Volkswagen Passat B6 | An Enthusiast's Luxury Cruiser?
The VW Passat is a mid-size family car sold by VW since 1973. It has also been available as station wagon. The most fascinating fact about this car is that the B5 generation of Passat was used as a test bed for the VAG W engines and was equipped with a W8 engine. However, in this post I am going to focus only on the B6 generation, with the B7 generation focussed upon in the next post.
As the B8 generation is already out, and the older generations have aged well, they are now available for considerably lower prices despite their above average performance, comfort and quality levels. Beware though; VW is infamous for their after sales service. As a VW Vento owner myself, I can assure you that spare parts prices will be high and labour costs will be high too.
Down below are the various variants available in the B6 generation (2007-2010).
1. The 1.8 TSI Passat was equipped with a 1,798 cc I4 petrol engine producing 160 bhp and 250 Nm that can be tweaked up to 210 bhp and 310 Nm on a stage 1 tune with the removal of speed and rev limiter. A stage 2 tune will take it up to an even better 225 bhp and 340 Nm. As the base model, the cars with this trim had manual transmissions. The ads of this trim showed prices in between ₹3,20,000 and ₹9,90,000.
2. The Highline DSG, Comfortline DSG, Highline DSG S and 2.0 TDI trims were equipped with an I4 diesel 1,968 cc engine produces 168 bhp and 350 Nm that can be tweaked up to a tasty 200 bhp and 420 Nm via a stage 1 tune that includes DPF and EGR removal. It costs around ₹2,65,000 to ₹9,00,000. I could also find a comfort coupe model that was listed at ₹12,00,000 but that is not the agenda of this post. Click here if you want to know what a Passat CC is.
3. The Trendline MT trim was available with the same 2 litre diesel engine as the aforementioned, but with a soulful 6 speed manual transmission. The prices are in between ₹3,99,000 and ₹6,49,000.
Reasons to buy it:
Price: As you just read, these cars are available in prices between ₹2,65,000 and ₹9,90,000 and that price is surely reasonable for a 9-12 year old car with features good enough for the time and quality- well-reputed. As I mentioned before, being a VW car the after sales prices are bound to be higher than similar cars like Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. You may also need to deal with the unavailability of spare parts at service outlets. Even more problematic is the insufficient number of VW/Skoda/Audi service outlets and dealerships in India. A reason to buy Passat/Superb over Camry and Accord is that due to the saturation of depreciation, all four cars currently cost almost equal despite their different factory prices. However, I would suggest you to buy this car only if you have a service outlet in your city else you will be stuck in a condition like me where we are compelled to drive our Vento to Lucknow to get it serviced.
Performance and Fun Factor: I will put this unbiased- Passat is not the best car when it comes to the pleasure of driving. The electric steering of B6 does have a better feel and feedback over the electric steering of B7; it cannot beat the hydraulic steerings of the Japanese Camry and Accord. This car is oriented more over the comfort of driving than the pleasure of it. It may get better if you get it tuned by a professional but stock, it does not portray its potential. The heavy 1.5 ton body takes it toll on the body roll and it does not corner as good. The disc brakes on all four corners is a good addition but is common in Accord and Camry as well. Moving further to the transmission, the 6 speed manual is good to have fun but the DSG is just too good with the pedal shifters.
Practicality: Amongst all the cars I have done a soft review of, this car is the most practical. In fact, practicality is the aspect where it shines unlike other cars. Of course, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have their benefits including price and fun factor (that I described above), Passat and Superb have one thing in their favour and that are the bountiful features at a similar price. You get many features in Passat and Superb that are foreign to the originally cheaper Camry and Accord. Some features are upmarket enough to compete with the entry-level cars of luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. This takes the comfort on a whole new level.
This car is perfect for anyone who has a budget lesser than ₹10,00,000 but wants a mid-size sedan instead of a compact sub-4 metre one. Giving a price North of around ₹6,00,000 gives you one in a good condition but it is important to have some lakhs left untouched in the account for the maintenance of this car.
The only proper alternative of this car is the B6 Superb. I will try to make a post on it too soon enough. Camry and Accord do have their benefits but Passat takes the cake for the better luxury mid-size sedan with fun factor compromised.
Highway Performance : 7
Cornering Performance : 4
Ride Quality : 9
Parts Quality and Reliability : 8
Practicality : 9
Features : 5
Aesthetics : 5
Modification Potential : 3
Value For Money Factor : 5
Average : 6.11/10.00
Best Score Yet: 7.88/10.00 (Toyota Fortuner 3.0 4x4 MK1)
What score will you give to the 2007-2010 Volkswagen Passat B6 as a cheap luxury sedan?
I rate the vw passat b6 a very respectable 4 out of 5 stars!