What The R?
The Volkswagen Passat gets the turbocharged 2.0-litre, has R-Line kit stuck on it and boom, Passat 2.0 TSI DSG R-Line. This pairing isn’t new, the first time we saw a Passat with the 2.0 litre option was the wagon-body Volkswagen Passat Variant 2.0 TSI DSG R-Line. The sedan was only available with the 1.8-litre engine previously.
What’s R-Line then?
The R-Line refers to a trim option or options for select Volkswagen models. The R-Line trim offers exclusive premium features and sport styling, with some models even offer better performance. In Singapore, any R-Line car, like the Golf Variant R-Line for example, comes with a lot of extra equipment options to sweeten the deal.
Is it ffaasstt?
Holy Moley fast. This is not something to be trifled with when it delivers similar performance to the hot hatch staple, the Golf GTi. Hardcore Passat fans may remember the mmaadd Passat R36, and this truly feels almost just as fast.
The cause for this speed is the 2.0-litre engine and running gear from the Golf GTI. Plus, the new Passat isn’t a lot heavier than the Golf, despite it being a bigger car. With some further weight reduction, we reckon that the Passat will eat a standard Golf GTi. Acceleration is strong rather than spectacular, though, and the engine delivers a better punch in its mid range rather than the bellowish top end.
It isn’t a pure GTi in the corners, but it does feel much more planted at speed. Like the Golf, it comes with selectable drive modes, for those days when you just want to cruise home in comfort but yet want to attack a few nice curves at the doorstep.
The R-Line package adds 18” wheels, which bumped the road noise up a tad bit, but it isn’t spoiling the overall executive drive of the stately sedan. The drive mode also includes Volkswagen’s Dynamic Chassis Control which sets the suspension firmness depending on the mode, or mood.
Thirst? An average 14km/L fuel consumption isn’t to be scoffed at, with the consideration that most Passat owners will take it easy around town, yet crave for that high speed action once in awhile, just because.
Strange looking gauge…
That’s the Active Driver Display with five different views. In nav mode, the speedometer and rev counter are moved to the edge in order to provide more space for the map. Moreover, the Active Info Display is also networked with other assistance systems in the vehicle.
In this way, the infotainment system data, such as telephone contact photos or CD cover, which is displayed in the centre console can also be transferred directly into the driver’s field of view.
The display is highly integrated with the main entertainment/navigation system as well. It has MirrorLink for Android smartphone connectivity and features WiFi hotspot-ability. For, well, when you just need oodles of non stop data streaming…
What about the rest of the car?
This is where the GTI relationship breaks away. The interior feels more upmarket, more classy and fitted with much more fiddly-diddly electronic toys.
Uh, luxury? Big tick.
Everything you would expect from a luxury vehicle is here, massage seats, premium sound system (Dynaudio), 3D view camera, two-zone air conditioning, plush leather seats. There is a huge amount of room for everyone, plus plenty of room in the boot, to boot!
Executive Track Warrior then?
The inclusion of the 2.0-litre engine in R-Line trim adds much needed pace to the Passat’s space, as we discovered in the Variant version. However, with the target group that the Passat is built for, it will most likely see sedate activity in it’s entire life.
The premium performance sedan segment is a little niche, but this niche example has been executed very well indeed! Uh.. so, Passa-R-GTi?
Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI R-Line
Engine: 1,984cc, Inline 4, Turbocharged
Transmission: 6-Speed DSG
0-100km/h: 6.7 seconds
Top Speed: 246 km/h
Fuel consumption: 6.4L/100km
Availability: Now (www.volkswagen.com.sg)