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Journeys : Apr May 2011
economy were achieved due to VW’s moder n engine design and turbo-charging. The 1.8 litre engine produces 118kW of power and provides 250Nm of torque from a very usable 1500 through to 4500RPM, meaning you really don’t have to work the engine too hard, so fuel consumption figures are excellent. The official combined economy figure is 7.8L/100km – our highway cruising saw numbers in the high fives. A slight downside to these figures is a requirement for premium fuel. I’m certainly an advocate for Direct-Shift Gearboxes (DSG) but they can be a little fussy if you want to get off the line in a hurry through an intersection. For me, this was one of those transmissions, although I have driven others that are smoother. DSGs also don’t cope all that well w ith people who like to left-foot brake. Hill-hold assist as fitted to the Passat negated this need on some of Hobart’s steeper intersections. That said, once off the line, this 7-speed was smooth, shifting up and down the ratios with a minimum of fuss. Electro-mechanical steering offers nice weighting – as is often typical of this type of assistance, there is very little road feel, although you always know where the wheels are pointing. Ride comfor t is fir m but never becomes uncomfortable. You can however specify adaptive chassis control to further soften or tighten suspension, but as my usual war ning goes with Euro cars, watch how many options boxes you tick – they can soon add up. Other models in the Passat range include a 125kW diesel in sedan or wagon, V6 4-motion (AWD) and the range-topping R36 spor t variant. Prices for the range start at just under $41,000 for the car on test to almost $67,000 (plus on roads) for the R36, $2000 less for sedan versions. Passat CC, while maintaining a lot of the mechanical features of the standard range, offers a completely different design in the for m of a four-door coupe. Despite nearing the end of its production life in its present form, Passat is more than worthy of a test drive if a mid-sized wagon is what you need. The Passat is one of those cars that sometimes slips under the radar when I’m asked for car recommendations, but there isn’t really any reason this should be the case. While this model is due for replacement in the coming year, constant styling and mechanical upgrades have enable Passat to remain contemporary if not ground-breaking. The latest mechanical upgrade saw the petrol engine capacity reduced from 2.0 litre to 1.8, but improved engine output and Darren Moody He says Passat 118TSI Wagon Buying a new or used car has never been easier. autoSEARCH Tasmania will: • Find the type of vehicle you require • Arrange a discounted RACT Vehicle Inspection, if required • Negotiate a special ROADSIDE cardholder’s price, including your trade-in • Arrange a manufacturer’s or dealer’s warranty on most vehicles sold. This independent service is free to RACT ROADSIDE cardholders. Statewide 0418123 060 Hobart 6231 9992 • Launceston 6334 3965 autoSEARCH autoSEARCH Life on the move 30 April / May 2011
Feb March 2011
Jun Jul 2011