Volkswagen Passat R-Line
Mention the name Volkswagen to any Malaysian car enthusiast and a few things probably come to mind. The infamous DSG problems or long waiting time for parts when something goes wrong. Volkswagen in Malaysia has unfortunately been hit with a streak of bad reliability issues previously and had suffered a huge blow to their reputation amongst Malaysians. These sentiments are hard to ignore and send shivers down the spine of ex-owners who have had problematic cars before.
To be fair to Volkswagen, who is the second largest car manufacturer in the world. They do produce some fantastic quality cars, offer them at some pretty attractive prices while being equally enjoyable to drive. They bring the latest technology to the masses at very good value which in my opinion, if you ignore the reliability issues, make for a very compelling offer when compared to its competitors.
Volkswagen Malaysia updated the Volkswagen Passat R-Line a few months ago and it is currently priced at RM212,939. Offering 220 PS and 350 Nm which is a healthy upgrade from the 190 PS and 320 Nm offered in the Elegance model. It comes standard with a six-speed DSG wet dual-clutch transmission, Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), their XDS electronic differential, an upgraded 700W Harman Kardon digital sound system plus a whole lot of other features.
Being fitted with Volkswagen’s popular 2 liter turbocharged engine, the car feels sedate when going about your daily routine but never feels underpowered or overstrained when power is asked of it. Just point, squeeze and go, which at certain times amazes me with its ability to instantaneously sprint and overtake most of the cars you normally see on the road without breaking a sweat while the XDS electronic differential works overtime to ensure grip is there all the time. It’s not a sports car but it’s no slouch either.
The Dynamic Chassis Control offers owners an option to loft around on highways and town roads for family or day-to-day duties in comfort, which is expected, while also offering a very engaging drive with a press of a button. A feature offered only in higher priced models from its competitors. The car rides with an air of sophistication, it never feels crashy when KL’s worst is thrown to it and you always feel that you’re in full control of the vehicle wherever you go.
The Passat’s interior is well built, spacious and well thought out, the materials used present a feel of quality everywhere you look and touch in the car. The dashboard is classy and all the controls are located where they should be. The 700W Harman Kardon 12 speaker sound system with four sound modes (Pure, Chill Out, Live and Energy) is well matched to the rest of the offerings of the car.
If we were to compare it with other popular D segment rivals, the Passat blows the competition out of the water with its engine power and price point! There you go, case closed, see you at the Volkswagen dealership!
If only it were so easy… buying a car involves a lot of considerations, the motoring experience, the value you get, the status it offers, the reliability and safety, and so much more. What I’m trying to say is, look beyond the norm and give the underdog a chance if you’re in the market for a D segment sedan. I did and I was mighty impressed! You might as well… See you on the roads!
Watch our new episode of Car Talk on the Volkswagen Passat with Alan.