DSG Business Edition, which comes with a Turbocharged Stratified Injection engine mated to a six-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). With a maximum power output of 220 PS in the 4,500-6,200 RPM range, and maximum torque of 350 Nm in the 1,500-4,400 RPM’s, this luxury sedan can scratch the pavement and attack fast corners with relative ease due to the car’s Adaptive Chassis Control with Drive Profile Selection. We took delight in the large luggage compartment which has a volume of 586 to 1,152 liters and a 60:40 folding rear seat backrest and center armrest load-through hatch. The Passat’s rear compartment is large enough to accommodate bulky scuba diving gears; golf bags; and luggage for that out of town journey with friends and family. The luggage compartment also comes with its own 12-volt socket, so batteries for underwater cameras and lights could be charged even while in transit.
As for the passengers, the generous headroom (989 and 964 mm in the front and rear, respectively) and legroom (1,045 and 973 mm) provided comfort throughout the trip. The rear seats with extended leg support enhanced the comfort of the rear passengers.
The Passat’s occupants also enjoyed a quieter ride, what with the reduced noise characteristics of the 3-Zone Climatronic Air Conditioning System, which features improved acoustic properties of the heater/air conditioning unit, the configuration of the air distribution and blower control according to the driving profile, broad air nozzles, and a special mix of materials. Indeed, all the occupants heard were the music of their iPods or Smartphones emanating from the 8-speaker Audio System connected to the Discover Pro premium infotainment system, Passat’s latest in radio and navigation systems highlighted by a larger screen size, expanded connectivity, expanded range of functions, and significantly operated computation performance.
The Discover Pro combined with the Active Info Display central digital instrument cluster that features configurable graphic panels (e.g. for displaying navigation and driving assistance functions, consumption and range) offered to drivers an even more extensive sense of control in all aspects of the ride and drive experience.
The new Passat, the 8th generation of Volkswagen’s oldest active product brand, under which has been sold 22 million units worldwide since the first rollout in 1973, is designed and produced from Volkswagen in Germany straight to Volkswagen Philippines’ showrooms. It’s engineered and designed as the ideal executive car, complete with luxury appointments such as LED premium headlights and taillights with light scenes, 18” alloy wheels, 12-way electric front ergoComfort seats, rear view camera, park distance control, and “Keyless-Go” Entry.
The Passat Highline 2.0 TSI DSG is priced at P2,253,000 while the 2.0 TSI DSG Business Edition sells at P2,759.000, with available exterior/interior color combinations Crimson Red/St. Tropez, Oryx White or Iridium Grey Metallic/Titanium Black, and Deep Black Pearl or Black Oak Brown/Natural Brown.